Music andcognition functionsThere are perceptualmechanisms and neural systems that shared between musical cognition andfunctions such as memory, attention and executive functions (Thaut, 2010). Itprovides music to affect this general nonmusical functions (Thaut, 2010). Thereis a link between music and cognitive functions: temporal order learning(Hitch, Burgess, Towse, & Culpin 1996), spatiotemporal reasoning (Sarntheim,Von Stein, Rappelsberger, Petsche, Rauscher, & Shaw, 1997), attention (Drake,Jones, & Baruch, 2000; Large & Jones, 1999) and auditory verbal memory(Deutsch, 1982). Attention and memory, the mechanisms that drive cognitiveprocesses in music, are shared by equivalent processes in nonmusical cognition.
Also, rhythm as a temporal structuring is an important shared mechanism (Conway,Pisoni, & Kronenberger, 2009; Jakobson, Cuddy, & Kilgour 2003; Janata,Tillmann, & Bharucha, 2002). “Chunking” is a mechanism that providedeclarative learning, recall and motor learning. Songs, chants and rhymes canhelp to organize and chunk information into more manageable units (Verwey,2001). There is a beneficialeffect of musical stimulation for overcoming visual neglect as a result ofright hemisphere lesions due to stroke or traumatic brain injury. The arousaleffects of music, specifically on the right brain hemisphere, may underlinethis positive effect (Hommel, Peres, Pollak, & Memin, 1990).
Moreover,researches showed that auditory stimuli can enhance visual perception in neglectstates (Frassinetti, Bolognini, & Ladavos, 2002; Frassinetti, Pavani, &Ladavos, 2002).Attention to thepsychological functioning of patients as part of their overall executivecontrol is a substantial aspect of treatment. Neuro logic music therapy can beused successfully to address psychosocial treatment issues (Kleinstauber &Gurr, 2006; Nayak, Wheeler, Shiflett, & Agostinelli, 2000). In a recentexploratory study, Thaut, Gardiner, Holmberg, Horwitz, Kent, Andrews et al.
,2009 examined whether specific techniques in neurologic music therapy couldimprove cognitive retraining in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation. After anintervention, executive function was significantly improved. There was alsosignificantly improvement in self-efficacy, self-confidence, and areas ofdepression, anxiety and sensation seeking.Musictherapy in Parkinson’s diseaseMusic improves rhythmiclimb movements, gait, and freezing in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD)are not new in the clinical literature, even though they are rather scarce (Swallow,1990).
In the research (Pacchetti, Mancini, Aglieri, Fundarò, Martignoni, &Nappi, 2000), they gave the patients music therapy (MT) and physical therapy(included a series of passive stretching exercises, specific motor tasks, andstrategies to improve balance and gait) every week for three months. MT sessionsconsisted of choral singing, voice exercise, rhythmic and free body movements, andactive music involving collective invention. They assessed severity of PD withthe Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale, emotional functions with theHappiness Measure, and quality of life using the Parkinson’s Disease Quality ofLife Questionnaire. They found that MT is effective on motor, affective, andbehavioral functions. This improvement emphasizes an important effect of activeMT in PD: It promotes socialization, involvement with the environment, expressionof feelings, awareness, and responsiveness.Musictherapy in moderate and severe dementia of Alzheimer’s typeThe case-control study(Svansdottir & Snaedal, 2006) used music therapy as a selection of songs,each of them was sung twice. There was an active participation of the patientalong with the therapist, both with instruments and by singing.
The research showeda significant reduction in activity disturbances in the music therapy groupduring a 6-week period measured with the Behavior Pathology in Alzheimer’sDisease Rating Scale (BEHAVE-AD). There was also a significant reduction in thesum of scores of activity disturbances, aggressiveness and anxiety. Other symptomsrated by subscales of the BEHAVE-AD did not decrease significantly. Four weekslater the effects had mostly disappeared. They conclude that Music therapy is asafe and effective method for treating agitation and anxiety in moderatelysevere and severe AD. The study showed that activity disturbances, one of thetarget symptoms of music therapy, can be affected positively in these kind ofsessions. Musictherapy for substance abuseIn substance abusedisorders, the main challenge is to engage people in treatment.
In the study (Dingle,Dingle, Gleadhill, & Baker, 2008), patient attendance rates and perceptionsof the music therapy were collected at the end of each music therapy session bymeans of an anonymous survey. They use a cognitive behavioral music therapy(CBMT): lyric analysis of songs chosen by the music therapist,songwriting/parody to songs chosen by the music therapist, improvisation andsong singing/ listening. They found that the average attendance rate over the7-week trial was 75%. The results indicated that enjoyment and motivation toparticipate during the sessions was uniformly. The majority (83%) ofparticipants reported that they would attend another music therapy session, andalmost half (46%) endorsed that music therapy would help them to feel more apart of the group.
Furthermore, music therapy was able to engage patientsregardless of their age group. Patients who had previously shown minimalemotional expression during group CBT were observed laughing and sometimes cryingduring music sessions. They conclude that music therapy is a promising approachto improving engagement in substance abuse treatment groups.DiscussionAccording to Svansdottir& Snaedal, 2006, one of the advantages of music therapy is the seeming lackof side-effects. Another advantage could be an increased interest on behalf ofthe staff in caring for and treating the patients, which might decrease thehigh turnover of staff in this kind of care.
The results of this study thussupport the findings of many other studies and case reports that activitydisturbances and anxiety can be affected by the patient’s participation inmusic therapy. There is, however, a need for comparison of music therapy andpharmacological therapy in BPSD. Second, in the music therapy for substanceabuse disorders (Dingle, Dingle, Gleadhill, & Baker, 2008), they did notmake a control group, and did not measure the improvement of the patient.In this review, Ishowed the link between cognition and music through shared mechanisms such asattention and memory. Such information can help the treatment with patientsthat suffer from Alzheimer’s Type Dementia and substance abuse. Moreover, Icollected studies that showed how music therapy can improve cognitive andemotional aspect in patients with different diseases: Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’sType Dementia and substance abuse.In my opinion, weshould make an effort to develop music treatment in psychology research andpractice.
Nowadays this treatment cannot replace physical and medicaltreatment, which can have side effects. This kind of therapy can contribute tothe special bonding between the therapist and the patient and to the groupbinding. It seems that patients enjoy this action, develop self-efficacy, whichis very important for a progress, and prevent future recurrence.