Research Publications

Processing Prosodic and Musical Patterns: A Neuropsychological Investigation ☆ ☆☆ b Départment Neiges, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada Abstract To explore the relationship between the processing of melodic and rhythmic patterns in speech and music, we tested the prosodic and musical discrimination abilities of two phrase pairs derived from the prosody of the sentence pairs. This novel technique was chosen to make task demands as comparable as possible across domains. One amusic subject showed good performance on both linguistic and musical discrimination tasks, while the other had difficulty with both tasks. In both subjects, level of performance was statistically similar across domains, suggesting shared neural resources for prosody and music. Further tests suggested that prosody and music may overlap in the processes used to maintain auditory patterns in working memory.

When the brain plays music: auditory–motor interactions in music perception and production

Robert J. motor activities, music performance requires precise timing of several hierarchically organized actions, as well as precise control over pitch interval production, implemented through diverse effectors according to the instrument involved. We review the cognitive neuroscience literature of both motor and auditory domains, highlighting the value of studying interactions between these systems in a musical context, and propose some ideas concerning the role of the premotor cortex in integration of higher order features of music with appropriately timed and organized actions.

 Musicians spot mistakes more quickly and more accurately than non-musicians http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/musicians-spot-mistakes-more-quickly-and-more-accurately-than-nonmusicians-8849068.html New research has shown that individuals who play an instrument are more capable at identifying errors and correcting mistakes, and that these benefits apply to amateur musicians as well as professionals. The study, led by Dr Ines Jentzsch for the University of St Andrews, tested the cognitive abilities of musicians and non-musicians, with the research concluding that learning an instrument could “slow or even prevent” the mental decline associated with aging. The research, published in the journal Neuropsychologia, draws particular attention to the skills learnt in musical performance. When playing pieces to an audience or to themselves musicians must demonstrate heightened awareness of their actions: continually monitoring their playing through auditory feedback and rapidly adjusting their movements to anticipate possible mistakes. The psychological and mental benefits of learning to play an instrument have been shown in previous studies, with research highlighting musicians’ improved reaction times and their increased capacity to “inhibit task irrelevant information” (aka, to stay focused). “[The results] suggest that higher levels of musical training might result in more efficient information processing in general (indicated by faster overall speed across tasks without accuracy tradeoff), and confirms earlier reports indicating a positive link between mental speed and musical ability,” says Dr Jentzsch. The research is notable in that unlike previous studies it focuses on amateur rather than professional musicians, showing that even “moderate levels of musical activity” were beneficial to cognitive performance. The study also drew attention to the diminishing support for children to learn to play in schools, noting that “in times of economic hardship, funds for music education are often amongst the first to be cut.” “This is particularly worrying given both anecdotal and limited research evidence suggesting that music can have strong positive effects on our physical as well as psychological functioning.”

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center For Complementary & Alternative Medicine or the National Institutes of Health. Related Event The Neurosciences and Music - IV Learning and Memory June 9-12, 2011, Assembly Hall & The Hub EDINBURGH, Scotland, UK The conference, promoted by the Mariani Foundation for Paediatric Neurology, is conceived as a continuation of the previous meetings on the relation between Music and the Neurosciences in which the Foundation participated in the last years. These conferences have been highly successful and have generated enormous excitement, both among established and new researchers. By providing the opportunity to present new results and exchange information, the meetings have contributed substantially to the growth of new research and collaborations in the neuroscience of music and to its visibility within the broader scientific community. The central theme of this fourth edition is "Learning and Memory". The program includes a Keynote Lecture, 9 Symposia, 3 Poster Sessions and 2 Workshops. The conference is of interest not only to neuroscientists, psychologists, clinical neurologists, clinical psychologists and therapists, but also to music performers and educators as well as musicologists. Poster Submission Deadline: March 15, 2011. Visit www.fondazione-mariani.org for submission instructions and further information

Music, Science & Medicine:
Frontiers in Biomedical Research & Clinical applications
    Presented by The New York Academy of Sciences
Music therapy — the clinical application of music to treat a wide range of diagnoses using physiological and medical approaches — has advanced dramatically over the past decade, proving to be an effective clinical tool for treating medical diagnoses. Music has been effectively applied to treat Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke and others, including autism, language acquisition, pain management, stress and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, coma, and more. This landmark multidisciplinary 1-day conference aims at exploring the connection between up-to-date scientific findings and their possible application to clinical music and physiological function, including, not only neurocognitive mechanisms, but also other physiological processes such a hormonal and metabolic responses, pain control, motor functions, etc. The ultimate goal of this program is fostering dialogue among experts studying music in human adaptive function, physiological sciences, neuroscience, neurology, medical research, psychology, music education, and others disciplines of disease physiology, music physiology, and music therapy. It is expected that the broad and ongoing discussions originating from this symposium, will promote collaborative research, and a more effective communication, and translation of scientific research into music-based clinical treatments of disease.
CMTE Credits Interested music therapists attending this symposium may directly claim their CMTE credits to the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT, www.cbmt.org ). The certificant would need to document his or her own learning and attendance by providing the following information to CBMT: a) Activity Title; b) Name of Activity Sponsor; c) Name of Instructors; d) Written summary of the learning experience, written by the certificant; e) Copy of the brochure or syllabus; f) Copy of the certificate or proof of attendance; g) Number of contact hours in the program. Grant Support The project described is supported by Award Number R13AT006503 from the National Center For Complementary & Alternative Medicine, the National Institute Of Neurological Disorders And Stroke, and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.