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Mini Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neural Circuits | doi: 10.3389/fncir.2019.00049

Music-evoked reward and emotion: Relative strengths and response to intervention of people with ASD

  • 1McGill University, Canada

This review presents research findings showing that music is a unique domain to assess perception, reward, emotion, and associated physiological reactions and neural circuitry of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There is growing evidence, reported is several studies in this review, indicating that music is a relative strength of people with ASD including musical pitch perception, musical memory, and identification of music-evoked emotions. Listening to music activates neural circuits of reward and emotion response, which are described. Research presented shows adults with ASD also activate these systems when listening to music, although there may be developmental differences in the physiological and neural response to music in childhood and adolescence alongside typical behavioural response. Nonetheless, studies reviewed lend support to the use of music therapy and education for people with ASD, specifically to improve social skills and communication. Neural correlates of response to music therapy and education are also discussed. Taken together, findings reviewed provide evidence for music as a strength-based approach for ASD to assess reward and emotion response and as a powerful tool for intervention.

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Reward, Music, Perception, Brain Development, emotion

Received: 15 Dec 2018; Accepted: 16 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Takao K. Hensch, Harvard University, United States

Reviewed by:

Nicoletta Berardi, Italian National Research Council (CNR), Italy
Kasia M. Bieszczad, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Quintin. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Eve-Marie Quintin, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, eve-marie.quintin@mcgill.ca