Simultaneous Electroencephalography (EEG) Measurements in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, their Parents, and Music Therapists

Simultaneous Electroencephalography (EEG) Measurements in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, their Parents, and Music Therapists

Presenter Name:Kyurim Kang

School/Affiliation:University of Toronto

Co-Authors:Silvia Orlandi, Nicole Lorenzen, Tom Chau, Michael H. Thaut

Abstract:Music arouses emotions and is also one of the most powerful tools to bring people together. Previous findings showed that physiological indicators can align spontaneously and contemporaneously between people during social interaction. Electroencephalography (EEG) research has shown this also for music-based interaction, how interbrain synchronization emerges while performers in music ensembles interact musically with each other. In such context music drives a mutually calibrated state of emotional and physiological ‘synchronization’. However, this interbrain synchronization in clinical settings has less been studied. Thus, we investigated interbrain synchronization in the child with disabilities-mother (CM) dyads and the child with disabilities-music therapist (CT) dyads during a music session. A total of seven dyads participated in a 20 minutes long music session. During the music session, the music therapist played the guitar and sang the child’s favorite songs, and the parent observed their child’s responses through the screen in a partitioned area. Interestingly, the results showed a significantly higher interbrain synchronization only in CM dyads. In addition, interbrain synchronization occurred in empathy-related frequency bands (delta: 0-3 Hz) in CM and in cognition-related frequency bands (alpha: 8-15 Hz) in CT. The CT dyads also experienced synchronization in the frontal and temporal lobes which are associated with socio-emotional responses. These findings opened the possibility of using interbrain synchronization as an objective measurement of socio-emotional responses in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. For example, if there is less synchrony in CM and/or CT dyads than expected, a therapist or parent may alter their approach to engage with the child.

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