Understanding Music-Based Interventions to Encourage Social-Emotional Development in Groups of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (UNMUTED)



January 2021 - January 2024

Approximately 10% of adult psychiatric inpatients in Europe are individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Recent research emphasizes the need to integrate modern therapies in a non-verbal, affective-embodied oriented framework. One such framework, music-based intervention has become a powerful tool for enhancing social-emotional competence in children with ASD, but little is known about the effects of this approach on adults with ASD. This proposal, therefore, aims to renew scientific knowledge about the ways in which music-based interventions foster social-emotional development in a population of adults with ASD. It will target a mechanistic and multimodal understanding of the key components of action, and their processes, in music-based interventions. It proposes a four-step, multidisciplinary plan that expands on the ongoing work, aiming to (1) collect audio recordings and other non-musical information from group-based music interventions, (2) extract relevant features from those data, (3) create models that describe developmental processes within single interventions and across interventions, and (4) use those models to inform and improve future music-based interventions, and arts-based interventions in general.