Amusia is a pathology that manifests itself in violations of the musical ear, in particular the inability to perform and perceive music, to write and understand musical notations. In life situations, this violation can be recognized by its reduced ability to recognize well-known musical works, as well as the impossibility of an exact or roughly repeated combination of rhythms (tapping, whistling, etc.). Amusia occurs when a traumatic or congenital organic lesion of the temporal regions of the cortex (in right-handers - the right hemisphere).
It is necessary to distinguish between amusia and lesions of the auditory analyzer itself, as well as other mental disorders that affect the incorrect perception of reality. Often, the violation is combined with auditory agnosia, when a person ceases to distinguish not only the melody of musical works, but also the everyday sounds of the surrounding space and the noises that accompany life.
What it is
Amusia is associated with a violation of the ability to adequately perceive sounds, in particular, melody. Usually such a violation is diagnosed in people according to their professional duties related to music (singers, performers, composers, and others), but can also occur in people who are not related to the sound field. The percentage of detecting amusia among performers is higher for the simple reason that an ordinary person rarely needs the ability to correctly understand or play a melody, and therefore, when it is lost, they rarely seek advice.
The presence of this deviation does not affect the damage to life and its quality, and many may not know about the presence of deformation until they are faced with the need to read musical notation. The only inconvenience that can be taken for granted at amusia is psychological discomfort when visiting places with musical orientation (operas, concerts, etc.), as well as in one percent of cases a person can be completely deprived of the ability to hear music.
Amuzia is not a concept that replaces the absence of a musical ear, although its violation lies at the basis of the possible development of a violation of music perception on an organic level. Moreover, the violation is often accompanied by difficulties in perceiving not only the melody, but also human speech, various sounds and noises that were perceived earlier. It should be noted that amusia manifests itself not only in the inability to perceive rhythmic works and recognize them, but also to independently reproduce famous melodies or play musical instruments, since the perception of notes and the ability to reproduce a given rhythm are disturbed.
Despite the fact that there is amusia due to the defeat of the cerebral cortex, it is possible to resume the functions of perception, as well as reproduction of the melody. There is a set of certain activities that develop musical ear, as well as physiotherapy, improving the conductivity of the nerve paths in the region of the hemisphere, which is responsible for the recognition of melodies.
Causes of pathology
The causes of amusia are in the defeat of the cerebral cortex. These lesions are often local in nature, since otherwise, more serious pathologies develop, affecting not only the ability to perceive melodies. Musical hearing distortion occurs due to the defeat of the temporal regions of the right hemisphere, which is responsible for an adequate or distorted perception of music.
On the basis of the nature of the occurrence of a lesion, there is a first division of amusia into types of congenital and acquired. When a defect in the temporal lobe of the hemisphere arises due to abnormal development of the brain (fetal or early postnatal period), it makes sense to speak of congenital amusia. This pathology is more severe from a correctional as well as diagnostic position.
Acquired amusia is usually diagnosed immediately after the onset of a defect, and also has higher chances to restore the previous level of perception of musical works. The chances for the occurrence of acquired amusia appear when various parts of the brain are damaged due to traumatic brain injuries (this includes not only concussions, but also bruises, injuries, fragmentation hits and surgical interventions). In addition, local brain damage can be caused by various somatic diseases in which there is a detrimental effect on the cortex (meningitis, encephalitis, viral autoimmune diseases, etc.).
Amuzia does not affect speech in its disorders, therefore, it is difficult to diagnose it at the early stages, with the exception of traumatic cases when this parameter is checked separately. Initial manifestations can be noticed by the person himself, when the perception of household noises changes, but the main thing here is to distinguish the inadequate perception of sounds due to the disturbance of the auditory area from the general mental disorders of the pathological spectrum (psychoses, hallucinations, etc.).
Often, amusia is the first sign of a serious brain disease, such as a tumor or cysts. Here the cause is not a trauma, but a complex primary disease, the diagnosis of which must be completed with the accompanying symptoms of memory loss, hearing impairment or visual perception.
Types of amusia
The cause of sensory amusia is identical to that of motor, the difference lies solely in manifestations. When sensory amusia there are violations of the perception of music, while there is a partial preservation of the ability to play melodies and rhythms. People whose profession is directly related to music may notice a loss of ability to establish a pause between two notes, as well as other melody time intervals.
Motor amusia (motor), also referred to as vocal, on the contrary, allows you to fully and adequately perceive musical works, but at the same time, the ability to reproduce famous melodies, a sequence of notes or a repetition of a given rhythm is impaired. In the context of professional activity, the first signs may be that the performer may have difficulty in memorizing a new melody.
Thus, with sensory amusia, music perception causes a problem, and with motor amusia, reproduction causes a problem. None of the species is critical for human life and health, and is most often detected only when you try to master a musical instrument or vocal with the exception of brain injuries.
The only guaranteed treatment has not been developed at the moment, however, there are recommendations for the development of other channels of perception and restriction of visiting places with loud sounds in order to prevent unpleasant and painful sensations. With acquired amusia, it is necessary to eliminate the root cause, after which it is possible to restore musical abilities.