Musical Medicine - Recovery After a MCA Stroke. Sabrina Behrens. 21 November 2008. Brain Blogger: Topics from Multidimensional BioPsychoSocial Perspectives. 25 November 2008. <http://brainblogger.com/2008/11/21/musical-medicine-recovery-after-a-mca-stroke/>
The above links to an entry that is part of a broader brain blog. This article by an MA student summarizes research about music's influence on stroke recovery. Sabrina Behrens briefly details some ways that music effects cognitive and emotional functioning. MCA refers to the middle cerebral artery and distinguishes the type of stroke that effects this area. People effected by this severe type of stroke were exposed to various forms of audio therapy, while all other variables were controlled and other regular treatments were administered. The stimuli included either music, an audio book, or no additional stimuli. Patients who were exposed to music daily were less depressed and confused and performed better on assessments for verbal skills, memory and attention. Consequentially, they experienced a better post-stroke quality of life.
My main purpose in posting on this article is to link you all to the Brain Blogger site. It's interesting to see what other brain blogging is happening and that we are part of a bigger discourse. I enjoy the term 'BioPsychoSocial' as used in the subtitle for this blog, as it expresses something dear to the hearts of those involved in the music-brain project: that these things are not mutually exclusive. Although I admit that this article is a simplistic summary and much nuance can not be expected, I find it surprising that not there isn't slightest mention of what kind of music was used. I suspect that this could make a difference in the outcome of the study and I wonder further what difference musical participation might have made. I appreciate that the author places value on the use of music to improve the quality of life of the individuals involved, which is sometimes neglected when considering physical brain benefits.