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Music brings memories back to the brain injured
In the first study of its kind, two researchers have used popular music to help severely brain-injured patients recall personal memories. Amee Baird and Séverine Samson outline the results and conclusions of their pioneering research in the recent issue of the journal Neuropsychological Rehabilitation.
Although their study covered a small number of cases, it’s the very first to examine ‘music-evoked autobiographical memories’ (MEAMs) in patients with acquired brain injuries (ABIs), rather than those who are healthy or suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease.
In their study, Baird and Samson played extracts from ‘Billboard Hot 100’ number-one songs in random order to five patients. The songs, taken from the whole of the patient’s lifespan from age five, were also played to five control subjects with no brain injury. All were asked to record how familiar they were with a given song, whether they liked it, and what memories it invoked.
Doctors Baird and Samson found that the frequency of recorded MEAMs was similar for patients (38%–71%) and controls (48%–71%). Only one of the four ABI patients recorded no MEAMs. In fact, the highest number of MEAMs in the whole group was recorded by one of the ABI patients. In all those studied, the majority of MEAMs were of a person, people or a life period and were typically positive. Songs that evoked a memory were noted as more familiar and more liked than those that did not.
As a potential tool for helping patients regain their memories, Baird and Samson conclude that: “Music was more efficient at evoking autobiographical memories than verbal prompts of the Autobiographical Memory Interview (AMI) across each life period, with a higher percentage of MEAMs for each life period compared with AMI scores.”
“The findings suggest that music is an effective stimulus for eliciting autobiographical memories and may be beneficial in the rehabilitation of autobiographical amnesia, but only in patients without a fundamental deficit in autobiographical recall memory and intact pitch perception.”
The authors hope that their ground-breaking work will encourage others to carry out further studies on MEAMs in larger ABI populations. They also call for further studies of both healthy people and those with other neurological conditions to learn more about the clear relationship between memory, music and emotion; they hope that one day we might truly “understand the mechanisms underlying the unique memory enhancing effect of music”.
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The December 2013 Aurora CDs manufactured by Oasis CD were printed inside out. I have three recommendations:
For what it’s worth, Oasis did send me 16 CDs when I only ordered 10, so they are forgiven.
parapher asked: Hi Jay, I had a question about the binaural beats you include in some tracks. I was listening to Aurora and reading some of your blog entries and saw you mention gamma frequencies being used. You mentioned a "3-band Gamma Oscillation". This intrigued me because I believe gamma was used in some tracks of TMI's Going Home set,to which you also contributed. There's a distinct higher pitch set of frequencies that comes in at certain intervals, having 3 'peaks' between which the sound seems to waver.
I can’t say what the Monroe Institute did with the Hemi-Sync® on Going Home. My contribution was some music called Higher, which played a worthy if not minor portion of Going Home on the whole. The internet says that my portion is Focus 27, but I’ve never really had a chance to critically listen to (nor evaluate) the entire series in its final form.
As for Aurora, yes, there is a three-band Gamma series that cycles in every nine minutes or so. It comes in sets, like waves.
Anonymous asked: Do you have a guide for your music - what each album is good for? Some say things like release guilt or creative thinking but others have no info. Thanks! Bonnie
That’s been confusing ever since I tore down my website. I’ll fix that one day soon. For now, please accept this:
Automatic email notification:
Congratulations J.S. Epperson, the Aurora Compact Disc is now sold out! This is just an FYI, in case you’d like to add more inventory, delete the item from your site, or simply dance around.
C) simply dance around.
#WorkInProgress - I’ve been playing with a Hemi-Sync© 201B Binaural Beats generator, an iPad Mini Retina (recording with Garage Band) and an Apogee Duet for Mac and iOS. Also, pretty lights!