Dr. Laura Brown takes a brief break from teaching music therapy students at Western Illinois University for an AMTA-Pro Podcast interview about her research into the impact of music on emotional processing in the social interaction of children diagnosed with autism. This is the first step in a line of research that will inform music therapy practice for individuals with autism. Laura also talks about the role of research in clinical music therapy, the need for continuing to build on the research foundation in music therapy, and the exciting possibilities for the future of music therapy.


Music Therapy Research

Laura Brown, PhD, MT-BC

Laura Brown, PhD, MT-BC, is an Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at Western Illinois University. Her clinical experience includes working in both private practice and public school settings with children and adults with disabilities. Dr. Brown’s primary research interests include music with children with developmental disabilities and children with autism. Children with autism were participants in her most recent research on the influence of music on children’s recognition of emotion in faces. Dr. Brown is an active member of the American Music Therapy Association and an active presenter at regional and national music education and music therapy conferences.

Selected References

Brown, L., & Jellison, J. (2012). Music research with children and youth with disabilities and typically developing peers:  A systematic review. Journal of Music Therapy, 49(3), 335-364.

Caria, A., Venuti, P., & de Falco, S. (2011). Functional and dysfunctional brain circuits underlying emotional processing of music in autism spectrum disorders. Cerebral Cortex, 21(12), 2838–2849.

Haesen, B., Boets, B., & Wagemans, J. (2011). A review of behavioural and electrophysiological studies on auditory processing and speech perception in autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5(2), 701–714.

Harms, M. B., Martin, A., & Wallace, G. L. (2010). Facial emotion recognition in autism spectrum disorders: A review of behavioral and neuroimaging studies. Neuropsychology Review, 20(3), 290–322.

Katagiri, J. (2009). The effect of background music and song texts on the emotional understanding of children with autism. Journal of Music Therapy, 46(1), 15–31.

Quintin, E.-M., Bhatara, A., Poissant, H., Fombonne, E., & Levitin, D. J. (2011). Emotion perception in music in high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(9), 1240-1255.