A new study shows that when patients with dementia listen to their favorite songs, connectivity and responsiveness increase in their brains. Psyche Loui, director of the MIND Lab (Music Imaging and Neural Dynamics) and associate professor of music at Northeastern University, along with her team of music therapists, neurologists and geriatric psychiatrists identified how music bridges the gap between the brain's auditory system and the region that manages motivation. Their research found that music creates shortcuts that help bring thoughts back into the mind. Loui's research was sparked by her experiences playing music for nursing home residents. While playing music, she saw individuals, who struggled to finish their sentences, suddenly be able to harmonize and sing along. She hopes to extend the study to older adults with cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders, and expand the capacities of music therapy.

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