Beatles songs improve memory in older people

(ORDO NEWS) — Listening to your favorite music, including The Beatles, helps improve memory in older adults. This conclusion was made by neurologists and psychiatrists from the United States.

It is known that listening to pleasant music activates the reward system of the brain and can have a calming effect on the elderly. However, scientists do not fully understand how such compositions can improve memory and stop the development of dementia.

A team of researchers from Northeastern University, Berklee College of Music, Brigham Hospital and Harvard Medical School (USA) decided to find out.

Beatles songs improve memory in older people 2
US scientists are conducting a study on the effect of music on memory

Neurologists and psychiatrists asked a group of 16 elderly Bostonians (eight men and eight women) aged 54 to 89 to listen to personalized playlists daily for an hour for eight consecutive weeks and then record their reactions to music.

At the same time, a team of doctors using MRI scanned the brains of the participants before and after listening to musical compositions. For each person, personal playlists were compiled , which included both self-selected songs and other music (classical, pop and rock), including hits from The Beatles.

After scanning, the participants rated how much they like or dislike this or that piece of music. The scientists found that listening to your favorite music, in fact, created an auditory conduit directly to the medial prefrontal cortex, the brain’s reward center. It is this area that is one of the areas that loses activity in older people, especially those with dementia.

Music that was familiar and liked by the participants (including songs by The Beatles) activated the auditory and reward areas of the brain more than other compositions.

Moreover, those that the participants chose themselves provided an even stronger connection between these two zones. The scientists hope that their research will help develop new therapies for the elderly suffering from cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders.


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