Print this page

Observations placeholder

Gupta, Robert – TEDtalk Between music and medicine - 02

Identifier

021967

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Robert Gupta:   Between music and medicine   TEDMED 2012 · 16:27 · Filmed Apr 2012

Seeing this .... reminded me of the work of Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, one of the preeminent neuroscientists studying music and the brain at Harvard, and Schlaug is a proponent of a therapy called Melodic Intonation Therapy, which has become very popular in music therapy now.

Schlaug found that his stroke victims who were aphasic, could not form sentences of three- or four-word sentences, but they could still sing the lyrics to a song, whether it was "Happy Birthday To You" or their favorite song by the Eagles or the Rolling Stones. And after 70 hours of intensive singing lessons, he found that the music was able to literally rewire the brains of his patients and create a homologous speech center in their right hemisphere to compensate for the left hemisphere's damage.

4:35 When I was 17, I visited Dr. Schlaug's lab, and in one afternoon he walked me through some of the leading research on music and the brain -- how musicians had fundamentally different brain structure than non-musicians, how music, and listening to music, could just light up the entire brain, from our prefrontal cortex all the way back to our cerebellum, how music was becoming a neuropsychiatric modality to help children with autism, to help people struggling with stress and anxiety and depression, how deeply Parkinsonian patients would find that their tremor and their gait would steady when they listened to music, and how late-stage Alzheimer's patients, whose dementia was so far progressed that they could no longer recognize their family, could still pick out a tune by Chopin at the piano that they had learned when they were children.

The source of the experience

Healer other

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: John Bryant