Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Music therapy in breast cancer

QUESTION: does music therapy with progressive muscle relaxation affect the levels of depression, anxiety and length of hospital stay in women with breast cancer patients undergoing radical mastectomy?

METHODS: 170 patients were evaluated. Half received the intervention and half received routine care. Music therapy with progressive muscle relaxation were performed twice a day.

RESULTS: the music therapy and muscle relaxation patients had significant improvement in depression, anxiety, and length of hospital stay.

COMMENT: this is a classic case of the Hawthorne bias. Interpret results with extreme skepticism.

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2014 Aug 30;

Monday, November 10, 2014

Should you listen to music while you work?

BACKGROUND: the playing of music is common in the operating room. Does the staff believe this is beneficial?

METHODS: a survey was done of a random selection of operating theater staff members.

RESULTS: 52 health professionals responded. Of these, 36 stated that music is played in their operating room either every day, or two to three times a week. The majority felt that music helped them enjoy their work more and performed better.

CONCLUSION: most health care professionals in the operating theatre find that listening to music at work is a positive experience.

COMMENT:  The famous neurosurgeon Ben Carson listened to classical music when operating, as detailed in his book Gifted Hands.

J Perioper Pract. 2014 Sep;24(9):199-204

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spectators who score high on openness personality trait enjoy the excitement of hearing dancers breathing without music.

BACKGROUND: Strong correlations have been shown between music and personality traits, here we aim to investigate how personality traits shape the appreciation of dance when this is presented with three different music/sounds.

METHODS: Therefore, we investigated the relationship between personality traits and the subjective esthetic experience of 52 spectators watching a contemporary dance performance.

RESULTS: Spectators rated the experience of watching dance without music significantly different from with music. The higher spectators scored on the Big Five personality factor openness, the more they liked the no-music section. Spectators' physical experience with dance was not linked to their appreciation but was significantly related to high average extravert scores. Spectators who scored high on the openness personality trait enjoy the excitement of hearing dancers breathing without music.

CONCLUSION: For the first time, we showed that spectators' reported entrainment to watching dance movements without music is strongly related to their personality and thus may need to be considered when using dance as a means to investigate action observation processes and esthetic preferences.

Front Hum Neurosci. 2014;8:718

Friday, October 17, 2014

Specific music therapy techniques in the treatment of primary headache disorders in adolescents: a randomized attention-placebo-controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Migraine and tension-type headache have a high prevalence in children and adolescents.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the efficacy of specific music therapy techniques in the treatment of adolescents with primary headache (tension-type headache and migraine).

METHODS: A prospective, randomized, attention-placebo-controlled parallel group trial was conducted. Patients were randomized to either music therapy (n = 40) or a rhythm pedagogic program (n = 38) designed as an "attention placebo" over 6 sessions within 8 weeks.

RESULTS: Neither treatment was superior to the other at any point of measurement

CONCLUSION: Music therapy was not found to be superior to an attention placebo for migraine and tension-type headaches in children and adolescents.

J Pain. 2013 Oct;14(10):1196-207

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Verbal learning in the context of background music: no influence of vocals and instrumentals on verbal learning.

BACKGROUND: Whether listening to background music enhances verbal learning performance is still a matter of dispute. In this study we investigated the influence of vocal and instrumental background music on verbal learning.
METHODS: 226 subjects were randomly assigned to one of five groups (one control group and 4 experimental groups). All participants were exposed to a verbal learning task. One group served as control group while the 4 further groups served as experimental groups. The control group learned without background music while the 4 experimental groups were exposed to vocal or instrumental musical pieces during learning with different subjective intensity and valence. Thus, we employed 4 music listening conditions (vocal music with high intensity: VOC_HIGH, vocal music with low intensity: VOC_LOW, instrumental music with high intensity: INST_HIGH, instrumental music with low intensity: INST_LOW) and one control condition (CONT) during which the subjects learned the word lists. Since it turned out that the high and low intensity groups did not differ in terms of the rated intensity during the main experiment these groups were lumped together. Thus, we worked with 3 groups: one control group and two groups, which were exposed to background music (vocal and instrumental) during verbal learning. As dependent variable, the number of learned words was used. Here we measured immediate recall during five learning sessions (recall 1 - recall 5) and delayed recall for 15 minutes (recall 6) and 14 days (recall 7) after the last learning session.
RESULTS: Verbal learning improved during the first 5 recall sessions without any strong difference between the control and experimental groups. Also the delayed recalls were similar for the three groups. There was only a trend for attenuated verbal learning for the group passively listened to vocal. This learning attenuation diminished during ghe following learning sessions.
CONCLUSIONS: The exposure to vocal or instrumental background music during encoding did not influence verbal learning. We suggest that the participants are easily able to cope with this background stimulation by ignoring this information channel in order to focus on the verbal learning task.

Behav Brain Funct. 2014 Mar 26;10(1):10

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cardiac autonomic regulation during exposure to auditory stimulation

Objectives: The effects of chronic music auditory stimulation on the cardiovascular system have been investigated in the literature. However, data regarding the acute effects of different styles of music on cardiac autonomic regulation are lacking. The literature has indicated that auditory stimulation with white noise above 50 dB induces cardiac responses. We aimed to evaluate the acute effects of classical baroque and heavy metal music of different intensities on cardiac autonomic regulation.

Study design: The study was performed in 16 healthy men aged 18-25 years. All procedures were performed in the same soundproof room. We analyzed heart rate variability (HRV) in time (standard deviation of normal-to-normal R-R intervals [SDNN], root-mean square of differences [RMSSD] and percentage of adjacent NN intervals with a difference of duration greater than 50 ms [pNN50]) and frequency (low frequency [LF], high frequency [HF] and LF/HF ratio) domains. HRV was recorded at rest for 10 minutes. Subsequently, the volunteers were exposed to one of the two musical styles (classical baroque or heavy metal music) for five minutes through an earphone, followed by a five-minute period of rest, and then they were exposed to the other style for another five minutes. The subjects were exposed to three equivalent sound levels (60-70dB, 70-80dB and 80-90dB). The sequence of songs was randomized for each individual.

Results: Auditory stimulation with heavy metal music did not influence HRV indices in the time and frequency domains in the three equivalent sound level ranges. The same was observed with classical baroque musical auditory stimulation with the three equivalent sound level ranges.

Conclusion: Musical auditory stimulation of different intensities did not influence cardiac autonomic regulation in men.

Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars. 2014 Mar;42(2):139-146

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mitochondrial DNA, restoring Beethovens music.

Great ancient composers have endured many obstacles and constraints which are very difficult to understand unless we perform the restoration process of ancient music. Species identification in leather used during manufacturing is the key step to start such a restoration process in order to produce a facsimile of a museum piano. Our study reveals the species identification in the leather covering the hammer head in a piano created by Erard in 1802. This is the last existing piano similar to the piano that Beethoven used with its leather preserved in its original state. The leather sample was not present in a homogeneous piece, yet combined with glue. Using a DNA extraction method that avoids PCR inhibitors; we discovered that sheep and cattle are the origin of the combination. To identify the species in the leather, we focused on the amounts of mitochondrial DNA in both leather and glue and results have led us to the conclusion that the leather used to cover the hammer head in this piano was made of cattle hide.

Mitochondrial DNA. 2014 Mar 11

Monday, March 17, 2014

Effects of music tempo on performance, psychological, and physiological variables during 20 km cycling in well-trained cyclists.

HYPOTHESIS: music tempo affects the performance, psychological response, and physiological response of well-trained athletes.

METHODS: 10 highly trained road cyclists performed four 20-km time trials. The time-trials were spaced one week apart. The music for each trial was randomized between fast-tempo (140 bpm), medium-tempo (120 bpm), slow-tempo (100 bpm), and no music.

RESULTS: There was no significant change in performance, physiological, or psychophysical variables. However, mood disturbance and tension increased significantly in the fast-tempo trial when compared with medium and no-music conditions.

CONCLUSIONmusic tempo did not affect the performance of highly trained athletes although fast music compared with no music increased both mood disturbance and tension.

Percept Mot Skills. 2013 Oct;117(2):484-97

Music and the elderly

Music is an effective therapy for multiple chronic diseases in the elderly. Bull Soc Sci Med Grand Duche Luxemb. 2013;(2):33-50

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A nationwide survey of nurses' attitudes toward music therapy and their need for education in its application.

BACKGROUND: Music therapy is increasingly used to help heal patients. However, there is a significant gap in the literature about nurses' attitudes toward and need for education in music therapy for nursing practice. This cross-sectional study was conducted to describe nurses' attitudes toward music therapy and determine their need for education in music therapy.

METHODS: Participants included 1,197 nurses who were recruited from hospitals in different regions of Taiwan.

RESULTS: Participants expressed positive attitudes toward music therapy. Most participants were willing to learn about music therapy. "Skill in using musical instruments" was the most frequently identified educational need. Further study of the discrepancy between the attitudes toward "performing music therapy" and "learning music therapy" is needed to clarify why nurses expected that they would receive no support for attending music therapy education.

CONCLUSION: Given participants' attitudes toward music therapy and their motivation for learning, nursing administrators and educators may consider developing policies to further the advancement of music therapy in educational programs and practice.

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2013 Dec;44(12):544-52

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The effects of Chinese five-element music therapy on nursing students with depressed mood.

The effects of Chinese five-element music therapy on nursing students with depressed mood.
Int J Nurs Pract. 2014 Mar 4;
Authors: Chen CJ, Sung HC, Lee MS, Chang CY

This study aimed to evaluate the effects of Chinese five-element music therapy on nursing students with depressed mood. We randomly assigned 71 nursing students from Taiwan with depressed mood to the music and control groups. The music group (n = 31) received Chinese five-element music therapy, whereas the participants in the control group (n = 40) maintained their routine lifestyles with no music therapy. All of the participants were assessed using the Depression Mood Self-Report Inventory for Adolescence, and their salivary cortisol levels were measured. The study found that there was a significant reduction in depression between the pre- and posttherapy test scores and in salivary cortisol levels over time in the music group. After receiving the music therapy, the nursing students' depression levels were significantly reduced (P = 0.038) compared with the control group (P < 0.001). These results indicate that the Chinese five-element music therapy has the potential to reduce the level of depression in nursing students with depressed mood.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Employing music exposure to reduce prejudice and discrimination.

Employing music exposure to reduce prejudice and discrimination.
Aggress Behav. 2014 Feb 25;
Authors: Greitemeyer T, Schwab A

Whereas previous research has mainly focused on negative effects of listening to music on intergroup attitudes and behavior, the present three experiments examined whether music exposure could reduce prejudice and discrimination. In fact, those participants who had listened to songs with pro-integration (relative to neutral) lyrics expressed less prejudice (Studies 1 and 3) and were less aggressive against (Study 2) and more helpful toward an outgroup member (Study 3). These effects were unaffected by song liking as well as mood and arousal properties of the songs employed, suggesting that it is indeed the pro-integration content of the lyrics that drives the effects. It is discussed to what extent music exposure could be employed to effectively reduce prejudice and discrimination in the real world. Aggr. Behav. 9999:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Perioperative music may reduce pain and fatigue in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Perioperative music may reduce pain and fatigue in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2013 Sep;57(8):1010-6
Authors: Graversen M, Sommer T

BACKGROUND: Acute post-operative pain is a predictor in the development of chronic pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Music has been shown to reduce surgical stress. In a randomized, clinical trial, we wanted to test the hypothesis that perioperative and post-operative soft music reduces pain, nausea, fatigue and surgical stress in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy as day surgery.
METHOD: The study was performed in otherwise healthy Danish patients eligible for day surgery. Ninety-three patients were included and randomized to either soft music or no music perioperatively and post-operatively. Using visual analog score pain, nausea and fatigue at baseline, 1 h, 3 h, 1 day and 7 days after surgery were recorded. C-reactive protein and cortisol were sampled before and after surgery.
RESULTS: Music did not lower pain 3 h after surgery, which was the main outcome. The music group had less pain day 7 (P = 0.014). Nausea was low in both groups and was not affected by music. The music group experienced less fatigue at day 1 (P = 0.042) and day 7 (P = 0.015). Cortisol levels decreased during surgery in the music group (428.5-348.0 nmol/l), while it increased in the non-music group (443.5-512.0 nmol/l); still, the difference between the two groups were only significant using general linear models as post-hoc analysis. Soft music did not affect C-reactive protein levels.
CONCLUSION: Soft music did not reduce pain 3 h after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Soft music may reduce later post-operative pain and fatigue by decreasing the surgical stress response.

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The effect of music on the human stress response.

The effect of music on the human stress response.
PLoS One. 2013;8(8):e70156
Authors: Thoma MV, La Marca R, Brönnimann R, Finkel L, Ehlert U, Nater UM

BACKGROUND: Music listening has been suggested to beneficially impact health via stress-reducing effects. However, the existing literature presents itself with a limited number of investigations and with discrepancies in reported findings that may result from methodological shortcomings (e.g. small sample size, no valid stressor). It was the aim of the current study to address this gap in knowledge and overcome previous shortcomings by thoroughly examining music effects across endocrine, autonomic, cognitive, and emotional domains of the human stress response.
METHODS: Sixty healthy female volunteers (mean age = 25 years) were exposed to a standardized psychosocial stress test after having been randomly assigned to one of three different conditions prior to the stress test: 1) relaxing music ('Miserere', Allegri) (RM), 2) sound of rippling water (SW), and 3) rest without acoustic stimulation (R). Salivary cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA), heart rate (HR), respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), subjective stress perception and anxiety were repeatedly assessed in all subjects. We hypothesized that listening to RM prior to the stress test, compared to SW or R would result in a decreased stress response across all measured parameters.
RESULTS: The three conditions significantly differed regarding cortisol response (p = 0.025) to the stressor, with highest concentrations in the RM and lowest in the SW condition. After the stressor, sAA (p=0.026) baseline values were reached considerably faster in the RM group than in the R group. HR and psychological measures did not significantly differ between groups.
CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that music listening impacted the psychobiological stress system. Listening to music prior to a standardized stressor predominantly affected the autonomic nervous system (in terms of a faster recovery), and to a lesser degree the endocrine and psychological stress response. These findings may help better understanding the beneficial effects of music on the human body.

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Influence of background music on work attention in clients with chronic schizophrenia.

Influence of background music on work attention in clients with chronic schizophrenia.
Work. 2014 Mar 4;
Authors: Shih YN, Chen CS, Chiang HY, Liu CH

BACKGROUND: Work attention in persons with chronic schizophrenia is an important issue in vocational rehabilitation. Some of the research literature indicates that background music may influence visual attention performance.

OBJECTIVES: Based on the theory of occupational therapy, environmental sounds, colors and decorations may affect individual performance, this study thus examined the influence of music on work attention in persons with schizophrenia.

PARTICIPANTS: Participants were recruited from a halfway house in Taipei. Fourty-nine (49) patients with chronic schizophrenia volunteered. They had been accepted into vocational rehabilitation and a work-seeking program. The sample included 20 females and 29 males. The participant ages ranged between 29 and 63 years old, and their average age was 47 years old.

METHODS: Using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study, the participants were assigned to one of three conditions: quiet environment as the control group (n=16), classical light music as background music (n=16), and popular music as background music (n=17).

RESULTS: For Group 1 (control group/quiet environment), there was no significant variance (sig=0.172). For Group 2 (Classical light music), the intervention revealed significant variance (sig=0.071*). For Group 3 (popular music), the intervention had significant variance (sig=0.048**).

CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of background music tended to increase attention test scores of persons with schizophrenia. Moreover, the increase in test attention scores was statistically significant when popular music was played in the background. This result suggested that background music may improve attention performance of persons with chronic schizophrenia. Future research is required with a larger sample size to support the study results.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Combining transcranial direct current stimulation and tailor-made notched music training to decrease tinnitus-related distress - a pilot study.

Combining transcranial direct current stimulation and tailor-made notched music training to decrease tinnitus-related distress - a pilot study.
PLoS One. 2014;9(2):e89904
Authors: Teismann H, Wollbrink A, Okamoto H, Schlaug G, Rudack C, Pantev C

The central auditory system has a crucial role in tinnitus generation and maintenance. Curative treatments for tinnitus do not yet exist. However, recent attempts in the therapeutic application of both acoustic stimulation/training procedures and electric/magnetic brain stimulation techniques have yielded promising results. Here, for the first time we combined tailor-made notched music training (TMNMT) with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in an effort to modulate TMNMT efficacy in the treatment of 32 patients with tonal tinnitus and without severe hearing loss. TMNMT is characterized by regular listening to so-called notched music, which is generated by digitally removing the frequency band of one octave width centered at the individual tinnitus frequency. TMNMT was applied for 10 subsequent days (2.5 hours of daily treatment). During the initial 5 days of treatment and the initial 30 minutes of TMNMT sessions, tDCS (current strength: 2 mA; anodal (N = 10) vs. cathodal (N = 11) vs. sham (N = 11) groups) was applied simultaneously. The active electrode was placed on the head surface over left auditory cortex; the reference electrode was put over right supra-orbital cortex. To evaluate treatment outcome, tinnitus-related distress and perceived tinnitus loudness were assessed using standardized tinnitus questionnaires and a visual analogue scale. The results showed a significant treatment effect reflected in the Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire that was largest after 5 days of treatment. This effect remained significant at the end of follow-up 31 days after treatment cessation. Crucially, tDCS did not significantly modulate treatment efficacy - it did not make a difference whether anodal, cathodal, or sham tDCS was applied. Possible explanations for the findings and functional modifications of the experimental design for future studies (e.g. the selection of control conditions) are discussed.

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Differences Between Musicians and Non-musicians in Neuro-Affective Processing of Sadness and Fear Expressed in Music.

Differences Between Musicians and Non-musicians in Neuro-Affective Processing of Sadness and Fear Expressed in Music.
Neurosci Lett. 2014 Feb 26;
Authors: Park M, Gutyrchik E, Bao Y, Zaytseva Y, Carl P, Welker L, Pöppel E, Reiser M, Blautzik J, Meindl T

Music is known to convey and evoke emotional states. Musical training has been argued to lead to changes in the neural architecture, and enhanced processing of emotions. It is not clear, whether musical training is also associated with changes in behavioral and neural responses to musically conveyed emotions. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we investigated the responses to three musically conveyed emotions (happiness, sadness, fear) in a group of musicians and a group of non-musicians. We find that musicians rate sadness and fear as significantly more arousing than non-musicians, and that musical training is associated with specific neural activations: In response to sadness expressed in music, musicians show activation increases in the right prefrontal cortex, specifically in the superior and middle frontal gyri. In response to fear, musicians show activation increases in the right parietal cortex, specifically in the supramarginal and inferior parietal gyri. No specific activations were observed in response to happiness. Our results highlight the strong association between musical training and altered processing of "negative" emotions on both the behavioral and on the neural level.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Negative mood state enhances the susceptibility to unpleasant events: neural correlates from a music-primed emotion classification task.

Negative mood state enhances the susceptibility to unpleasant events: neural correlates from a music-primed emotion classification task.
PLoS One. 2014;9(2):e89844
Authors: Yuan J, Chen J, Yang J, Ju E, Norman GJ, Ding N

BACKGROUND: Various affective disorders are linked with enhanced processing of unpleasant stimuli. However, this link is likely a result of the dominant negative mood derived from the disorder, rather than a result of the disorder itself. Additionally, little is currently known about the influence of mood on the susceptibility to emotional events in healthy populations.
METHOD: Event-Related Potentials (ERP) were recorded for pleasant, neutral and unpleasant pictures while subjects performed an emotional/neutral picture classification task during positive, neutral, or negative mood induced by instrumental Chinese music.
RESULTS: Late Positive Potential (LPP) amplitudes were positively related to the affective arousal of pictures. The emotional responding to unpleasant pictures, indicated by the unpleasant-neutral differences in LPPs, was enhanced during negative compared to neutral and positive moods in the entire LPP time window (600-1000 ms). The magnitude of this enhancement was larger with increasing self-reported negative mood. In contrast, this responding was reduced during positive compared to neutral mood in the 800-1000 ms interval. Additionally, LPP reactions to pleasant stimuli were similar across positive, neutral and negative moods except those in the 800-900 ms interval.
IMPLICATIONS: Negative mood intensifies the humans' susceptibility to unpleasant events in healthy individuals. In contrast, music-induced happy mood is effective in reducing the susceptibility to these events. Practical implications of these findings were discussed.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

The music listening preferences and habits of youths in Singapore and its relation to leisure noise-induced hearing loss.

The music listening preferences and habits of youths in Singapore and its relation to leisure noise-induced hearing loss.
Singapore Med J. 2014 Feb;55(2):72-7
Authors: Lee JC, Lim MY, Kuan YW, Teo HW, Tan HG, Low WK

INTRODUCTION: Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a preventable condition, and much has been done to protect workers from it. However, thus far, little attention has been given to leisure NIHL. The purpose of this study is to determine the possible music listening preferences and habits among young people in Singapore that may put them at risk of developing leisure NIHL.
METHODS: In our study, the proportion of participants exposed to > 85 dBA for eight hours a day (time-weighted average) was calculated by taking into account the daily number of hours spent listening to music and by determining the average sound pressure level at which music was listened to.
RESULTS: A total of 1,928 students were recruited from Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore. Of which, 16.4% of participants listened to portable music players with a time-weighted average of > 85 dBA for 8 hours. On average, we found that male students were more likely to listen to music at louder volumes than female students (p < 0.001). We also found that the Malay students in our study listened to louder music than the Chinese students (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: We found that up to one in six young persons in Singapore is at risk of developing leisure NIHL from music delivered via earphones. As additional risks due to exposure to leisure noise from other sources was not taken into account, the extent of the problem of leisure NIHL may be even greater. There is a compelling need for an effective leisure noise prevention program among young people in Singapore.

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Music reduces pain and increases functional mobility in fibromyalgia.

Music reduces pain and increases functional mobility in fibromyalgia.
Front Psychol. 2014;5:90
Authors: Garza-Villarreal EA, Wilson AD, Vase L, Brattico E, Barrios FA, Jensen TS, Romero-Romo JI, Vuust P

The pain in Fibromyalgia (FM) is difficult to treat and functional mobility seems to be an important comorbidity in these patients that could evolve into a disability. In this study we wanted to investigate the analgesic effects of music in FM pain. Twenty-two FM patients were passively exposed to (1) self-chosen, relaxing, pleasant music, and to (2) a control auditory condition (pink noise). They rated pain and performed the "timed-up & go task (TUG)" to measure functional mobility after each auditory condition. Listening to relaxing, pleasant, self-chosen music reduced pain and increased functional mobility significantly in our FM patients. The music-induced analgesia was significantly correlated with the TUG scores; thereby suggesting that the reduction in pain unpleasantness increased functional mobility. Notably, this mobility improvement was obtained with music played prior to the motor task (not during), therefore the effect cannot be explained merely by motor entrainment to a fast rhythm. Cognitive and emotional mechanisms seem to be central to music-induced analgesia. Our findings encourage the use of music as a treatment adjuvant to reduce chronic pain in FM and increase functional mobility thereby reducing the risk of disability.

24575066 [PubMed]
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Viewers' perceptions of a YouTube music therapy session video.

Viewers' perceptions of a YouTube music therapy session video.
J Music Ther. 2013;50(3):176-97
Authors: Gregory D, Gooding LG

BACKGROUND: Recent research revealed diverse content and varying levels of quality in YouTube music therapy videos and prompted questions about viewers' discrimination abilities.
OBJECTIVE: This study compares ratings of a YouTube music therapy session video by viewers with different levels of music therapy expertise to determine video elements related to perceptions of representational quality.
METHOD: Eighty-one participants included 25 novices (freshmen and sophomores in an introductory music therapy course), 25 pre-interns (seniors and equivalency students who had completed all core Music Therapy courses), 26 professionals (MT-BC or MT-BC eligibility) with a mean of 1.75 years of experience, and an expert panel of 5 MT-BC professionals with a mean of 11 years of experience in special education. After viewing a music therapy special education video that in previous research met basic competency criteria and professional standards of the American Music Therapy Association, participants completed a 16-item questionnaire.
RESULTS: Novices' ratings were more positive (less discriminating) compared to experienced viewers' neutral or negative ratings. Statistical analysis (ANOVA) of novice, pre-intern, and professional ratings of all items revealed significant differences p, .05) for specific therapy content and for a global rating of representational quality. Experienced viewers' ratings were similar to the expert panel's ratings. Content analysis of viewers' reasons for their representational quality ratings corroborated ratings of therapy-specific content.
CONCLUSIONS: A video that combines and clearly depicts therapy objectives, client improvement, and the effectiveness of music within a therapeutic intervention best represent the music therapy profession in a public social platform like YouTube.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

[Musical hallucinations: perpetual music].

[Musical hallucinations: perpetual music].
Rev Neurol. 2014 Mar 1;58(5):207-12
Authors: Zabalza-Estevez RJ

INTRODUCTION. Musical hallucinations are a kind of auditory hallucination that are prevalent among the non-psychiatric population, but which have rarely been reported in the neurological literature. They occur most frequently in the elderly, in females and when there is a loss of hearing, but their pathophysiology has still to be unravelled. CASE REPORTS. We report here six cases (five females and one male) of musical hallucinations diagnosed in a general neurology clinic over a time-span of five years. In five cases there was also concurrent hypoacusis, to a greater or lesser extent, and one had been triggered by pentoxifylline. In most instances, the musical content of the hallucinations had its origins in music experienced in childhood and early youth. In the cases submitted to pharmacological treatment, the response was poor. Yet, after explaining to the patients that the condition was benign and had no connection with a psychotic pathology, the degree of acceptance of the symptoms was good. CONCLUSIONS. Musical hallucinations are a little-known pathology lying on the borderline between neurology, otorhinolaryngology and psychiatry which are often wrongly linked to mental disease. It is essential to explain to patients and relatives that these symptoms are not necessarily of a psychiatric nature, and to be aware of the potential capacity of some commonly used drugs to generate them.

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Active music therapy improves cognition and behaviour in chronic vascular encephalopathy: A case report.

Active music therapy improves cognition and behaviour in chronic vascular encephalopathy: A case report.
Complement Ther Med. 2014 Feb;22(1):57-62
Authors: Giovagnoli AR, Oliveri S, Schifano L, Raglio A

OBJECTIVES: This study describes the effects of active music therapy (AMT) on cognition and behaviour in chronic vascular encephalopathy.
DESIGN: A single case study investigated different cognitive and psycho-behavioural changes after AMT.
SETTING: An adult patient with memory, attention, and verbal fluency deficits associated with Vascular Cognitive Impairment-No Dementia (VCI-ND) was treated.
INTERVENTION: A four-months AMT course was based on creative and interactive music playing. Sixteen sessions were conducted simultaneously to the pharmacological therapy.
MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: Cognitive performances, mood, interpersonal interactions, and perceived abilities were assessed using standardized neuropsychological and psycho-behavioural measurements.
RESULTS: At baseline, the patient reported a tendency to feel tense, nervous, and angry and difficulties in memory and visuospatial performances, frequently accompanied by attention drops. The social network was a habitual component of the patient's life, but not a source of sharing of personal experiences, safety or comfort. Neuropsychological tests showed deficits in object and figure naming, verbal fluency, short and long-term verbal memory, short-term spatial memory, selective attention, and visuomotor coordination. After AMT, the cognitive profile significantly improved in attention, visuomotor coordination, and verbal and spatial memory. Such positive changes were confirmed at the three-months follow-up. An increase of the interpersonal interactions and consistent reduction of anxiety were also observed.
CONCLUSIONS: In selected patients with VCI-ND, a well-structured AMT intervention added to standard therapy may contribute in determining a stable improvement of cognitive and psycho-behavioural aspects. Controlled studies are needed to confirm these promising results.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Selective preservation of the beat in apperceptive music agnosia: A case study.

Selective preservation of the beat in apperceptive music agnosia: A case study.
Cortex. 2014 Jan 22;53C:27-33
Authors: Baird AD, Walker DG, Biggs V, Robinson GA

INTRODUCTION: Music perception involves processing of melodic, temporal and emotional dimensions that have been found to dissociate in healthy individuals and after brain injury. Two components of the temporal dimension have been distinguished, namely rhythm and metre. We describe an 18 year old male musician 'JM' who showed apperceptive music agnosia with selectively preserved metre perception, and impaired recognition of sad and peaceful music relative to age and music experience matched controls after resection of a right temporoparietal tumour.
METHOD: Two months post-surgery JM underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation including assessment of his music perception abilities using the Montreal Battery for Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA, Peretz, Champod, & Hyde, 2003). He also completed several experimental tasks to explore his ability to recognise famous songs and melodies, emotions portrayed by music and a broader range of environmental sounds. Five age-, gender-, education- and musical experienced-matched controls were administered the same experimental tasks.
RESULTS: JM showed selective preservation of metre perception, with impaired performances compared to controls and scoring below the 5% cut-off on all MBEA subtests, except for the metric condition. He could identify his favourite songs and environmental sounds. He showed impaired recognition of sad and peaceful emotions portrayed in music relative to controls but intact ability to identify happy and scary music.
CONCLUSION: This case study contributes to the scarce literature documenting a dissociation between rhythmic and metric processing, and the rare observation of selectively preserved metric interpretation in the context of apperceptive music agnosia. It supports the notion that the anterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus (STG) plays a role in metric processing and provides the novel observation that selectively preserved metre is sufficient to identify happy and scary, but not sad or peaceful emotions portrayed in music.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Brain correlates of music-evoked emotions.

Brain correlates of music-evoked emotions.
Nat Rev Neurosci. 2014 Feb 20;15(3):170-180
Authors: Koelsch S

Music is a universal feature of human societies, partly owing to its power to evoke strong emotions and influence moods. During the past decade, the investigation of the neural correlates of music-evoked emotions has been invaluable for the understanding of human emotion. Functional neuroimaging studies on music and emotion show that music can modulate activity in brain structures that are known to be crucially involved in emotion, such as the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, hypothalamus, hippocampus, insula, cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal cortex. The potential of music to modulate activity in these structures has important implications for the use of music in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders.

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Fifteen-minute music intervention reduces pre-radiotherapy anxiety in oncology patients.

Fifteen-minute music intervention reduces pre-radiotherapy anxiety in oncology patients.
Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2013 Aug;17(4):436-41
Authors: Chen LC, Wang TF, Shih YN, Wu LJ

PURPOSE: Oncology patients may respond to radiation treatment with anxiety expressed as stress, fear, depression, and frustration. This study aimed to investigate effects of music intervention on reducing pre-radiotherapy anxiety in oncology patients.
METHODS: Quasi-experimental study with purposeful sampling was conducted in the Department of Radiation Oncology, at Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. Subjects were assigned into a music group (n = 100) receiving 15 min of music therapy prior to radiation and a control group (n = 100) receiving 15 min rest prior to radiation. Both groups were evaluated for pre- and post-test anxiety using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Physiological indicators of anxiety were measured pre- and post-test.
RESULTS: Baseline State/Trait scores and vital signs were comparable between groups (P > 0.05). Mean change in pre- and post-test State/Trait scores showed significant decreases from baseline to post-test in both groups (all P < 0.05). A statistically significant difference was observed between music therapy and control groups in mean change of State anxiety scores (mean decreases 7.19 and 1.04, respectively; P < 0.001) and Trait anxiety scores (mean decreases 2.77 and 1.13, respectively; P = 0.036). In vital signs, both groups had significant decreases in pre- and post-test heart rate and respiration rate (P < 0.05). A statistically significant difference in mean change of systolic pressure was found between music and control groups (-5.69 ± 0.41 mmHg vs. -0.67 ± 1.29 mmHg, respectively; P = 0.009).
CONCLUSIONS: Music therapy decreased State anxiety levels, Trait anxiety levels and systolic blood pressure in oncology patients who received the intervention prior to radiotherapy.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Music Reduces Panic: an Initial Study of Listening to Preferred Music Improve Male Patient Discomfort and Anxiety during Flexible Cystoscopy.

Music Reduces Panic: an Initial Study of Listening to Preferred Music Improve Male Patient Discomfort and Anxiety during Flexible Cystoscopy.
J Endourol. 2014 Feb 18;
Authors: Zhang Z, Wang X, Xu C, Zhang C, Cao Z, Xu W, Wei R, Sun Y

OBJECTIVE To assess the impact of listening to preferred music on releasing male patients' pain and anxiety during flexible cystoscopy. PATIENTS AND METHODS A total of 124 male patients were admitted to our hospital for flexile cystoscopy by a single urologist between Jan 2013 and Sep 2013 and randomized to 2 equal groups. Group 2 included 62 patients who could select and listen to their preferred music during flexible cystoscopy. Group 1 included 62 patients who were unable to listen to the music. All patients were adminstrated the same amount of lidocaine(10mL) for 3 min for local anaesthesia before flexible cystoscopy. A VAS (visual analog pain scale) ranging from 0 to 10 was applicated to assess patients' pain feeling after the cystoscopy procedure. Anxiety levels were caculated according to the State Instrument of State-Trait Anxiety Inventory(STAI-S), and the pulse rate were recorded five minutes before and immediately after the procedure. The duration of the procedure of each group were also analysed. RESULTS Statistically significant differences were detected between group1 and group2 in the mean pain score on VAS(2.53±1.34 VS 1.63±1.09, p= 0.002, Mann- Whitney U test),mean postprocedural State Anxiety Inventory pain score(39.4±6.5 VS 34.5±5.8)and postprocedural pulse rate(79.8±5.5 VS 76.0±7.3)(p < 0.001 for both, T test). Patients who listened to their preferred music experienced less discomfort and lower anxiety at cystoscopy. Patient age, duration of the procedure, preprocedural STAI-S and preprocedural pulse rate of each group were comparable. CONCLUSION Listening to preferred music during flexible cystoscopy is an easy way to improves male patients' comfort and reduce their anxiety. It could be recommended for male patients.

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Music-assisted bathing: making shower time easier for people with dementia.

Music-assisted bathing: making shower time easier for people with dementia.
J Gerontol Nurs. 2014 Feb;40(2):9-13
Authors: Ray KD, Fitzsimmons S

It is estimated that 90% of nursing home residents need assistance with bathing. The purpose of this article is to describe a music-assisted care technique that can be used by caregivers when bathing nursing home residents with dementia. Research suggests that music has many therapeutic benefits for people with dementia. Using music to soothe anxiety can be an effective intervention to assist with lessening of agitation during activities of daily living, especially bathing. This article will provide nursing and direct care staff tools to successfully conduct the music-assisted bathing protocol. Consideration for choosing appropriate music for bathing, the creation of individualized personalized playlists, and acknowledgement of desired outcomes are presented. Incorporating music-assisted bathing may address neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia by lessening agitation and improving mood, which in turn can increase job satisfaction. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 40(2), 9-13.].

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An investigation into the use of music as potential auditory enrichment for moloch gibbons (Hylobates moloch).

An investigation into the use of music as potential auditory enrichment for moloch gibbons (Hylobates moloch).
Zoo Biol. 2013 Jul-Aug;32(4):423-6
Authors: Wallace EK, Kingston-Jones M, Ford M, Semple S

The use of music as enrichment has rarely been explored in zoos, despite evidence that music has a positive effect on a range of laboratory housed animals. In this study of moloch gibbons, Hylobates moloch, at Howletts Wild Animal Park (Kent, England), instrumental classical music was played to eight individuals in two family groups. Music was played 7 hr a day during three of six study weeks for each group, alternating with control weeks in which no music was played. In focal watches, data were recorded on a measure of activity, brachiation, and on two rates of affiliative behavior, giving and receiving grooming. In addition, to assess potential impacts on emotional state, data were recorded on self-scratching and self-grooming, two widely used indices of anxiety or stress. Analyses were carried out for each individual separately, as previous studies of primates indicate animals may differ in their response to enrichment. Results revealed little evidence for effects of (intrumental classical) music on gibbons' behavior. During the music compared to control weeks, the adult male from one group showed higher rates of self-scratching and higher durations of both self-grooming and grooming others. The adult female from the same group was groomed more during the music weeks than control weeks. For the six other animals, no significant differences in behaviors were seen between music and control conditions. Our findings suggest music may not be an effective enrichment for captive gibbons, and further highlight the importance of considering individual differences when assessing the effects of potential enrichment.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Pacifier-Activated Music Player With Mother's Voice Improves Oral Feeding in Preterm Infants.

A Pacifier-Activated Music Player With Mother's Voice Improves Oral Feeding in Preterm Infants.
Pediatrics. 2014 Feb 17;
Authors: Chorna OD, Slaughter JC, Wang L, Stark AR, Maitre NL

OBJECTIVES: We conducted a randomized trial to test the hypothesis that mother's voice played through a pacifier-activated music player (PAM) during nonnutritive sucking would improve the development of sucking ability and promote more effective oral feeding in preterm infants.
METHODS: Preterm infants between 34 0/7 and 35 6/7 weeks' postmenstrual age, including those with brain injury, who were taking at least half their feedings enterally and less than half orally, were randomly assigned to receive 5 daily 15-minute sessions of either PAM with mother's recorded voice or no PAM, along with routine nonnutritive sucking and maternal care in both groups. Assignment was masked to the clinical team.
RESULTS: Ninety-four infants (46 and 48 in the PAM intervention and control groups, respectively) completed the study. The intervention group had significantly increased oral feeding rate (2.0 vs 0.9 mL/min, P < .001), oral volume intake (91.1 vs 48.1 mL/kg/d, P = .001), oral feeds/day (6.5 vs 4.0, P < .001), and faster time-to-full oral feedings (31 vs 38 d, P = .04) compared with controls. Weight gain and cortisol levels during the 5-day protocol were not different between groups. Average hospital stays were 20% shorter in the PAM group, but the difference was not significant (P = .07).
CONCLUSIONS: A PAM using mother's voice improves oral feeding skills in preterm infants without adverse effects on hormonal stress or growth.

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Background music genre can modulate flavor pleasantness and overall impression of food stimuli.

Background music genre can modulate flavor pleasantness and overall impression of food stimuli.
Appetite. 2014 Feb 11;
Authors: Fiegel A, Meullenet JF, Harrington RJ, Humble R, Seo HS

This study aimed to determine whether background music genre can alter food perception and acceptance, but also to determine how the effect of background music can vary as a function of type of food (emotional versus non-emotional foods) and source of music performer (single versus multiple performers). The music piece was edited into four genres: classical, jazz, hip-hop, and rock, by either a single or multiple performers. Following consumption of emotional (milk chocolate) or non-emotional food (bell peppers) with the four musical stimuli, participants were asked to rate sensory perception and impression of food stimuli. Participants liked food stimuli significantly more while listening to the jazz stimulus than the hip-hop stimulus. Further, the influence of background music on overall impression was present in the emotional food, but not in the non-emotional food. In addition, flavor pleasantness and overall impression of food stimuli differed between music genres arranged by a single performer, but not between those by multiple performers. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that music genre can alter flavor pleasantness and overall impression of food stimuli. Furthermore, the influence of music genre on food acceptance varies as a function of the type of served food and the source of music performer.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Data-driven analysis of functional brain interactions during free listening to music and speech.

Data-driven analysis of functional brain interactions during free listening to music and speech.
Brain Imaging Behav. 2014 Feb 14;
Authors: Fang J, Hu X, Han J, Jiang X, Zhu D, Guo L, Liu T

Natural stimulus functional magnetic resonance imaging (N-fMRI) such as fMRI acquired when participants were watching video streams or listening to audio streams has been increasingly used to investigate functional mechanisms of the human brain in recent years. One of the fundamental challenges in functional brain mapping based on N-fMRI is to model the brain's functional responses to continuous, naturalistic and dynamic natural stimuli. To address this challenge, in this paper we present a data-driven approach to exploring functional interactions in the human brain during free listening to music and speech streams. Specifically, we model the brain responses using N-fMRI by measuring the functional interactions on large-scale brain networks with intrinsically established structural correspondence, and perform music and speech classification tasks to guide the systematic identification of consistent and discriminative functional interactions when multiple subjects were listening music and speech in multiple categories. The underlying premise is that the functional interactions derived from N-fMRI data of multiple subjects should exhibit both consistency and discriminability. Our experimental results show that a variety of brain systems including attention, memory, auditory/language, emotion, and action networks are among the most relevant brain systems involved in classic music, pop music and speech differentiation. Our study provides an alternative approach to investigating the human brain's mechanism in comprehension of complex natural music and speech.

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COMMENT: it appears that music has wide reaching effects throughout the brain. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Music therapy for patients who have undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

Music therapy for patients who have undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:742941

Authors: Ratcliff CG, Prinsloo S, Richardson M, Baynham-Fletcher L, Lee R, Chaoul A, Cohen MZ, de Lima M, Cohen L

Objectives. This study examines the short- and long-term QOL benefits of a music therapy intervention for patients recovering from hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Methods. Ninety allogeneic HSCT patients, after transplant, were randomized to receive ISO-principle (i.e., mood matching) based music therapy (MT; n = 29), unstructured music (UM; n = 30), or usual care (UC; n = 31) for four weeks. The ISO principle posits that patients may shift their mood from one state to another by listening to music that is "equal to" the individual's initial mood state and subsequently listening to music selections that gradually shift in tempo and mood to match the patient's desired disposition. Participants in MT and UM groups developed two audio CDs to help them feel more relaxed and energized and were instructed to use the CDs to improve their mood as needed. Short-term effects on mood and long-term effects on QOL were examined. Results. MT and UM participants reported improved mood immediately after listening to CDs; the within-group effect was greater for UM participants compared to MT participants. Participant group was not associated with long-term QOL outcomes. Conclusions. Music listening improves mood acutely but was not associated with long-term benefits in this study.

24527052 [PubMed]

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Prenatal music stimulation facilitates the postnatal functional development of the auditory as well as visual system in chicks (Gallus domesticus).

Prenatal music stimulation facilitates the postnatal functional development of the auditory as well as visual system in chicks (Gallus domesticus).

J Biosci. 2014 Mar;39(1):107-17

Authors: Roy S, Nag TC, Upadhyay AD, Mathur R, Jain S

Rhythmic sound or music is known to improve cognition in animals and humans. We wanted to evaluate the effects of prenatal repetitive music stimulation on the remodelling of the auditory cortex and visual Wulst in chicks. Fertilized eggs (0 day) of white leghorn chicken (Gallus domesticus) during incubation were exposed either to music or no sound from embryonic day 10 until hatching. Auditory and visual perceptual learning and synaptic plasticity, as evident by synaptophysin and PSD-95 expression, were done at posthatch days (PH) 1, 2 and 3. The number of responders was significantly higher in the music stimulated group as compared to controls at PH1 in both auditory and visual preference tests. The stimulated chicks took significantly lesser time to enter and spent more time in the maternal area in both preference tests. A significantly higher expression of synaptophysin and PSD-95 was observed in the stimulated group in comparison to control at PH1-3 both in the auditory cortex and visual Wulst. A significant inter-hemispheric and gender-based difference in expression was also found in all groups. These results suggest facilitation of postnatal perceptual behaviour and synaptic plasticity in both auditory and visual systems following prenatal stimulation with complex rhythmic music.


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Listening to music primes space: pianists, but not novices, simulate heard actions.

Listening to music primes space: pianists, but not novices, simulate heard actions.

Psychol Res. 2014 Feb 8;

Authors: Taylor JE, Witt JK

Musicians sometimes report twitching in their fingers or hands while listening to music. This anecdote could be indicative of a tendency for auditory-motor co-representation in musicians. Here, we describe two studies showing that pianists (Experiment 1), but not novices (Experiment 2) automatically generate spatial representations that correspond to learned musical actions while listening to music. Participants made one-handed movements to the left or right from a central location in response to visual stimuli while listening to task-irrelevant auditory stimuli, which were scales played on a piano. These task-irrelevant scales were either ascending (compatible with rightward movements) or descending (compatible with leftward movements). Pianists were faster to respond when the scale direction was compatible with the direction of response movement, whereas novices' movements were unaffected by the scale. These results are in agreement with existing research on action-effect coupling in musicians, which draw heavily on common coding theory. In addition, these results show how intricate auditory stimuli (ascending or descending scales) evoke coarse, domain-general spatial representations.


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