We are sharing this again as we have recently had people asking for an updated post focusing on more scientific aspects of the study.
Connectivity is an interesting thing. In society, we continually look for connectivity, whether it be with people, places or ideas. Sometimes, that connectivity is very strong, other times it is very weak and other times it is changeable. The human brain is quite similar. For example, as we grow and our brains develop, different levels of connectivity occur. The development process is not consistent, it is impacted by the environment we are in and the experiences we have.
The different types of connectivity are ultimately what makes every human unique. For children and adults with autism it has been identified that the auditory and visual areas of their brains are highly connected. Consequently – just like if you have one leg that is stronger than the other – the auditory and visual areas do most of the work. But, this means the other connections, or leg, are not as strong and there will probably be times when they need to be stronger.
This study found that just 8-12 weeks of music learning intervention helped autistic children to work their brain connections that were not as strong. It also helped the auditory and visual areas to switch off from being the strongest connection (or leg).
“Functional connectivity was greater between auditory and subcortical regions and auditory and motor regions in the music versus nonmusic group and lower between auditory and visual areas, circuitry that is over-connected in autisms”.
Music learning is a full brain workout!