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Brain and body percussion : the relationship between motor and cognitive functions
DisciplineMusic, Mind and Technology (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Music, Mind and Technology
The focus of this thesis is the relationship between embodied motor rhythmic exercises (e.g. body percussion) and executive functions. Decades’ long successful application of this method within general classrooms and in music education led to the hypothesis that body percussion could have a positive impact on core cognitive functions also referred to as executive functions. Two pilot experiments were conducted to test proper settings for investigating the above-mentioned relationship. Experiment 1 piloted the use of neuropsychological tests with pre- and post-measures of the Tower of London (TOL) neuropsychological test. Experiment 2 piloted the use of an electroencephalography (EEG) device with an auditory oddball paradigm. Experiment 1 was a long-term study (2,5 months) and conducted in a regular elementary school. Participants of this study were fifth graders (average age: 11 years, n=24). Experiment 2 was EEG-laboratory pilot with one adult participant. Both experimental designs achieved encouraging results; benefits and disadvantages are discussed. TOL-results in Experiment 1 indicated positive impact on planning skills as the experiment group achieved better results post-training compared to the control group. Data-analysis in Experiment 2 indicated positive change in the MMN (mismatch negativity) amplitude (participant’s ability to detect deviant auditory stimuli) post- (40 minute long) training. ...
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