Music is known to have the power to induce strong emotions. In this talk we will assess, based on Electroencephalography (EEG) data, the emotional response of terminally ill cancer patients to a music therapy intervention in a randomized controlled trial. A sample of 40 participants from the palliative care unit in the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona was randomly assigned to two groups of 20. The first group [experimental group (EG)] participated in a session of music therapy (MT), and the second group [control group (CG)] was provided with company. Based on our previous work on EEG-based emotion detection, instantaneous emotional indicators in the form of a coordinate in the arousal-valence plane were extracted from the participants’ EEG data. The emotional indicators were analyzed in order to quantify (1) the overall emotional effect of MT on the patients compared to controls, and (2) the relative effect of the different MT techniques applied during each session. EEG data analysis showed a significant increase in valence (p = 0.0004) and arousal (p = 0.003) during the MT session in the EG. No significant changes were found in the CG. Artificial intelligence techniques were applied to build computational predictive models of music therapy outcomes before the session took place.
About our Guests
Dr. Rafael Ramirez (Prof, PhD) is a Tenured Associate Professor and Leader of the Music and Machine Learning Lab at the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. He is Lecturer and Research Coordinator in the Master in Music Therapy, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona. He obtained his BSc in Mathematics form the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and his MSc and PhD in Artificial Intelligence and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Bristol, UK. He studied Classical Violin and Guitar at the National School of Music in Mexico, and since then he has played with different music groups in Europe, America and Asia. For five years, Rafael was a Lecturer in National University of Singapore. His research interests include music technology, music therapy, artificial intelligence, and their application to health and well-being. In particular, he has conducted research on the impact of music and music therapy in autism, emotional disorders, palliative care, cerebral palsy, stroke, and parkinson decease. He has published more than 120 research articles in peer-reviewed international Journals and Conferences, and acted as guest-editor of several special issues focused on music and artificial intelligence.
Núria Escudé (BA, Mth) is a lecturer and Director of the Music Therapy Program at the University of Barcelona since 2002. She is a psychologist and qualified piano teacher. She is also director and Music Therapist at the Catalan Institute of Music Therapy, where she has worked with children with special needs for the last 15 years in collaboration with the Barenboim Said Fundation. Member of the Board of the Directors of the International Association for Music & Medicine. Nuria is working and researching music therapy in NICU (University Hospital Terrassa), and RBL (Rhythm, Breath, & Lullaby), and works in the Oncology and Paliative Care Units in UPS Hospital Esperanza, Barcelona, and also works in the Hospital San Juan de Dios, Barcelona, with patients affected with Alzheimer’s disease.
This event will be hosted by Dr. Josep Planas Domingo, member of IAMM’s Board of Directors.
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