Aalborg University. Serious brain-related injuries can often require countless hours of rehabilitation: researchers are exploring how musical cues can help stroke patients regain motor functions making the rehabilitation process more efficient, for example by having music continuously played with the tone or pitch changing as the person moves a limb, indicating whether the movement was a step in the right direction. Recently, a group of researchers in Denmark has adopted a new system that uses synthesized music to guide patients through their rehabilitation exercises: the new “musical biofeedback system” is described in a study published in IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems. The project was designed and tested by Prithvi Ravi Kantan, a Ph.D. student with the Department of Architecture, Design, and Media Technology at Aalborg University Copenhagen, where he arrived back in 2018. The system involves wireless motion sensors which monitor the patients’ movements while strapped to their ankles, back, or both: a software program then synthesizes music to match those movements. The system offers different musical-feedback training modes: one method is when the body itself creates music, meaning that no sounds are made if the person is still, but if a foot is moved forward, a musical tune is synthesized and the tone becomes louder as the foot moves forward faster.

Read more: IEEE Spectrum