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Music's role in Alzheimer's disease memories explained

Music's role in Alzheimer's disease memories explained
25th February 2009

A new study into the link between music, memory and emotion has explained why many Alzheimer's disease sufferers may have strong flashbacks when listening to a certain tune.

Brain activity was mapped in a number of people listening to music at the University of California, discovering that a certain region of the brain is able to link familiar notes with strong memories in many people, including those affected by the degenerative condition.

Associate professor of psychology Petr Janata, who led the research, said this hub in the mind is located in the prefrontal cortex, with familiar music serving as a soundtrack for a "mental movie".

He continued: "It calls back memories of a particular person or place and you might all of a sudden see that person's face in your mind's eye.

"Now we can see the association between those two things - the music and the memories."

Earlier this month, the Alzheimer's Society stated that more money was needed to fund research programmes such as this as many roads are currently leading to the possibility of a cure.

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