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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological condition resulting from dopaminergic dysfunctions in the basal ganglia (BG) of the brain, with devastating consequences for motor and cognitive functioning. The method ‘rhythmic auditory cuing’ has been shown to improve motor deficits in PD patients, due to the ability of rhythm to stimulate the BG. However, this method may be limited by a rather simple rhythmic stimulation complexity, and therefore restricts its benefits to the motor domain. Thus, a more complex stimulus may lead to a richer set of predictions, promoting a better guidance for the temporal model of a movement (e.g., musical rhythmic stimulation). Syncopation is a form of rhythmic complexity related to pleasure and synchronized body-movement, referred to as groove. While healthy adults experience a pleasurable desire to move to stimulating music (medium syncopation), we do not know if PD patients respond in the same way. Does PD affect the pleasure experienced from rhythmically complex music? Can musical complexity be used to treat deficiencies in PD, and what level of rhythmic complexity would be most effective? Participants listened to short musical sequences that varied in rhythmic complexity (low, medium, high), and rated experienced pleasure and desire to move on a 5-point Likert scale. PD patients without dopamine agonist (DA) medication rated higher scores on pleasure and desire to move for the low rhythmic complexity, while PD patients under DA medication and HC preferred medium complexity for pleasure and desire to move. PD patients prefer low complexity in music. This new knowledge can be used to design music which hits PD patients’ rhythmic “sweet spot” , potentially helping their integral rehabilitation. Victor Pando-Naude, M.D., M.Sc. Ph.D. Fellow tel. +45 52805306 E-mail:<> Center for Music in the Brain Institut for Klinisk Medicin, Health Aarhus Universitet Nørrebrogade 44, 01A-0-17 8000 Aarhus C Web:<>
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