Research focusing on cultural activities like music, reading and dance, and their effects on mental and physical health has dramatically advanced in recent years. Few research areas offer such excitement, or such intensity. Studying how the brain reacts when we listen to music, or play music ourself , helps us to understand the process of learning, memory and language, which in turn gives us an important insight into the function of the brain and its development.
Cultural activities have also been shown to be beneficial to the health of patients with dementia, pain, anxiety, stress and burn-out, and in the rehabilitation of patients after stroke, or with Parkinson’s disease. In short, cultural activities offer many health benefits.
The Centre for Culture, Cognition and Health has been created by KI and KTH to amalgamate Swedish research within this area, and to build on and expand existing research at KI and KTH.
The aim of the centre is to carry out world leading research, by combining KI and KTH’s resources within Neurology, Psychology, Data Modelling and Behavioral Genetics. The centre will work in partnership with the Competence Centre for Culture and Health at Stockholm County Council (Stockholms Läns Landstings Kompetenscentrum för kultur och hälsa ) to spread knowledge about new research and to enable practical implementation.
The project has already attracted international attention: ”All the right forces are in place” commented Isabelle Peretz, Head of the International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research i Montréal. ”These well established teams constitute a critical mass that should bring Stockholm at the forefront of what music, and the other forms of arts, can bring to the well-being of the society in general.”