Cognitive neurorehabilitation: the foundations and applications of neurologic music therapy
Introduction. Music is the result of a perception in the brain involving a number of cortical and subcortical areas in both brain hemispheres. Increased knowledge about brain plasticity and the numerous neuroimaging studies conducted in recent years have made it possible to further our understanding of the processing of musical stimuli in the brain. This has led to an interest in analysing and studying its application in the non-invasive treatment of certain dysfunctions or diseases with the aim of helping to achieve an improved quality of life.
Aim. To outline the foundations and applications of the musical techniques that are used in cognitive neurorehabilitation.
Development. Following an initial summary of the processing of musical stimuli in the brain, the study goes on to explain the foundations of different techniques, as defined by neurologic music therapy, that are used efficaciously in cognitive neurorehabilitation. Sounds, which are the raw material of music, maintain a temporality and a sequencing that are a useful aid in the formation of temporal patterns of the cognitive functions, and constitute an assembly or framework that facilitates the learning of sequential information processing, such as memory.
Conclusions. The techniques used in neurologic music therapy, which in recent years are being applied for cognitive neurorehabilitation, are not invasive and offer promising results that, together with further research, should be taken into account to be implemented alongside the conventional therapies of cognitive neurorehabilitation and stimulation.
Key words. Cognition. Cognitive neurorehabilitation. Music. Neurologic music therapy. Neuroplasticity.