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Topic: Music And Memory (Read 1593 times) previous topic - next topic
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Music And Memory

Today, I found some CDs, that I haven't listened to in years.  Probably been since I graduated from high school.  I'm now 28.  I dusted them off and gave a few a spin in my CD player.

I found it amazing how well I remembered the music and listening to it in my youth.  I remembered my old (and first) CD player boombox.  I remembered the lyrics to the songs.  I remembered events that happened around the time I was first listening to the CDs.

Contrast this with what I remember of my high school education and its incredible.  I can barely recall what subjects I took my senior year, let alone details of the subjects.

I'm not sure what about music makes me so powerfully remember it, but I wish I could take whatever it is and use it to enhance other parts of my memory.


Music And Memory

Reply #1
I totally agree.  It is amazing how much you remember when you play your old tracks from the good old days.

I now wonder if listening to music while studying for exams would have improved my grades?


Music And Memory

Reply #2
Memory and the brain works through association. In music, the brain associates words and sentences with a certain melody which makes them "easier to access" for the brain. The more associations "a memory image" has, the more accessible it is and the faster you recall it. Not to mention the repetitive nature of music listening. If you listen to a song (and the lyrics) for 150 times, no wonder that you remember them better than high school subjects you attended only once.

The human brain has a pretty good data filtering and priorization engine. If learning some subject feels boring or repulsive, you won't remember it for extended periods of time. Your brain discards unnecessary data automatically for you.

There was an interesting test in one psychology book. It had a list of 30 words with simple instructions; stare at the words for a minute and then put the book away. Now write as many words as you can remember to a paper sheet. I remembered 6. Then was that same test again but now with different instructions; create a story from these words, again use one minute. I remembered 29 of them.

Some actors can easily remember entire Shakespeare's Hamlet by heart. Or Monty Python's Quest For The Holy Grail

Motivation, repetition and associations are the key to remembering. Oh yes, that and trauma

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