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September 27, 2019 Friday 04:56:38 AM IST

Brains work in sync during music therapy

Teacher Insights

Researchers have been able to demonstrate that the brains of a patient and therapist become synchronised during a music therapy session, a breakthrough that could improve future interactions between patients and therapists.

The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, was carried out at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

This is the first music therapy study to use a procedure called hyperscanning, which records activity in two brains at the same time. During the session documented in the study, classical music was played as the patient discussed a serious illness in her family. Both patient and therapist wore EEG (electroencephalogram) caps containing sensors, which capture electrical signals in the brain.


Music therapists work towards ‘moments of change’, where they make a meaningful connection with their patient.By analysing hyperscanning data, the researchers were able to demonstrate that brain synchronisation occurs, and also show what a patient-therapist ‘moment of change’ looks like inside the brain.

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