The Soundtrack Of Your Memory

March 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm 1 comment

The Music of Memories: image by emospada on Stock.Xchng
Music.

It has the power to move us emotionally, and get us moving physically.  Its rhythms can affect our brainwaves.  It stimulates multiple,  diverse areas of the brain, improving connectivity. And when we associate a particular piece of music with our experiences and emotions, it becomes a trigger that can help us to recall those experiences — who hasn’t had heard a familiar song, only to have a long-lost memory come flooding back in full detail?

And now, a group of researchers  at  the University of California believe that they can use the power of music to help Alzheimer’s patients hold onto their memories of their life just a little bit longer.

How does it work?

It turns out that an area of the  brain associated with music is also linked to powerful, vivid memories and emotions.  It also appears to be one of the most immune to the damage of Alzheimer’s.

That means for Alzheimer’s patients, some of their most important and cherished life memories may be among the last to go.

And since each time we recall a memory, it’s strengthened  – patients may be able to not only retrieve those precious memories, but reinforce and preserve them by using “soundtracks” of their lives, a play list of songs that have special significance to them.

While this doesn’t hold the promise of a cure or prevention for Alzheimer’s, it has the potential to comfort and improve the quality of patients lives significantly.   The biggest fear many patients have is of losing the memories of their most precious life moments;  if developing a way to use custom play lists and mp3 players can help them recall and preserve those memories? Music will have given them a marvelous gift indeed.

So, what songs make up *your* life’s soundtrack?
What memories are forever linked to certain music for you?

Entry filed under: Be Mentally Active. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. SunnyD  |  March 10, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Wonderful post; music is so vital to life. Saw a film that shows the hows and whys of music and arts treats and beats Alzheimer’s. Really remarkable.

    Edited: Unfortunately, the link to the film that SunnyD left doesn’t work – I’m interested, if you see this and care to resubmit the link, or just provide the title and I’ll track it down! Tori

    Reply

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About This Blog


A healthy mind and brain is key to a healthy, active life. Come along for the ride as we explore the basics of brain health, with topics including:
  • Physical Exercise
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Authored by Tori Deaux
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