Tim Brunson DCH

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Music therapy and neuropsychology.

In the last decade, a considerable number of studies have been made on the cognitive processing of music. A patient with pure amusia due to the infarction of anterior portion of bilateral temporal lobes revealed the disturbance of the discrimination of chords. Using positron emission tomography, these regions were activated when musically naive normal subjects listened to the harmony compared to the rhythm of identical music. So, we concluded that anterior temporal portion might participate in the recognition of chords. Several articles reported that the musician's brain was different from nonmusicians' functionally and anatomically. This difference was considered to be caused by the musical training for a long time. Recent studies clarified that the reorganization might occur by musical training for a few months. Melodic intonation therapy (MIT) is a method aimed to improve speech output of aphasic patients, using short melodic phrase with a word. The literatures of mental processing of music suggested that right hemisphere might participate in the expression of music, namely singing and playing instrumentals. So, it was supposed that MIT utilized the compensational function of right hemisphere for damaged left hemisphere. We also reported that mental singing improved the gait disturbance of patients with Parkinson's disease. Music therapy is changing from a social science model based on the individual experiences to a neuroscience-guided model based on brain function and cognitive processing of the perception and expression of music.

Rinsho Shinkeigaku. 2007 Nov;47(11):868-70. Satoh M, Takeda K, Kuzuhara S. Mie St. Cross Hospital.

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