ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
CANCER
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
More Than 60,000 Patients Risked Hepatitis Infections
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Iced Teas Pose High Risk of Kidney Stones
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Bursts of Vigorous Activity Appear to Be a 'Stress-Buffer'
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
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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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