The Effects of Music Intervention on Functional Connectivity Strength of the Brain in Schizophrenia


Neural Plasticity




Schizophrenia is often associated with behavior abnormality in the cognitive and affective domain. Music intervention is used as a complementary treatment for improving symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. However, the neurophysiological correlates of these remissions remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated the effects of music intervention in neural circuits through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in schizophrenic subjects. Under the standard care, patients were randomly assigned to music and non-music interventions (MTSZ, UMTSZ) for 1 month. Resting-state fMRI were acquired over three time points (baseline, 1 month, and 6 months later) in patients and analyzed using functional connectivity strength (FCS) and seed-based functional connection (FC) approaches. At baseline, compared with healthy controls, decreased FCS in the right middle temporal gyrus (MTG) was observed in patients. However, after music intervention, the functional circuitry of the right MTG, which was related with the function of emotion and sensorimotor, was improved in MTSZ. Furthermore, the FC increments were significantly correlated with the improvement of symptoms, while vanishing 6 months later. Together, these findings provided evidence that music intervention might positively modulate the functional connectivity of MTG in patients with schizophrenia; such changes might be associated with the observed therapeutic effects of music intervention on neurocognitive function. This trial is registered with ChiCTR-OPC-14005339.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Cognitive Abilities; Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Psychotic Disorders; Recorded Music Listening; Symptom Management

Indexed Terms

Brain; Brain Mapping; Follow-Up Studies; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Nerve Net; Schizophrenia

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type