Murdoch University neuroscientist Ann-Maree Vallence has said music can be used as a form of therapy for people recovering from strokes.
“There are strong connections between the parts of the brain that are responsible for processing auditory stimuli, like music, and the parts of the brain that are important for executing movements,” she told ABC Radio Perth.
Dr. Vallence said that stimulation could particularly help those who have suffered a middle cerebral artery stroke, where a blockage has impacted the motor areas of the brain.
Dr. Vallence is testing her theory in a study using the app GotRhythm, which is connected to wireless sensors that can be worn on patients’ arms and hands.
Developed by exercise scientists at the University of Western Australia, GotRhythm plays music when a motor skill task is completed correctly.
“It could be something as simple as tapping, or opening and closing the hand, or reaching, moving their hand away from the body,” Dr. Vallence said. “If music can act as a cue […] then that should lead to an improvement in the functional capability.”
As reported by ABC, Dr. Vallence is aiming to recruit 20 chronic stroke patients to test the app and can be contacted on (08) 9360 7464.