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Studying the Influence Music Practice Has On Neurodevelopment in Youth (SIMPHONY)

How does musical training influence the child's brain and the development of skills like language and attention? The Neurosciences Institute, UC San Diego, and the San Diego Youth Symphony have formed a new partnership to address these questions. We are recruiting children between 5 to 8 years of age who receive or plan to receive instrumental/vocal music instruction to participate in the SIMPHONY study. To understand how music affects the structure of the brain, participants will be asked to lie still in an MRI scanner for up to one hour while watching a video. To understand how music affects cognition, participants will do simple computerized tasks. These sessions will occur at different points in their music education and will be conducted in association with CHD's PLING Study.


Eligibility Requirements:

  • 5 to 8 years of age
  • Parental consent
  • Must have begun formal, weekly instrumental/vocal music training within the past 6 months or plan to begin training within the next 3 months
  • Fluency in English
  • No history of head trauma/loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes
  • No heavy alcohol/drug use by mother during pregnancy
  • Normal or corrected-to-normal hearing/vision
  • Not born preterm (less than 36 weeks)
  • No braces or permanent retainer in mouth
  • No metal or electronic implants in body
  • No history of claustrophobia
  • No diagnosis of neurological disorder

To learn more about the SIMPHONY study or to find out if your child is eligible to participate, please contact us at simphony@ucsd.edu or (858) 822-2148.

For more information about other Center for Human Development studies, please contact Melanie Maddox at mmaddox@ucsd.edu or (858) 822-2148.

This project is supported by:

  • National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, Grant #R01HD061414
  • Blasker-Rose-Miah Fund and the Colonel Frank C. Wood Memorial Fund of the San Diego Foundation, Grant #BLSK201252047
  • Grammy Foundation Grant