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'Working Memory Capacity' May Determine Music's Virtuosos

(HealthDay News) While practice helps improve your musical talents, it's working memory capacity that may determine if you become a virtuoso, according to a new study.

Working memory capacity is the ability to keep relevant bits of information active in your mind, the study authors explained in a news release from the Association for Psychological Science. Musicians use working memory when they read music, and it allows them to play their instrument while reading ahead to the notes that are coming next to keep the music flowing…

"Practice is absolutely important to performance. But our study does suggest that cognitive abilities, particularly working memory capacity, might limit the ultimate level of performance that could be attained," study co-author Elizabeth J. Meinz, of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, said in the news release.

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