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Choir Intervention for People with Parkinson's Disease



Neural and Behavioral Evidence for Vibrotactile Beat Perception and Bimodal Enhancement | Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience | MIT Press   

 by Sean A. Gilmore,  Frank A. Russo 

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2021) 33 (4): 635–650.


The ability to synchronize movements to a rhythmic stimulus, referred to as sensorimotor synchronization (SMS), is a behavioral measure of beat perception. Although SMS is generally superior when rhythms are presented in the auditory modality, recent research has demonstrated near-equivalent SMS for vibrotactile presentations of isochronous rhythms [Ammirante, P., Patel, A. D., & Russo, F. A. Synchronizing to auditory and tactile metronomes: A test of the auditory–motor enhancement hypothesis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23, 1882–1890, 2016]. The current study aimed to replicate and extend this study by incorporating a neural measure of beat perception. Nonmusicians were asked to tap to rhythms or to listen passively while EEG data were collected. Rhythmic complexity (isochronous, nonisochronous) and presentation modality (auditory, vibrotactile, bimodal) were fully crossed. Tapping data were consistent with those observed by Ammirante et al. (2016), revealing near-equivalent SMS for isochronous rhythms across modality conditions and a drop-off in SMS for nonisochronous rhythms, especially in the vibrotactile condition. EEG data revealed a greater degree of neural entrainment for isochronous compared to nonisochronous trials as well as for auditory and bimodal compared to vibrotactile trials. These findings led us to three main conclusions. First, isochronous rhythms lead to higher levels of beat perception than nonisochronous rhythms across modalities. Second, beat perception is generally enhanced for auditory presentations of rhythm but still possible under vibrotactile presentation conditions. Finally, exploratory analysis of neural entrainment at harmonic frequencies suggests that beat perception may be enhanced for bimodal presentations of rhythm. 

added to website Nov 5, 2021


Science is only a way to prove what we already know from experience. Unfortunately, the general public and policy makers/government want this kind of proof. My understanding is that Indigenous Healers (who use sound) know in intimate detail what science is only now being able to prove through the use of newer technology.  The following is only a glimpse at some of the scientific proof.  

"There is substantial evidence that coherent 40 Hz  neural oscillation is a fundamental frequency of  healthy brain activity and of intra-brain communication  [8–10]. Further it has been determined that the  40 Hz oscillation is a covariate of cognition and not  simply an induced sensory phenomenon [9]. This is  important for persons diagnosed with AD since they  appear to have lower levels of 40 Hz oscillation than  
persons of the same age with ‘normal’ brains [8].  Important for the premise of the present study is the  finding that auditory stimulation in ‘normal’ persons  can reset the 40 Hz oscillation [9]. More recently, it  has been shown that 40 Hz steady state oscillation can  be stimulated or “driven” with vibration [11].  

"The quantitative results of the study are encouraging  and suggest that 40 Hz stimulation over time  can lead to increased cognition. Further studies are  needed to confirm this and to assess which if any of  the AD groups (mild, moderate, severe) benefit the most  from this treatment."  

Clements-Cortes, A., Ahonen, H., Freedman, M., & Bartel, L. (2016). Rhythmic sensory stimulation and alzheimer's disease. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 25, 17  

This paper is referenced in this video talk below at around 10:40 minutes 

Here is a recent study conducted by U of Toronto:   

Mosabbir, A., Almeida, Q. J., & Ahonen, H. (2020). The Effects of Long-Term 40-Hz Physioacoustic Vibrations on Motor Impairments in Parkinson’s Disease: A Double-Blinded Randomized Control Trial. Healthcare, 8(2). 

Here is another article which talks about an experiment completed by MIT using 40Hz and mice: 

And here is what their 40 Hz sounds like (40 Hz = Gamma Wave) 

Just to note:  tonal frequencies and a 40hz wave are different. Isochronic beats are beat patterns not tones. This means that beats are pulsing on and off 40 times per second which creates a pulse that our brains respond to. 

 CTV National News: Dancing with Parkinson's

Courageous people living with Parkinson's who love music and enjoy dancing while being inspired by Sarah Robichaud Founder of Toronto's "Dancing With Parkinson's" (online or in person).  

The CTV dropped by at the Monday classes at Trinity United at Spadina and Bloor and filmed and interviewed them and here they are talking about their experiences with this dance class as well as the classes online. I'm inspired so deeply by all the dancers.  

If you know of anyone who might enjoy this activity, please let them know about it.  


How Dancing Helps Parkinson's patients

Katayoun Ghanai, Rebecca E. Barnstaple & Joseph FX DeSouza (2021): Virtually in synch: a pilot study on affective dimensions of dancing with Parkinson’s during COVID-19, Research in Dance Education, DOI: 10.1080/14647893.2021.2005560 

Fontanesi C, DeSouza JFX. Beauty That Moves: Dance for Parkinson's Effects on Affect, Self-Efficacy, Gait Symmetry, and Dual Task Performance. Front Psychol. 2021 Feb 5;11:600440. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.600440. PMID: 33613357; PMCID: PMC7892443. 

Débora B. Rabinovich, Nélida S. Garretto, Tomoko Arakaki, Joseph FX DeSouza,  
A high dose tango intervention for people with Parkinson's disease (PwPD),  
Advances in Integrative Medicine,  
Volume 8, Issue 4, 2021, Pages 272-277,  
ISSN 2212-9588,