A Neurodevelopmental Investigation of How Music Education Can Benefit Executive Function and Emotion Regulation in Adolescents

Funding detail: 
NEA Research Grant
University of Southern California
Principal Investigator: 
Assal Habibi
Project summary: 

To support a neurodevelopmental investigation of how music education can benefit executive function and emotion regulation in adolescents. This quasi-experimental study will examine the development of executive function in teenagers from underprivileged communities in Los Angeles. Teens who have had five years of music training through an El Sistema-inspired community music program will be compared with two matched-comparison groups: one comprising teens who participated in a community-based sports program for five years, but who have not taken any systematic musical training; and another comprising teens who have not had any systematic after-school music or sports training. All participants will be recruited from an existing longitudinal study for which comprehensive brain, cognitive, and social-emotional data were collected before the students received training, and for four consecutive years afterward. The study will assess the long-term benefits of music training to development from childhood to early adolescence. Neuroimaging (MRI/fMRI) and behavioral measures will be used to assess development of brain structure and function.