Monday, April 30, 2018

A workshop on music and the brain.

I want to point to this open access article describing an NIH/Kennedy Center workshop on music and the brain, hosted by National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, soprano Renée Fleming, and Kennedy Center (KC) President Deborah Rutter. Descriptions of the various workshops, in addition to waffling and hot air, include some useful links to basic research articles on music and the brain. Here is a clip from the introduction:
The workshop was organized around the three life stages—childhood, adulthood, and aging. In each session, a panel of 25 experts (listed in Table 1) discussed recent breakthroughs in research and their potential therapeutic applications. Over the course of a day and a half, the panelists recommended basic and applied research that will: (1) increase our understanding of how the brain processes music; (2) lead to scientifically based strategies to enhance normal brain development and function; and (3) result in evidence-based music interventions for brain diseases. In the sections that follow, we will review the discussions from the workshop and highlight the major recommendations that emerged. Finally, we will discuss how funding agencies, scientists, clinicians, and supporters of the arts can work together to catalyze further progress.
The article is worth a read for those (like myself) interested in music and the brain. The workshop on music and the adult brain discusses the effect of musical training on adult brain structure and function. Here are the topics:
“Building”: Music and the Child’s Brain
Music as a Therapeutic Intervention in Children
“Engaging”: Music and the Adult Brain
Music as a Therapeutic Intervention in Adults: Overlapping Circuits Suggest Potential Mechanisms
“Sustaining”: Music and the Aging Brain
Music as a Tool for Restoring Function in the Aging Brain

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