Neuro-imaging methods used less frequently in the literature include positron emission tomography (PET), where metabolic processes are observed via the detection of gamma rays emitted indirectly by a radio-active tracer, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which maps the diffusion process of water molecules in the brain to reveal microscopic details about tissue architecture.
A comprehensive review of these and other methods from a music therapy perspective is provided by Hunt & Legge (2015).
A natural consequence of this overlap is the host of research collaborations between neuroscientists, music therapists, and other medical professions outlined in this paper.
This evolving field is underpinned by three aspects of neuroscience that are especially helpful to music therapy, enabling clinicians and researchers to: Mindful of space constraints, this paper will explore the implications for the music therapy profession from the literature in this evolving field in the last two areas only, offering readers pointers for further reading throughout.
As a consequence of these collaborations, neuroscientific understanding is emerging of how music therapy may support improvements in cognition, movement and emotional regulation, as well as helping us to explore the neurological aspects of therapeutic relationships.
This paper provides an overview of this field of investigation, focussing on the significant areas of progress in work with those living with stroke, neurodegenerative conditions, affective disorders, disorders of consciousness, autism, cancer and palliative conditions.I will also aim to reflect an appreciation that neuroscience methods can only provide one part of the story in relation to how we work and how clients experience music therapy.In doing so I hope to illuminate the research achievements to date, and opportunities afforded by future partnerships, whilst outlining some of the challenges and limits to this field of collaborative enquiry.the Society for Music Perception and Cognition and International Conference on Music & Emotion proceedings (Luck & Brabant 2013; Schutz, & Russo, 2013).Furthermore, the potential for productive dialogue between music therapy, neuroscience and psychology in the field of neuro-disability has provided the rationale for a biennial series of highlights an exponential growth in interest since 2012, as Figure 2 illustrates.More recently, Norman-Haignere and colleagues (2015) have identified a specific region of the brain responding highly selectively to music, rather than only Figure 1.Schematic illustration of key brain areas associated with music processing-based neuroimaging studies of healthy subjects.By Julian O’Kelly Human responses to music may be viewed through a neuroscience lens with increasingly sophisticated neuroimaging technology, providing neurological and biomedical measures of psychological states.These developments have been harnessed in collaborative research investigations seeking to develop the therapeutic applications of music.Three open access research topics hosted by Frontiers in Neuroscience and Frontiers in Psychology further underscore a growth in convergent research.The topics, set up jointly by music therapists, neuroscientists and psychologists, have between them published 55 papers featuring collaborations between these disciplines (O’Kelly, Fachner, & Terveniemi, 2016; Magee, Tillman, Perrin, & Shnackers, 2016; Särkämö, Altenmüller, Rodriguez-Fornells & Peretz, 2015).