Melodic Intonation Therapy

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Clinical observations have reported that patients with nonfluent aphasia are able to sing lyrics of the same words they cannot speak. These observations inspired the development of Melodic Intonation therapy. Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT), a treatment approach that combines the musical elements of speech, which are melody and rhythm, to improve expressive language. This approach works on capitalizing the preserved function of singing and engaging language-capable regions in the undamaged right hemisphere. This method was specifically designed to treat nonfluent aphasia, which is one type of this acquired disorder. Aphasia is a condition characterized by either total or partial impairment in the ability to communicate verbally. This condition…show more content…
Four subtypes of aphasia fall under the fluent category. These types are: Wernicke’s aphasia and trans-cortical sensory aphasia which are characterized by highly impaired language comprehension, and conduction and anomic aphasias which are characterized by a relatively preserved language comprehension. On the other hand, four other types fall under the fluent aphasias category. These types are: Global aphasia and mixed transcortical, which are characterized by a highly impaired language comprehension, and Broca’s and trans-cortical motor aphasias which are characterized by a relatively preserved comprehension. One significant characteristic that signifies trans-cortical aphasia from other types is the preserved ability to repeat verbal stimuli. The diagram below presents the different types of aphasia, the major characteristics of each, and the site of brain lesion behind each type. (Fig.…show more content…
Propositional language requires assembly of structures according to a set of phonological, grammatical, and morphological rules and in accord with a lexicon. It is opposed to non-propositional language (also referred to as automatic, or formulaic language), which is also used in everyday life, but which consists of a repertory of readymade expressions. Such expressions include idioms, proverbs, and even longer material in prayers or in songs] (VanLanckerSidtisD.Whereinthebrainisnonliterallanguage?MetaphorSymb (2006) 21(4):213–44. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.06.022). This type of non-generative verbalization is known to be preserved in Broca’s aphasia. MIT uses everyday sentences hence including formulaic and nonformulic phrases. Speech formulas such as (e.g., “good morning,” “how are you?”) and sentence stems (e.g.,“I am,”“I want”) are often used, especially in the initial levels of the program. This verbal material may be of high value to keep the patients motivated throughout the therapy because it is easier to produce than propositional phrases. However, it remains unclear how training on the formulaic verbal material results in improvement in the propositional

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