Sunday, November 15, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
WASHINGTON — For those who seriously practiced a musical instrument when they were young, the experience was more than just entertainment. Recent research shows a strong correlation between musical training for children and certain mental abilities.
The research was discussed at a session at a recent gathering of acoustics experts in Austin, Texas.
Laurel Trainor, director of the Institute for Music and the Mind at McMaster University in West Hamilton, Ontario, and colleagues compared preschool children who had taken music lessons with those who did not. Those with some training showed larger brain responses on a number of sound recognition tests given to the children. Her research indicated that musical training appears to modify the brain's auditory cortex.
Can larger claims be made for the influence on the brain of musical training? Does training change thinking or cognition in general? NEXT...............
Posted by iRDMuni at 2:04 PM
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Few people over the age of 10 would list "Happy Birthday" among their favorite songs. But Harvey Alter, now 62, has a special fondness for it. It helped teach him how to talk.
One morning in June 2003, Alter, then a self-employed criminologist, was putting a leash on his dog, Sam, in preparation for a walk when suddenly he felt dizzy and disoriented.
"My thoughts were intertwined, not making sense," he said in a recent interview. "I knew I was having a stroke."
At St. Vincent's Hospital, doctors diagnosed an ischemic stroke, caused by a blockage in blood flow to part of the left half of his brain. As a result, the right side of his body was temporarily paralyzed, the right side of his face drooped and he had trouble coming up with the right words and stringing them into sentences - a condition called aphasia.
Within hours of his stroke, Alter met with Loni Burke, a speech therapist. At first he was completely nonverbal; within a few days he could say small words.
"Mostly, he said, 'No,' " Burke recalled, "because he was frustrated that he couldn't speak."
Posted by iRDMuni at 11:13 AM
Friday, September 25, 2009
folio: Highlighting scholarship and research at The Graduate Center
The Musical Angle on Disability
Sometimes the spark that ignites a new area of scholarship happens in the classroom, sometimes it happens in the field where research is conducted, and sometimes it happens at an academic conference or symposium. In the case of "music and disability"—an emerging subfield of musicology and music theory—it happened on a train.
About ten years ago, music scholar Joseph Straus was traveling by Amtrak, on his way home from Penn State University, where he had just given a colloquium. After chatting with the person seated next to him—a Penn State faculty member - he pulled out a book he'd been reading about autism, the neurobiological syndrome characterized by impaired social interaction and communication and restricted and repetitive behavior. Seeing the book, his fellow passenger asked if he was interested in "disability studies." Straus had never heard next...
Posted by iRDMuni at 4:00 PM
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Listen up: belting out tunes in the shower may not only be music to your ears, but may also treat a variety of disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, aphasia and dementia.
In fact, singing has both physical and neurological benefits, according to a CNN article in which Dr. Wendy Magee, International Fellow in Music Therapy at the Institute of Neuropalliative Rehabilitation in London, described music as a “mega-vitamin for the brain” that can improve a host of condition Next..
Posted by iRDMuni at 2:56 PM
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Patients and caregivers should be aware that there is little research to support consistent success with MIT. Theoretically, this form of therapy has the potential to improve speech communication to a limited extent.
Melodic intonation therapy was originally developed as a treatment method for speech improvements in adults with aphasia. The initial method has had several modifications, mostly adaptations for use by children with apraxia. The primary structure of this therapy remains relatively consistent however.
- Level I: The speech therapist hums short phrases in a rhythmic, singsong tone. The patient attempts to follow the rhythm and stress patterns of phrases by tapping it out. With children, the therapist uses signing while humming and the child is not initially expected to participate. After a series of steps, the child gradually increases participation until they sign and hum with the therapist.
- Level II: The patient begins to repeat the hummed phrases with the assistance of the speech therapist. Children at this level are gradually weaned from therapist participation.
- Level III: For adults, this is the point where therapist participation is minimized and the patient begins to respond to questions still using rhythmic speech patterns. In children, this is the final level and the transition to normal speech begins. Sprechgesang is the technique used to transition the constant melodic pitch used up to this point with the variable pitch in normal conversational speech.
- Level IV: The adult method incorporates sprechgesang at this level. More complex phrases and longer sentences are attempted.
Preparation for MIT involves some additional research into the therapy and discussions with a neurologist and a speech pathologist. It is important to have an understanding of the affected brain areas. MIT is most likely to be successful for patients who meet certain criteria such as non-bilateral brain damage, good auditory aptitude, non-fluent verbal communication, and poor word repetition. The speech pathologist should be familiar with the different MIT methodologies as they relate to either adults or children.
The expected outcome after completion of the MIT sequence is increased communication through production of intelligible word groups. Patients are typically able to form short sentences of 3–5 words, but more complex communication may also be possible depending on the initial cause of speech impairment.
Bonakdarpour, B., A. Eftekharzadeh, and H. Ashayeri. "Preliminary Report on the Effects of Melodic Intonation Therapy in the Rehabilitation of Persian Aphasic
Posted by iRDMuni at 12:30 PM