Science reveals: Dancing Makes You Smarter

Science reveals: Dancing Makes You Smarter

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study on the effects dancing has on intellectual acuity and mental awareness. The research was conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and was carried out over the course of 21 years.

The researchers looked into a range of both physical and mental activities that could potentially lead to significant brain developments and in turn, have a positive impact on intelligence. Such activities included solving puzzles, playing a musical instrument, walking, dancing and playing a sport.

Surprisingly, none of the physical activities had any impact on neural brain development apart from dancing. Even more so, none of the mental activities appeared to enhance one’s cognitive processes as much as dancing does.

While examining the benefits dancing has on the mind, the researchers found that dancing frequently can decrease the risk of dementia by a staggering 76%.

How is this possible?


The scientists leading the research were astonished by the effects dancing can have on brain neuroplasticity. Dr. Robert Katzman asserts that dancing results in the development of greater cognitive reserves and increases the complexity of neural synapses, thereby improving the brain’s neural qualities. Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Coyle elaborates on the findings stating, “The cerebral cortex and hippocampus that are crucial to these activities are notably plastic, and they rewire themselves based upon their use.”

When it comes to intellectual acuity (mental sharpness), Dr. Katzman's stresses the importance of the complexity of the neuronal synapses.  Essentially, by creating new neural paths, dancing provides a broad range of benefits to the brain including that of improving memory.

An interesting fact:


When looking to define intelligence and explain its nature, it is generally agreed that intelligence is not plainly a statistical measurement, that is, it is not always quantifiable. What is it then?

It turns out that there stands a strong relation between intelligence - mobility and decision-making. Robert Sylwester, a specialist in neuroscience, states that

“Mobility is central to everything that is cognitive, whether it is physical motion or the mental movement of information. Plants have to endure whatever comes along, including predators eating them. Animals, on the other hand, can travel to seek food, shelter, mates, and to move away from unfavorable conditions. Since we can move, we need a cognitive system that can comprehend sensory input and intelligently make choices.”

Therefore, the essence of intelligence lies in decision-making. The best way to enhance mental sharpness is to involve ourselves in activities that include split-second rapid-fire decision making. Scientists advise that learning something new is one way to achieve that. Dancing, however, appears to be the best way to do it since it incorporates multiple brain functions simultaneously – musical, kinesthetic, rational and emotional – further developing our neural connectivity.

Reference: socialdance.stanford.edu

Written by Penelope Stylianopoulou
Science reveals: Dancing Makes You Smarter Science reveals: Dancing Makes You Smarter Reviewed by Truth Seeker on 2:33 AM Rating: 5

2 comments

  1. I should probably sign up for a dance class, just to be stronger and to be smarter.
    photo editor

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  2. http://www.ballroomlatindance.uk/about/

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