OBJECTIVE. We determined whether listening to excerpts of classical music ameliorates unilateral neglect (UN) in stroke patients.
METHOD. In this within-subject study, we recruited and separately tested 16 UN patients with a right-hemisphere stroke under three conditions within 1 wk. In each condition, participants were asked to complete three subtests of the Behavioral Inattention Test while listening to classical music, white noise, or nothing. All conditions and the presentation of the tests were counterbalanced across participants. Visual analog scales were used to provide self-reported ratings of arousal and mood.
RESULTS. Participants generally had the highest scores under the classical music condition and the lowest scores under the silence condition. In addition, most participants rated their arousal as highest after listening to classical music.
CONCLUSION. Listening to classical music may improve visual attention in stroke patients with UN. Future research with larger study populations is necessary to validate these findings.