Drums improve the behavior and brain function of autistic adolescents

Summary: Playing the drums for 90 minutes a week can help teens with ASD overcome hyperactivity and attention deficit. The study of drum beat patterns also improves brain communication in areas related to inhibitory control and self-regulation.

A source: University of Chichester

A new study shows that just 90 minutes of drumming a week can improve the quality of life of young people diagnosed with autism.

Researchers have found that learning to play an instrument adjusts the brain nodes of teenagers with autism within eight weeks.

The research was carried out by experts from Kings College, Hertpuri and the University of Essex in Chichester, London, under the auspices of the Clem Burke Drumming Project, a co-founder and famous Blondie musician.

Marcus Smith, a professor of applied sports and exercise in Chichester, writes: We are now sharing our findings with education providers in the UK’s special and primary schools, who are responsible for the physical and mental development of vulnerable people.

Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by poor social skills and interactions, as well as limited and repetitive interests and activities.

As part of the study, a group of participants with no drumming experience was given two lessons of 45 minutes per week for two months. Each volunteer between the ages of 16 and 20 underwent a drum evaluation and MRI scan before and after the intervention, and the researchers asked their caregivers about recent behavioral challenges.

The results showed that participants who improved their drumming skills showed fewer signs of hyperactivity, inattention, and repetitive behavior, and were better able to control their emotions. MRI scanners also revealed changes in their brain function associated with general behavior, according to the study.

According to Professor Steve Draper, dean of Hartpuri University and co-author of the report, this article marks an important milestone in the scientific community’s understanding of why drumming is such a profound stimulus through advanced imagery.

He added: “Over the years, we have been aware of cases of autism spectrum disorder or drumming in people with ASD, and later we have worked with a number of people, schools and projects to see the impact. . ”

The scientists who led the study published this PNAS After drum training, adolescents improved synchronization between brain regions responsible for inhibitory control to prevent impulsivity.

Playing the project for 90 minutes a week will help autistic children overcome hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders, the report said. Image in public domain

This emphasizes the central role of the prefrontal cortex in the regulation of motor impulsivity, according to Dr. Ruth Lowry, a Reader in Exercise Psychology and co-author of the University of Essex.

He added: “This paper gives us the first evidence of neurological adaptations from learning to play the drums, especially for adolescents diagnosed with ASD. This study confirms the changes we have measured and the observations of teachers and parents to improve social skills, inhibitory control and attention.

The project, funded by the Waterloo Foundation, is the latest study by Clem Burke Baraming to examine how the Project’s drum has affected brain development over the past decade.

Stephen Williams, a professor of art at King’s College London, a partner in the Clem Burke project, added: “Drumming not only improves the ability to delay the onset of motor reactions in autistic adolescents, but also reduces hyperactivity and attention deficit. Additional functional visualization allowed us to visualize changes in brain circuits responsible for self-regulation and motor impulsivity.

Lead author Marie-Stephanie Cahart, a doctoral candidate at King’s College London, said: “This study not only shows that autistic adolescents improve their behavior after drum training, but also reveals related changes in brain function. There has been an increase in synchronous activity between brain regions that support mental well-being and help manage social relationships.

Scientists from the Clem Burke Drumming Project will talk about the research at a conference at the University of Chichester on Wednesday, July 13, and free tickets can be found at thesciencebehindthesticks.eventbrite.co.uk.

The team also intends to expand its research on drumming and is looking to collaborate with schools or organizations that work with people with ADHD, dyspareunia, dementia and traumatic brain injury and can contact them at clemburkedrummingproject.org.

ASD research news about this

Author: James Hay
A source: University of Chichester
The connection: James High – University of Chichester
Photo: Image in public domain

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Original study: Closed access.
Marcus Smith PNAS


The Impact of Drum Learning on Behavior and Brain Function in Autistic Adolescents

The current study focuses on the effects of drum training on the behavior and brain function of autistic adolescents who have no previous drumming experience.

Thirty-six autistic adolescents were recruited and randomly assigned to one of two groups. The drum group did not receive individual drum tuition fees (two lessons per week for 8 weeks), and the control group.

All participants participated in a testing session before and after the 8-week period. Each session included a parent assessing the drum, an MRI scan, and a parent filling out questionnaires related to participants ’behavioral difficulties.

The results showed that the improvement in drum playing performance was due to a significant reduction in drummer hyperactivity and inattention difficulties compared to control.

The results of fMRI showed an increase in functional communication in the brain regions responsible for inhibitory control, action outcome control, and self-regulation. In particular, seed-a-voxel analysis revealed an increased functional association in the lower right frontal gyrus and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

Multivariate sample analysis showed significant changes in the middle frontal cortex, left and right paracingulate cortex, subcallosal cortex, left frontal pole, caudate and left nucleus accents. In conclusion, this study examines the effects of drum-based intervention on the nervous and behavioral outcomes of autistic adolescents.

We hope that these findings provide information on the potential use of drum-based interventions to benefit clinical populations with disorders and emotional and behavioral difficulties associated with the prohibition of further research and testing.

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