Approximately 10% of adult psychiatric inpatients in Europe are individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Current therapies for these inpatients emphasize cognitive adjustment and do not account for specific qualities of autism. 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. In contrast with current studies that focus on outcome measures or success rates of interventions, we will target a mechanistic and multimodal understanding of the key components of action, and their processes, in music-based interventions. We propose a four-step, multidisciplinary plan that expands on our ongoing work in which we will
(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.

Research unit: Music & Drama

Duration: 2021 - 2024

Funding: FWO


  • Leading partner:
  • Project partner:
    LUCA School of Arts


Dr. Jos De Backer

Dr. Katrien Foubert

Andreas Nollet