Brains that can't say words can sing them instead

Teaching stroke patients to sing “rewires” their brains, helping them recover their speech, say scientists.

By singing, patients use a different area of the brain from the area involved in speech. If a person’s “speech centre” is damaged by a stroke, they can learn to use their “singing centre” instead.

During the therapy sessions, patients are taught to put their words to simple melodies. Professor Schlaug said that after a single session, a stroke patients who was are not able to form any intelligible words learned to say the phrase “I am thirsty” by combining each syllable with the note of a melody.

The article doesn’t say whether patients can ever go back to talking without singing. I can only hope that as their lives begin to sound like an opera, the corresponding drama, murder and intrigue doesn’t follow.

don_giovanni___san_francisco_opera__2007

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