Science activist Jeffrey Epstein and Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation back Harvard study on advantages of music to premature babies

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Feb 22, 2014 04:40 PM EST

Jeffrey Epstein and his eponymous foundation has substantially backed a study done by Harvard University's Institute for Music and Brain Science on the positive effects of music on infants born premature, a statement released by The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation said.

Jeffrey Epstein formed the foundation in 2000 with the aim of supporting cutting edge science the world over. A money manager and philanthropist in the fields of science and education, Epstein is currently the Chairman and CEO of the Financial Trust Company, information from the foundation website showed.

According to the statement, the study was done together with the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. By examining and analyzing the autonomic and motor responses of 13 premature babies at the Neonatal Special Care Unit of Massachusetts General Hospital, the study looked at how vocal music lowers stress, the statement said.

A clinical trial model was used to test the effect of blood test punctures on the heart and respiratory rates of the infants. Within 115 seconds, seven babies got auditory stimulation while the other six did not get any. In all the infants, the punctures resulted to their increased heart and respiratory rate. However, the heart rates of those infants that received vocal music stimulation decreased 12% over 10 minutes compared to those that were not stimulated. Auditory stimulation, however, did not significantly affect the infant's respiratory rates, the statement said.

Backer Jeffrey Epstein said in the statement about the results, "There is a clear correlation between music and stress levels. And that is an exciting first step."

Although the use of music in medicine is not new, Harvard and the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation paved the way for "the first real empirical study to unfold," the statement said.

Aside from the support given to this study, the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has also gifted Harvard with $30 million to form the Program of Evolutionary Dynamics. This is the first department of its kind to use the mathematical viewpoint to study evolutionary biology, the statement said.

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