Which brain areas are involved in music listening?

One of the more common questions we field about The Listening Program® (TLP) is “which brain areas are involved in music listening? I thought I’d take the opportunity to explore this a bit with you here at The Brain Understanding Itself.

The brain is musical; neuroscience has proven through functional brain imaging that when we listen to music, virtually the whole brain is involved.

Music listening not only involves the auditory areas of the brain, but also engages large-scale neural networks including; prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, sensory cortex, auditory cortex, visual cortex, cerebellum, hippocampus, amygdala, nucleus accumbens, corpus callosum, autonomic nervous system, vestibular system, and the enteric nervous system.

TLP helps conduct the neural symphony, connecting the most ancient parts of the brain to the most advanced.

If you are not already familiar with TLP it is an easy, pleasurable and effective method to improve your brain health and performance.  Here’s a great video with clients and professionals who have made  listening a daily practice to help with brain injury recovery, autism, reading, learning, attention, peak performance, wellness and more.

Areas of brain focus The Listening Program is designed to challenge and advance: 

Executive Function
Executive function is an umbrella term for a set of high-level mental processes that control and regulate other abilities and behaviors. They include the ability to initiate and stop actions, to monitor and change behavior as needed, and to plan future behavior when faced with novel asks and situations. Executive functions allow us to anticipate outcomes and adapt to changing situations.

Examples: attention, memory, behavior, organization, time management, self control

Communication
Communication is your ability to exchange information, thoughts, and opinions through verbal and written expression including speech, language, voice and writing; as well as non verbal expression such as gesture, facial expressions, and body language.

Examples: verbal comprehension, oral & written communication, voice quality, reading comprehension, understood by others, understanding body language

Auditory Processing
Auditory processing is your ability to understand and make sense of what you hear. Difficulty processing auditory information can have a negative impact on learning, thinking, communication and relationships.

Examples: listening, following verbal directions, focusing with background noise, comfort with sound, understanding tone of voice, sound discrimination

Social & Emotional
Your ability to relate to others, manage emotions, resolve conflicts, understand and respond to social situations is impacted by your social skills and emotional intelligence.

Examples: self-confidence, compassion, social interactions, interpersonal relationships, mood regulation, conflict resolution

Stress Response
Your body and brain is hard-wired to react to stress to protect you against threats, whether real or imagined. But, if your mind and body are constantly on edge because of excessive stress in your life, you may face serious health problems. That’s because your body’s “fight-or-flight reaction” — its natural alarm system — is constantly on.

Examples: stress reduction, relaxation, less overwhelmed, lower tension, better sleep, reduce nervous habits

Motor Coordination
Motor coordination is the harmonious functioning of body parts that involve movement including: gross motor skills such as walking, skipping, running and throwing; fine motor movement such as handwriting, buttoning a shirt, and keyboarding; and motor planning, the ability of the brain to conceive, organize and carry out purposeful movements.

Examples: balance, body awareness, coordination, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, activity level

Creative Expression
Your ability to express yourself creatively involves original & open thinking, imagination, problem solving, and movement to create something new and/or respond to opportunities.

Examples: musicality, opening thinking, visual arts, creative writing, innovation, problem solving

Based on sound science, The Listening Program® music trains the brain to improve how you perceive, process and respond to the flood of sensory information in our environment today. This leads to personal growth helping you to live a happier, productive, and more fulfilling life.

To learn more please free to visit http://advancedbrain.com or give us a call at +1.801.622.5676

Auditory Hypersensitivity and Autism

Sound is everywhere, it’s as much a part of our lives as the air we breathe and the food we eat. Yet, many people become stressed or uncomfortable with sounds in their own home, school, work, and public places, and aren’t even aware of it.The cause, NOISE!

Negative sound exposure has a scientifically proven impact on health, sleep, attention, learning, communication, listening, hearing, stress and more. A 2011 report from the World Health Organization and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre Burden of Disease From Environmental Noise states that “noise like this is second only to air pollution as an environmental cause of ill health.” There is no question noise is a major health concern, something my co-author Don Campbell and me wrote about extensively in our book Healing at the Speed of Sound®.  Each of us is impacted by noise, some more than others. But millions with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders and brain injury are not only impacted by noise, but often develop a negative emotional response to sound.

Dr. Jay Lucker, associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at Howard University in Washington, DC recently co-authored an article with me for Autism Science Digest which explores sound sensitivities in a growing population of children and adults with autism that are known to commonly have hypersensitivities to sound. The article titled “Auditory Hypersensitivity and Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Emotional Response” is in the current issue 04, which is available at Barnes and Noble through July.

Article Abstract- Many children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder are described as having auditory hypersensitivities. This paper describes auditory hypersensitivities, the systems involved in hypersensitive hearing, methods for evaluating auditory hypersensitivity in children, and possible treatments. Auditory hypersensitivity involves the non-classical auditory system and is an emotional response to sound rather than an auditory response. Children described as being hypersensitive to sound have negative emotional reactions to sounds and situations in which the sounds are present. It is possible to desensitize these negative emotional reactions and reprogram the emotional memory system so that children are no longer frightened by sounds.

My company Advanced Brain Technologies today announced the launch of TLP Spectrum™; a new auditory program for at home use, to improve sound brain fitness and reduce sensory sensitivities in children and adults who are or who may become hypersensitive to sounds. This program is a gentle way to desensitize emotional reactions to sound.

TLP Spectrum consists of evidence-based instrumental music which contains proprietary sound technologies to exercise the brain, and filter out unwanted sounds, while keeping the listener relaxed during fifteen-minute listening sessions with headphones. The program is ideal for those most susceptible to sound sensitivity; including children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders, brain injury and developmental delays, as well as typically developing toddlers (my 2 year old son is on the program), preschoolers, and the elderly.

I’ll be presenting this article and introducing TLP Spectrum at the Autism One/ Generation Rescue Conference 2012 in Chicago next month. Hope to see you there!

Brain Awareness Week

Brain Awareness Week is here! Well, it has been here since Monday, but I have been so busy I have not had a chance to share a quick post to let you all know we are running an amazing offer on our BrainBuilder® brain fitness program at www.advancedbrain.com.

I want everyone to have the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential and certainly hope that $70 off on BrainBuilder will get you on your way!

10 Best Brain Blogs

The editor of Blogs.com from Six Apart asked me to write a guest post with my picks for the 10 Best Brain Blogs which was published today.

10 Best Brain Blogs includes my favorites from some of the leading minds in neuroscience, neurotechnology, and brain fitness. These blogs cover topics ranging from neuroplasticity, anthropology, and neurobiology to brain training programs and so much more. The list offers a little something to engage anybody’s prefrontal cortex!  I hope you like it.  

To read 10 Best Brain Blogs visit  http://bit.ly/LGaPi.

Brain Fitness Software Market 2009 Report

report-coverAdvanced Brain Technologies featured in The State of the Brain Fitness Software Market 2009 Report published today.

This annual report profiles the top 20 companies in the brain fitness software market.  Despite being one of the first movers in the brain fitness market with the introduction of the original BrainBuilder® software program in 1999 Advanced Brain Technologies is grouped in the “Wait and See” category in terms of  market position. This is due to our focus not being exclusively brain fitness software.

As a market leader in music-based intervention we are diversified beyond software unlike the other leading companies in the report which offer strictly software based solutions for assessment and improvement of cognitive functions.  

With new research and developments in market sectors including; consumer, healthcare, K-12, corporate, and military, our market position will be shifting significantly in the next 12 to 24 months.

Report Highlights

1) Growth market: Consumers, seniors’ communities and insurance providers drove year on year sustained growth, from $225m in 2007 to $265m in 2008. Revenues may reach between $1 billion to $5 billion by 2015, depending on how important problems (Public Awareness, Navigating Claims, Research, Health Culture, Lack of Assessment) are addressed.

2) Increased interest and confusion: 61% of respondents Strongly Agree with the statement “Addressing cognitive and brain health should be a healthcare priority.” But, 65% Agree/Strongly Agree “I don’t really know what to expect from products making brain claims.”

3) Investment in R&D seeds future growth: Landmark investments by insurance providers and government-funded research institutes testing new brain fitness applications planted new seeds for future growth.

4) Becoming standard in residential facilities: Over 700 residential facilities – mostly Independent and Assisted Living facilities and CCRCs – have installed computerized cognitive training programs.

5) Customer satisfaction: Consumers seem more satisfied with computer-based products than paper-based options. But, satisfaction differs by product. When asked “I got real value for my money”, results were as follows: Lumosity.com (65% Agree), Puzzle Books (60%), Posit Science (52%), Nintendo (51%) agreed. Posit Science (53% Agree) and Lumosity.com (51%) do better than Puzzle Books (39%) and Nintendo (38%) at “I have seen the results I wanted.”

6) Assessments: Increasing adoption of computer-based cognitive assessments to baseline and track cognitive functions over time in military, sports, and clinical contexts. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America now advocates for widespread cognitive screenings after 65-75.

7) Specific computerized cognitive training and videogames have been shown to improve brain functions, but the key questions are, “Which ones”, and “Who needs what when?”

8) Aggressive marketing claims are creating confusion and skepticism, resulting in a distracting controversy between two misleading extremes: (a) “buying product XYZ can rejuvenate your brain Y years” or (b) “those products don’t work; just do one more crossword puzzle.” The upcoming book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness aims to help consumers navigate these claims.

9) Developers can be classified into four groups, based on our Market and Research Momentum analysis: we find 4 Leaders, 8 High Potentials, 3 Crosswords 2.0, and 6 Wait & See companies.

10) Increased differentiation: Leading companies are better defining their value proposition and distribution channels to reach specific segments such as retirement communities, schools, or healthcare providers.

Order a copy of the report at www.sharpbrains.com.

It’s Brain Awareness Week!

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March 16-22 is Brain Awareness Week.  

Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is an international campaign dedicated to advancing public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. Founded and coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and its sister organization, the European Dana Alliance for the Brain, BAW is now entering its fourteenth year as a catalyst for public understanding of brain science. The Dana Alliances are joined in the campaign by partners from around the world, including universities, hospitals, patient groups, government agencies, schools, service organizations, and professional associations. 

Advanced Brain Technologies is a proud campaign partner and is offering a $50 discount on BrainBuilder® to encourage brain fitness for everyone!

For information on this limited time offer please visit http://www.abtmedia.com.

To learn more about Brain Awareness Week visit the Official Web Site of the International Brain Awareness Week Campaign  http://www.dana.org/brainweek/