Effects of active music therapy on the normal brain: fMRI based evidence

Alfredo Raglio, Caterina Galandra, Luisella Sibilla, Fabrizio Esposito, Francesca Gaeta, Francesco Di Salle, Luca Moro, Irene Carne, Stefano Bastianello, Maurizia Baldi, Marcello Imbriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to investigate the neurophysiological bases of Active Music Therapy (AMT) and its effects on the normal brain. Twelve right-handed, healthy, non-musician volunteers were recruited. The subjects underwent 2 AMT sessions based on the free sonorous-music improvisation using rhythmic and melodic instruments. After these sessions, each subject underwent 2 fMRI scan acquisitions while listening to a Syntonic (SP) and an A-Syntonic (AP) Production from the AMT sessions. A 3 T Discovery MR750 scanner with a 16-channel phased array head coil was used, and the image analysis was performed with Brain Voyager QX 2.8. The listening to SP vs AP excerpts mainly activated: (1) the right middle temporal gyrus and right superior temporal sulcus, (2) the right middle frontal gyrus and in particular the right precentral gyrus, (3) the bilateral precuneus, (4) the left superior temporal sulcus and (5) the left middle temporal gyrus. These results are consistent with the psychological bases of the AMT approach and with the activation of brain areas involved in memory and autobiographical processes, and also in personal or interpersonal significant experiences. Further studies are required to confirm these findings and to explain possible effects of AMT in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-186
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Active music therapy
  • fMRI
  • Healthy subjects
  • Medial prefrontal cortex
  • Precuneus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of active music therapy on the normal brain: fMRI based evidence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this