Thursday, February 26, 2009
Music can stir up to tears, and a few tones of a song are enough to feelings and memories to recall from decades ago. How is that possible? A music scholar from California, thinks the answer, and hopes that his knowledge to help Alzheimer's patients.
There is hardly a man who is not sensitive to the effects of music. Scientists are coming to more research into, and they know to reach a broad public with their findings. Daniel Levitin was a sales success in 2007 with the book 'This is your brain on music, and the well-known neurologist Oliver Sacks did a year later just as well with "Musicophilia."
In Sacks's book is the special relationship between music and memory clear. A good example is his patient Clive Wearing, a musician by a brain infection nothing could remember. After a few seconds if he forgot what it was done. Yet he is the most complex pieces of music to play, even though he was at high and low volume they do not know.
Another patient Sacks felt as a result of brain damage, no emotion anymore. His behavior and communication was weaned each feeling. But as he began to sing, he did that with all the feeling and emotion in the music fit. Music was the only access he had to his emotions.
Almost everyone knows the connection between music, memory and emotions from my own experience. A few notes of a song may be long enough to remember experiences in detail to relive. A hot summer day from your childhood or the first dance with your first love may be music in all their intensity to overcome.
How is it possible that music is such intense memories and emotions can make? The Californian music researcher Petr Janata think that they have uitgedokterd and described his findings in Cerebral Cortex.
Janata showed some of his students fragments thirty songs heard while their brain activity was measured using fMRI scanner. This brain scanner looks where the blood into the brain to receive roomt and gives a picture of where the most activity. To ensure that the music could call an association with the history of the students chose Janata songs from the top-100 in years when the subjects between eight and eighteen years old.
After each song, the students what they thought of the music, and a special memory called. After the session, they had to tell what songs called the most intense memories, and what memories they were.
The students knew an average of seventeen of the thirty songs, and associating with thirteen memories. The tunes that the most powerful emotional reactions called by students, called the most remarkable memories. And at times there was the most activity in the dorsal part of the medial prefrontal cortex. In other words: a piece of cerebral cortex in the front of the head (see photo).
This result is a confirmation of earlier research Janata has done. He had a 'card' of a number of music pieces, which the development of a track was issued: from agreement to agreement, from phrase to phrase and melody to melody. When subjects listened to these tracks, then showed their brain that these developments in the music bijhielden in the same area in the cerebral cortex. Also called the all memories.
"The nice thing is that the parts of the brains of the developments in the music track, the same components that respond to how music is connected to memories," says Janata.
That can be good news for people with Alzheimer's disease. They still respond well to music associated with their memories. Music seems to be a real possibility. An mp3 player with a personal selection of songs would be quality of life of Alzheimer patients in a cheap and effective way to improve.
So do not look surprised if Alzheimer's patients will soon be happy to face up to muse with headphones. They are more beautiful than all the episodes from their lives to relive.
Construction of Streets
Petr Janata, 'The neural architecture of music-evoked autobiographical memories, "in Cerebral Cortex, February 24, 2009