Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dartmouth Researchers Find Where Musical Memories Are Stored In The Brain

Date:
April 26, 2005
Source:
Dartmouth University
Summary:
A group of Dartmouth researchers has learned that the brain's auditory cortex, the part that handles information from your ears, holds on to musical memories.

David Kraemer.
Credit: Photo by Joe Mehling

A group of Dartmouth researchers has learned that the brain's auditory cortex, the part that handles information from your ears, holds on to musical memories.

Related Articles


In a study titled "Sound of silence activates auditory cortex" published in the March 10 issue of Nature, the Dartmouth team found that if people are listening to music that is familiar, they mentally call upon auditory imagery, or memories, to fill in the gaps if the music cuts out. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity, the researchers found that study participants could mentally fill in the blanks if a familiar song was missing short snippets.

"We played music in the scanner [fMRI], and then we hit a virtual 'mute' button," says first author David Kraemer, a graduate student in Dartmouth's Psychological and Brain Sciences Department. "We found that people couldn't help continuing the song in their heads, and when they did this, the auditory cortex remained active even though the music had stopped."

The researchers say that this finding extends previous work on auditory imagery and parallels work on visual imagery, which both show that sensory-specific memories are stored in the brain regions that created those events. Their study, however, is the first to investigate a kind of auditory imagery typical of everyday experience.

"It's fascinating that although the ear isn't actually hearing the song, the brain is perceptually hearing it," says coauthor William Kelley, Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth.

The researchers also found that lyrics impact the different auditory brain regions that are recruited when musical memories are reconstructed. If the music went quiet during an instrumental song, like during the theme from the Pink Panther, individuals activated many different parts of the auditory cortex, going farther back in the processing stream, to fill in the blanks. When remembering songs with words, however, people simply relied on the more advanced parts of the auditory processing stream.

"It makes us think that lyrics might be the focus of the memory," says Kraemer.

The other researchers on this study are Professor C. Neil Macrae and graduate student Adam Green, both with the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department at Dartmouth.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dartmouth University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Dartmouth University. "Dartmouth Researchers Find Where Musical Memories Are Stored In The Brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050425202958.htm>.
Dartmouth University. (2005, April 26). Dartmouth Researchers Find Where Musical Memories Are Stored In The Brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050425202958.htm
Dartmouth University. "Dartmouth Researchers Find Where Musical Memories Are Stored In The Brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050425202958.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Researchers for the first time identified human&apos;s innate preference for associating low and high numbers with the left and right respectively in another species. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) You can elevate your mood by having a meal in a glass. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) offers the best &apos;feel good&apos; smoothies and shakes chock full of depression-relieving ingredients...including apples, berries, lemons, cucumbers, papaya, kiwi, spinach, kale, whey protein, matcha, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) According to a poll out of the U.K., eldest siblings feel more responsible and successful than their younger siblings. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins