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Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation in Rehabilitation of Movement Disorders: A Review Of Current Research

Michael H. Thaut and Mutsumi Abiru
Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Vol. 27, No. 4 (April 2010), pp. 263-269
DOI: 10.1525/mp.2010.27.4.263
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/mp.2010.27.4.263
Page Count: 8
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Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation in Rehabilitation of Movement Disorders: A Review Of Current Research
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Abstract

PHYSIOLOGICAL RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT AUDITORY rhythm has a profound effect on the motor system. Evidence shows that the auditory and motor system have a rich connectivity across a variety of cortical, subcortical, and spinal levels. The auditory system—a fast and precise processor or temporal information—projects into motor structures in the brain, creating entrainment between the rhythmic signal and the motor response. Based on these physiological connections, a large number of clinical studies have researched the effectiveness of rhythm and music to produce functional change in motor therapy for stroke, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, and other conditions. Results have been strong in favor of rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) to significantly improve gait and upper extremity function. Comparative studies also have shown RAS to be more effective than other sensory cues and other techniques in physical rehabilitation.

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