Biological Impact of Music Therapy on Aging

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Delays related to age neural timings are not predictable and neither they can be prevented or offset with training in music, as per a research from University of Northwestern. The research is the first to present and put forward the biological evidences that the enduring musical experience has a significant impact on the aging process. While measuring the mechanical brain responses of adolescent and elder musicians as well as non musicians to the vocalizations sounds, investigators from the Laboratory of Auditory Neuroscience declared that the elder musicians had a different neural timing benefit.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, “music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients’ abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people’s motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.”

The results proved these elder musicians succeeded in their performance from the elder non-musicians counterparts. But they did not only outperform elder non-musicians, but also encoded the vocal stimuli rapidly and precisely like the younger non musicians. This proves that our nervous system functions have a reflective effect owing to the energetic experience sound during our lives. The findings seemed very interesting and imperative. They supported the proposal that the brain can be instructed to recover the hearing loss which occurs due to age. Researchers from the University of California collected recent animal data and strongly recommended that rigorous training even in late period of life can progress speech processing in elder adults and due to this there can be significant improvement in their ability to interact in noisy and complex acoustic environment.

Initial studies from the Laboratory of Auditory Neuroscience recommends that music training also reduces two main problems of elder adults:

  • Hearing speech in noise
  • Loss of memory

The mechanical neural reactions to the communication sounds delivered to approximately 87 normal hearing elder adults were calculated as they saw a captioned video. The lab has been studying consistently on the impact of musical training on the brain plasticity over the course of life in clinical, normal populace along with academic settings.




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