Monitoring Music and Movement Interaction in People with Dementia

Authored by: Micheline Lesaffre , Bart Moens , Frank Desmet

The Routledge Companion to Embodied Music Interaction

Print publication date:  April  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138657403
eBook ISBN: 9781315621364
Adobe ISBN: 9781317219736


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This chapter addresses new possibilities that have evolved from using monitoring technology in a context where people with dementia are interacting with music. Dementia may refer to a variety of disorders that are characterized by progressive nervous system dysfunction, leading to brain damage, which in turn causes a decline in memory, cognitive functioning, and sensorimotor behavior. Given that dementia affects emotional states, sensorimotor abilities, and cognition, the development of useful and reliable monitoring technology is particularly challenging. We argue that the use of monitoring technology in a proper music interaction context may be beneficial for people with dementia. If this technology can capture the embodiment of those music interactions (e.g., through synchronized actions with musical beats), we believe that it can be a step toward training or maintenance of the patients’ sensorimotor skills that support empathic and social skills. In any case, a monitoring tool may represent valuable progress toward a better understanding of the possible importance of embodied interactive approaches in handling neurological degeneration.

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