Familiar Music Could Help People With Brain Damage, University of Lyon Study
Published: Aug 30, 2012
Listening to a favourite song might boost the brain's ability to respond to other stimuli in people with disorders of consciousness. Music has been shown to have a beneficial influence on cognitive process in healthy people and those who have brain damage. For example, daily music therapy can help to enhance cognitive recovery after a stroke. Fabien Perrin at the University of Lyon, France, and colleagues recorded brain activity in four patients – two in a coma, one in a minimally conscious state, and one in a vegetative state – while they were read a list of people's names, including the subject's own name. The list was preceded either by the subject's favourite music – chosen by family and friends – or by "musical noise". One patient listened to The Eagles' Hotel California, another was played the Blues Brothers' Everybody Needs Somebody to Love. The team then repeated the experiment with ten healthy volunteers.