Sex differences in certain abilities, which have persisted for decades in various psychological tests, are now widely believed to be the result of conditioning that is in turn shaped by cultural factors. This applies to math abilities, spatial skills, and a range of other activities. Neural plasticity is key, and widely misunderstood or ignored. (Indeed, this is at the heart of the race discussion. Some people really want genes to “cause” different levels or kinds of intelligence, but are unable to explain how a few thousand genes wire up a few billion neurons … but that is the subject of a different discussion, at a different time)…
Guitar Hero 2 and Plasticity
Frontal Cortext has this video:
and opines: “I’d love to check out the somatosensory cortex of this prodigal eight year old. The agility of his fingers is pretty impressive. It’s just a shame that he has invested so much time in a guitar video game instead of practicing an actual guitar…”
I think one could make some specific predictions and actually test them. This behavior very biased in terms of handedness, for instance. Also, while Johah laments that it would be better that the child learn an actual guitar (and I tend to agree) one also has to wonder if he would be better at the regular guitar after molding his brain with this activity for a few months. Or worse!