Science Is Unlocking the Full Potential of Music

Comments Off on Science Is Unlocking the Full Potential of Music
Science Is Unlocking the Full Potential of Music

Sometimes children are born deaf and have to receive cochlear implants, after which they can develop a level of hearing that is 90 percent normal. But since they were unable to hear anything up to that point, it takes a long time to develop hearing and language.

Researchers at the University of Haifa in collaboration with workers at Aalborg University in Denmark recently presented research at the Brain, Therapy and Crafts conference in Israel showing that children who were given therapy that involved music began to communicate spontaneously much faster than children who were given traditional therapy without music.1  Spontaneous communication is an essential component of developing language and hearing.

In a paper published by the Cochrane Systematic Review,2 researchers found that listening to music can help heart patients to reduce stress and anxiety and thereby reduce heart rate and blood pressure.  The Cochrane Systematic Review is an organization that evaluates previous scientific studies for their validity and promotes evidence-based medicine.

At Glasgow Caledonian University, researchers are working toward using music to treat depression and pain.  By analyzing music for rhythm, melodic range, intervals, length of phrases, pitch, timbre, and timing, they have subjects classify it in terms of emotions and are thereby working toward a database from which doctors could literally prescribe music for patients to alter their moods or even alleviate physical pain.

Related findings were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences3 by scientists at Imperial College London, the University of Birmingham, and their collaborators.  They demonstrated that music can actually help to restore vision in patients who have an impaired ability to see after a stroke.  About 60 percent of people who suffer a stroke lose some ability to see.  This does not represent an injury to the eye itself but rather to the parts of the brain that integrate visual input with attention and the ability to act on what we see.  A stroke in the right brain will cause such patients to ignore what is on their left side, even to the point that a patient may only eat the food on the right side of his plate during a meal.

In one experiment, patients were asked to press a button when they saw a red light in the impaired field of vision — right or left, depending on the location of the stroke.  They could see the light only 15 percent of the time...

To continue reading, become a paid subscriber for full access.
Already a Trends Magazine subscriber? Login for full access now.

Subscribe for as low as $195/year

  • Get 12 months of Trends that will impact your business and your life
  • Gain access to the entire Trends Research Library
  • Optional Trends monthly CDs in addition to your On-Line access
  • Receive our exclusive "Trends Investor Forecast 2015" as a free online gift
  • If you do not like what you see, you can cancel anytime and receive a 100% full refund