The Mother Nature Network has an interesting story detailing how music is helping people with serious spinal injuries.
Patients are fitted with a glove that has tiny vibrators in each finger. A song is played – Ode to Joy, an appropriate choice, is used in the video accompanying the story – and the keys of an organ light up for each note. The stimulation is increasing the ability of patients to move their fingers, according to Georgia Tech Ph.D. Tanya Markow:
Markow said she believes the increased motor abilities could be the result of renewed brain activity that might have been dormant in the subjects with SCI. They hope to expand the study to use functional MRI scans to see if the vibration from the glove is triggering the hand’s sensory cortex and in turn the brain’s motor cortex.
SCI stands for spinal cord injuries.