News Archive 2022

UCC President launches MINdDS website with Dr Eva McMullan, Professor Yvonne Nolan and 'friends!'

5 Jan 2022

UCC President John O’Halloran welcomed Dr Eva Mc Mullan Project Leader, Professor Yvonne Nolan Research Supervisor, and members of the Rhythm family to the President's Office to launch the new MINdDS UCC Research Project Website

The MINdDS Website showcases exciting research on the impact of music on brain function in children with Down Syndrome undertaken by colleagues in UCC with expertise in music, neuroscience and psychology.  

The MINdDS research project (Music as an Intervention in the Neurological development of children with Downs Syndrome) is an innovative and exciting interdisciplinary research project based in University College Cork, funded by the College of Medicine and Health (CoMH). The project, brings together academic researchers from the diverse fields of musicneuroscience and psychology in a study to assess the cognitive and neuro-biological effects of a specially designed music programme on children with Down Syndrome.

Aunty Dotty Minim (pink glasses) shows President John O'Halloran the new MINdDS website after its launch in UCC, under the watchful eye of Granny Semi-Breve, and Silly Dilly Semi-Quaver, Dr Eva Mc Mullan, MINdDS Project Leader and Professor Yvonne Nolan MINdDS Research Supervisor and Cara Crotchet.

At the launch of the MINdDS website President John O'Halloran commented on the MINdDS project and recognised the relevance, importance and impact of Dr McMullan's work;

The MINdDS project reflects the interdisciplinary collaborations that are now being harnessed within the University to ensure excellence in research. Bringing the fields of psychology and neuroscience together with music, this wonderful work aims to nurture and celebrate all childrens’ ability, by exploring the impact of a music intervention in the lives of children with Down Syndrome. This much needed research will not only resonate on a national level, but also have an impact internationally. Here at UCC, I am delighted to support Dr. McMullan's important and progressive research that will encourage further investigation into the vital role music has in the lives of children of all abilities. 

The aims of this project are to understand the behavioural, neural, and hormonal correlates associated with musical training and to establish whether it can be used as a possible intervention for children with Down Syndrome. Musical training constitutes a potential way to improve behavioural outcomes in cognition, however, the specific benefits are not well understood.

Celebrating ability’ is at the core of the MINdDS project . The team believes this is a powerful tool which enhances learning and supports further development of ability. An eight-week music intervention programme forms a key part of the study and feedback from families has been tremendous.

The MINdDS Website developed by Bereniece Riedewald, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, is a showcase for the work that this energetic team are undertaking.

Leading the MINdDS project is Dr Eva McMullan, Department of Music UCC, with supervisors Professor Yvonne Nolan, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, Dr Jason Chan and Dr Annalisa Setti from the School of Applied Psychology, UCC. 

If you have a child aged between 4 and 8 years and would like to participate in a study which will assess the benefits of engaging with music, join us on the MINdDS website to get more details. 

Dr Eva McMullan and the MINdDS project was recently profiled in an article the Evening Echo which is now available on .

Photographs Tomás Tyner


For more on this story contact:

News item B. Riedewald

Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Anatamaíocht agus Néareolaíocht

Room 2.33, 2nd Floor, Western Gateway Building, University College, Cork, Ireland