Can music enhance awareness in unresponsive people with severe dementia? An exploratory case series using behavioral, physiological and neurophysiological measures

Yanan Sun*, Amee Baird, Rebecca Gelding, Bianca De Wit, William Forde Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In five people with severe dementia, we measured their behavioral and physiological responses to familiar/unfamiliar music and speech, and measured ERP responses to subject's own name (SON) after exposure to familiar/unfamiliar music or noise. We observed more frequent behavioral responses to personally-significant stimuli than non-personally-significant stumuli, and higher skin temperatures for music than non-music conditions. The control group showed typical ERPs to SON, regardless of auditory exposure. ERP measures were unavailable for the dementia group given challenges of measuring EEG in this population. The study highlights the potential for personally-significant auditory stimuli in enhancing responsiveness of people with severe dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalNeurocase
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • music
  • dementia
  • EEG
  • auditory
  • awareness

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