Innovative Computer Technology in music based interventions for individuals with autism - Moving beyond traditional interactive music therapy techniques

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Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who exhibit developmental lim- itations in social-emotional interaction and communication, are widely reported to respond positively to music therapy interventions that incorporate active and im- provisational techniques. The fundamental elements of music have been shown to bypass both cognitive and language impairments to help facilitate communication skills, form social relationships and promote cognitive progression. In recent years, computer technologies such as mobile devices and interactive motion capture systems are being developed to provide new approaches to music interaction. When included into new or existing music interventions, digital technology can enhance the music playing experience and motivate children to interact differently with their environ- ment through providing novel and engaging approaches to music interaction and creativity. This review highlights the core symptoms of ASD and presents evidence that supports the use of music therapy techniques within the autistic population, underpinned by neurological studies reporting on benefits of musical intervention. Further to this, it is explained how new technologies such as mobile devices and multi-sensory computer systems can move beyond traditional music instruments to add additional dimensions to music therapy sessions. Finally suggestions of future research are made alongside considerations in designing new and novel auditory interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalCogent Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018

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