ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
CANCER
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
CAREGIVING
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet Helps Protect Aging Brain
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
EYE CARE, VISION
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Soy May Not Lead to Denser Breasts
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Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound

FRIDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Musical training enhances the ability to recognize emotion in speech and other sounds, a finding that suggests that musical training might benefit people with language problems and impaired emotional perception.

"Quickly and accurately identifying emotion in sound is a skill that translates across all arenas, whether in the predator-infested jungle or in the classroom, boardroom or bedroom," Dana Strait, a music cognition researcher at Northwestern University, said in a university news release.

Strait and her colleagues studied 30 musicians and non-musicians, ages 19 to 35, and found that the more years of musical experience people had and the earlier they began their music studies, the better the ability of the nervous system to process emotion in sound.

During the study, participants heard a 250-millisecond fragment of a distressed baby's cry. Electrodes placed on the volunteers' scalps measured their sensitivity to the sound. The results showed that musicians' brainstems zeroed in on the complex part of the sound that carried more emotional elements but did not pay as much attention to the simpler -- less emotion-conveying -- part of the sound. This did not occur in non-musicians, the researchers found.

"That [musicians'] brains respond more quickly and accurately than the brains of non-musicians is something we'd expect to translate into the perception of emotion in other settings," Strait said.

The sound elements processed more efficiently by musicians are the same ones that children with language disorders have trouble encoding, the researchers noted.

"It would not be a leap to suggest that children with language processing disorders may benefit from musical experience," said study co-author and neuroscientist Nina Kraus.

Strait, who formerly worked as a therapist with autistic children, noted that impaired emotional perception is a major characteristic of autism and Asperger's syndrome. She suggested that musical training might help promote emotion processing in people with these conditions.

The study was published in the European Journal of Neuroscience.

More information

The American Music Therapy Association has more about music therapy.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, March 3, 2009

Last Updated: March 13, 2009

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