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Music Training to Reduce Cognitive Decline


This Phase II trial will explore the effects of music training on central auditory processing, cognition, and everyday function among older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
60 Years N/A All Yes
January 29, 2018
January 8, 2021

  • Ability to speak and understand English
  • Montreal Cognitive Assessment score of 20 to 30
  • Intact vision and adequate hearing
  • Music Reading Assessment score of 0 to 18

  • Depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale short form score of 5 or more)
  • Previous participation in University of South Florida Cognitive Aging Lab intervention studies
  • Previous participation in 10 or more hours of a computer-based cognitive intervention
  • Current enrollment in another research study
  • 4 or more years of formal music training
  • Ability to read music on 2 or more clefs
  • 4 or more years playing any 1 musical instrument
  • Currently practicing or participating in any music activities
  • Difficulty and pain in moving hands or fingers, neuropathy affecting hands, or tremor in either hand
  • Dementia, stroke, serious brain injury, or neurological disorder
  • Transient ischemic attack within the last 18 months
  • Clinical Dementia Rating Scale score of 1 or greater

Central auditory processing refers to the ability to understand the meaning of sounds and is a strong predictor of mild cognitive impairment and dementia. In this study researchers are testing the hypothesis that strengthening auditory processing can lessen cognitive decline.

Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two types of music training for 10 weeks. The 90-minute sessions will be led by a trainer twice a week in groups of up to 10 people and will include listening to music, learning about music, and learning to read music or play a musical instrument. Before and after the training program, participants will take tests that measure central auditory processing, cognition, and everyday function.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
University of South Florida
Tampa Florida 33620 Recruiting Cognitive Aging Lab
813 974 6703

University of South Florida

Name Phone Email
Jerri Edwards, PhD 813-974-6703


Interventions to Attenuate Cognitive Decline