IAM Lab News and Stories

  • Dialog Series: How Creative Forces Work Together to Heal the Military Using the Arts

    Following an improvised explosive device detonation during a military mission, Captain Luis Avila was left paralyzed and unable to speak.  With intensive physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and music therapy, Avila began his recovery. The music therapy provided by the Creative Forces program proved to be an essential rehabilitation tool and helped Avila regain […]

  • Group Singing Provides a Good Refrain for the Brain

    As the holiday season kicks into high gear, the sounds of choral singing are everywhere. But group singing has been growing in popularity in all seasons. According to the Chorus Impact Study, participation in American choral groups rose from 14% in 2008 to 17% in 2018. Today, more than 54 million Americans sing in choruses. […]

  • Marilyn Ness and “Charm City”: The Power of Film for Change

    For the fifth year running, Baltimore is set to exceed 300 homicides in 2019.  With the New York Times calling this violence a “tragedy”, it is easy to fall into despair about whether change is possible at all. Marilyn Ness’ documentary “Charm City” takes a different tack on the problems the city faces.  In the […]

  • How Music Can Help People with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

    In 2014, the documentary “Alive Inside” popularized the notion that music can be used in some patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) or dementia to elicit responsiveness and memories. In a review of the film, psychologist Rick Scheidt remarks that power of the film lies in showing how music causes the patients to “move instantly from […]

  • Dialog Series: A State of the Union on Arts in Health and What It Means for Hopkins

    At IAM Lab’s most recent Dialog Series talk, Jill Sonke, Director of the Center for Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida, gave “a little State of the Union address” on the field of Arts in Health. Before an audience of healthcare practitioners and researchers, Sonke also sought to lay the groundwork for a […]

  • Reading Fiction May Improve Real-Life Relationships

    Great literature can transport us to times and places outside our own existence. As we turn each page, the characters and plots become more and more real to us. This experience of being immersed in a good book is more than entertaining; it also may enhance our real lives as social beings. A number of […]

  • Dialog Series: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma

    Jim Gordon, MD presenting

    “There are two common and dangerous misconceptions about psychological trauma,” states Dr. James S. Gordon in the introduction to his new book, “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing After Trauma.” “The first is that trauma comes to only some of us…The second is that trauma is an unmitigated disaster, causing permanent emotional crippling, requiring never-ending […]

  • IAM Lab and Neuroaesthetics Partners Featured in Johns Hopkins Magazine

    Johns Hopkins Magazine recently profiled the International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM Lab) in the Fall 2019 issue, highlighting its growing body of work in the field of neuroaesthetics—at Hopkins and around the world. IAM Lab executive director Susan Magsamen spoke with Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson about the vision of the lab as a hub of […]

  • Nigel Osborne: World-Class Composer Uses Music to Heal Children Traumatized by War

    Fear courses through your blood as the sounds of sniper shots surround you; the buildings you once recognized as your neighborhood are reduced to rubble on the ground. The destruction traumatizes you and your family; your children struggle to find the words to describe their feelings and regularly wake up from nightmares.  One day, an […]

  • Bringing Harmony to the Brain: The Neuroscience of Music and Parkinson’s Disease

    As anyone who has heard “their song” can attest, the right music has the power to make you move. Now healthcare providers are trying to harness this power to help patients with a neurological motor disorder, Parkinson’s disease (PD). Over the past three decades, researchers have begun to uncover the neural basis of music’s effect […]