Do music and schizophrenia has any connection? Well, a new study proves there is some connection between the two. According to a NIMHANS study, listening to Indian classical music has beneficial effects in improving the cognitive functions of patients with schizophrenia.

The study examined the effect of music listening on the amplitude and latency of P300 in schizophrenia patients. The study was led by associate professor in Neuropsychology and faculty in charge of Music Cognition Laboratory Dr Shantala Hegde and her team in the Music Cognition Laboratory of NIMHANS. 

The researchers examined the effect on 20 male patients of 18 to 45 age group and who were diagnosed with schizophrenia. For this, the patients from out-patient and in-patient clinical services of the hospital were selected. Patients listened to the researcher chosen, instrumental presentation of Raag-Bhoopali in the North-Indian-Classical-Music, for ten-minutes. All patients rated the music excerpt as a relaxing and positively valenced. 

The brain activity was recorded using the Electroencephalograph – (EEG) – Evoked Response Potential (ERP) method. 

According to Dr Hegde’s statement published in The Hindu, “This specific method is used to study how their attention improves when they listen to music known as P300. P300 is an indication of brain activity 300 milliseconds after a specific stimulus, indicating attention and working memory. Patients also showed improved reaction time and better performance on attention tasks after listening to music. There was an increase in amplitude in the electrodes in the temporal region.” 

Patients showed a significant increase in accuracy score and reaction time during the oddball task after music listening. A trend of increased amplitude was noted across all electrodes in the music condition compared to the rest condition. Mean amplitude in an apriori defined time window of interest (250 to 750 ms) showed significant changes in the frontal and central electrode sites.

Researchers say that this was the first of its kind study. The study titled “Effect of music listening on P300 event-related potential in patients with schizophrenia: A pilot study” was recently published in Schizophrenia Research. 

Source: 1.

2. The Hindu

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