From the abstract:
This study uses neuroscientific methods to examine whether there are cognitive differences between performing arts and non-performing arts students and among students studying different performing arts, in particular between music students and theater students.
From the Introduction:
In 2004, the Dana Arts and Cognition Consortium brought together cognitive neuroscientists from seven universities across the United States to grapple with the question of why arts training has been associated with higher academic performance. Is it simply that smart people are drawn to “do” art—to study and perform music, dance, drama—or does early arts training cause changes in the brain that enhance other important aspects of cognition?