Mirror Neuron Dysfunction

1663 Words 7 Pages
Introduction
Through decades of research, the Autism Spectrum Disorder has confused many researchers on what the causes of autism are. As studies continued, the finding of the sources behind autism were not found but a reason for the lack of communication skills was found within the brain. A mirror neuron dysfunction has been one of the main reasons for the stagnation of communication behavior within the autism spectrum disorder community. When trying to improve the dysfunction of the mirror neuron system and a development of communication skills, researchers have looked at music therapy as a form of therapy to help. Music making has been a form of music therapy researchers believe is an effective way advancing the mirror neuron dysfunction
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Researchers believed there was a connection between music and the mirror neuron system in the brain. From the neurological position, “brain regions believed to house MNs (Mirror Neurons) can be structurally and functionally disturbed in individuals with autism” thus causing a dysfunction in the mirror neuron system (Wan et al. 1242). This dysfunction within the brain is a cause for “social deficits, including deficits in imitation, empathy, and theory of mind” which causes the lack of communication skills (Bernier and Dawson 277). Kana, Wadsworth, and Travers, researchers in the autism field, agree but they also believe there are deficits in both symbolic and non-symbolic imitative behaviors, in imitating the use of objects, imitating facial gestures, and in vocal imitation” which also affects the communication skills in autistic people (Kana, Wadsworth, and Travers 897). Furthermore, the same regions that are affected by the dysfunction are “also the areas of the brain used in music making” which causes them to react to one another (Preis et al. 106). The researchers connected the mirror neuron system, communication skills and music all together- then allowed for future studies of the forms of music therapy- to figure out what can be done to solve the issues …show more content…
Moreover, the various types of music therapy can be beneficial to communicative behavior but there are still complications on the strength of the progression of the communication skills. Experts are continuing research on to the use of music therapy for autism and to aid the dysfunction of the mirror neurons. As for now, the researchers can agree or disagree on the debate of music making or listening to music for music therapy for autism spectrum disorder. Currently experts would agree there is a need for more research to establish better results regarding to the benefits of music making and listening to music for children on the autism spectrum

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