Music, the great architect of our memories

Music, the great architect of our memories

(ETX Daily Up) – Every day, memory encodes and stores information that contributes to building our identity. Emotions play a major role in the memorization process, although scientists are still determining to what extent. A new study sheds some light on this mystery through music.

this searchIt was published in the journal Nature Communications, by three researchers from the University of California (UCLA) and the University of Columbia. It shows how the emotions induced by the Fourth Art contribute to creating distinct and lasting memories.

To reach this conclusion, the scientists asked songwriters to compose melodies intended to evoke feelings of happiness, anxiety, sadness, or calm, with varying intensities. They then played it to 96 volunteers, all adults. The latter, at the same time, had to imagine stories based on several “neutral” images (that is, not associated with positive or negative emotions) that they saw on the computer.

The academics then distracted the study participants before asking them to find the order in which they saw the different images. They also polled them about their perception of time throughout the experiment, to see if it changed depending on the music they listened to.

This experimental protocol made it possible to highlight the fact that emotional fluctuations induced by music give a memorable character to rather banal experiences, facilitating their memorization by the brain. “The changes in emotions caused by the music created boundaries between episodes that made it easier for volunteers to remember what they saw and when they saw it,” explained Mason McLay, a UCLA psychology doctoral student and lead author of the study. statement.

Moreover, Mason Maclay and colleagues found that Music It affects our sense of time. In fact, the volunteers had difficulty remembering the exact order in which the images were broadcast when they listened to melodies that were radically different from each other. Conversely, they had a more accurate perception of time when the music did not affect their emotions as much. Thus, they remembered the order in which the visuals were broadcast more easily when they moved from the neutral to the happy state than when the musical excerpts made them sad.

Although this study has some limitations, it opens up interesting perspectives on how to do this Music can be used for therapeutic purposesEspecially in people suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress syndrome. For good reason, in stressful situations, the body secretes hormones that can affect communication between brain cells and affect the memorization process. The Fourth Art can remedy this and thus help the people subject to it anxiety To nourish and preserve their memory.

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