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date: 24 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In a society that is getting considerably older, it becomes important to identify potential mechanisms promoting successful aging to prevent, limit, and rehabilitate cognitive and emotional impairments typical of normal or pathological aging. Music is a powerful stimulus able to modulate widespread brain activations. Recent research has increasingly considered music as a promising, stimulating training and rehabilitation tool for improving cognition and promoting well-being and social connection. This chapter provides an overview of recent research investigating music and aging. It first focuses on the effects of music in normal aging, both in terms of musical expertise and simple musical exposure, with an additional section being devoted to the underlying brain processes. The chapter then considers the principal music-based therapeutic approaches used in pathological aging. Finally, the chapter underlines the main limitations and open questions arising from the existing literature, and discusses possible future directions for research on music and the aging brain.

Keywords: music, aging, dementia, rehabilitation, cognition, emotions, well-being

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