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Indian classical music improves cognitive functions in schizophrenia patients

Date: 11 February 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


Researchers from NIMHANS have found that listening to Indian classical music has beneficial effects in improving cognitive functions of patients with schizophrenia.



The study was carried out in the Music Cognition Laboratory at NIMHANS by a team of researchers  and titled  “Effect of music listening on P300 event-related potential in patients with schizophrenia: A pilot study” .



  • The researchers, who claimed that this was a first of its kind study, examined the effects of Indian classical music on 20 male patients between 18 and 45 years diagnosed with schizophrenia.

  • The patients were recruited from the out-patient and in-patient clinical services of the institute. They were made to listen to instrumental rendition Hindustani Classical Raag Bhoopali by musicians Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia for 10 minutes.

  • Brain electrical activity was recorded using 32 channels through Electroencephalograph Evoked Response Potential (ERP) method.

  • 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.

  • Future studies on similar lines can be helpful in providing a scientific basis for music-based interventions to target cognitive deficits and emotional deficit patients suffering from neuropsychiatric conditions.

  • So far, music therapy in schizophrenia has been predominantly carried out from a social science model targeting overall mental health, quality of life as well as positive and negative symptoms and not much from a neuroscience model targeting cognitive functions.

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