03.28.2009

Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight

Posted by AJ Harbison at 4:38 pm

I saw an article on MSN.com a few days ago that described a study conducted at Imperial College London. The researchers studied patients who had suffered strokes and consequently had “visual neglect,” a condition where visual awareness is impaired on one half of their field of vision (even though the area of the brain dealing with sight isn’t harmed, the patients’ ability to integrate vision, attention and action is damaged, so even though they might technically “see” something on the impaired side they can’t process the visual information). For some reason, the researchers asked three patients to complete vision tasks in three situations: listening to music they enjoyed, listening to music they didn’t like, and in silence. (The article doesn’t explain why they wanted to test music, of all things.) Apparently, all the patients did better on the tasks when they listened to music they liked; the researchers speculate that the positive emotions created by the music increased the efficiency of their brains’ processing. Interesting stuff.

“Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients’ Sight”

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