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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


ORJUELA ROJAS, Juan Manuel. Anxiolytic Effects of Music Therapy: Neurobiological and Cognitive Aspects of Musical Processing. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2011, vol.40, n.4, pp.748-759. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: Music is present in all cultures and has been with us from the dawn of human history. Since ancient times music has been attributed a relaxing and healing effect, which becomes evident in healing rituals through chants, dancing, and the interpretation of instruments. With the advancement of neuroscience and imaging techniques, it has become possible to approach the complex mechanisms underlying musical processing. Objective: To review and discuss the mechanisms of neurobiological and cognitive processing of music. To understand the benefits of the anxiolytic effect of music in diverse clinical conditions and settings. Method: Narrative review of the literature. Conclusions: The anxiolytic effect of music therapy is determined by complex mechanisms of musical processing in the human species. The activation of associative memories and the analysis of emotional expression, linked to the tonal and temporal perception of the musical processing module, are the main cognitive components involved in the relaxant effect mediated by music. Music exposure also acts as a neuroprotective agent by promoting the expression of neurotrophins. Music is therefore an excellent and affordable therapeutic tool, easy to use, accessible, and without side effects, which can be used as a coadjuvant in the treatment of several nosological entities.

Palavras-chave : Music therapy; neurobiology; relaxation; mental processes.

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