Even in patients with advanced Alzheimer’s Disease, familiar music from long ago can awaken memories and prompt interactive behaviors. But how does that happen? A U.C. Davis researcher is working to unravel the neural mechanisms within the brain.
Much of the research that has been done so far on how music stimulates the brain has used musical samples that are not particularly stimulating. Dr. Petr Janata, associate professor of Psychology at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, says that a new round of studies should work with recognizable samples, and could discover that the brain encodes different types of music in different ways or areas.
That’s one area of research that Janata hopes to explore himself, along with expanding the studies he’s done on Alzheimer’s patients to include different age groups.
Dr. Peter Janata will discuss his research into “Music, Memories and the Brain" in a public presentation Friday, Feb. 19 at 8 pm in the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa, a benefit event for the Sonoma County Bach Society.
You can read more about research into the associations between music, memory and Alzheimer's Disease in this Wall Street Journal article.