When we think about memory skills, we usually only consider the ability to remember facts, telephone numbers, dentist appointments, and the like – all the day-to-day details involved in our routines and our ordinary lives. Forgetting a doctor’s appointment is a small thing, if annoying. Ultimate Memory can help you learn the skills you need to be able to eliminate these small annoyances, as well as improve your ability to remember what you read, who you meet, and the information vital to your career and professional success. You can even learn the ways to help keep your brain healthy and active into old age, and to prevent or slow the natural decline many people experience as they grow older.
There are millions of people, however, who have not had the advantage of learning these memory improvement tricks over the years, and hundreds of thousands of them are in long-term care facilities, rest homes, and retirement communities, often unable to remember even family members. Some of this memory loss occurs due to Alzheimer’s or other age-related dementia, or traumatic injury or disease. As studies have shown, some of this memory loss is also generally due to lack of stimulation for the brain which, like any other physical system, will atrophy without regular use. Researchers have spent many years trying to find ways to help people suffering from memory loss get their memories back. However, an accidental discovery by social worker Dan Cohen may provide one of the more intriguing possibilities for memory improvement.
Cohen was working at a long-term care facility and on a whim decided to bring in iPods for his patients, many of whom spent the entire day slumped in wheelchairs, not speaking to anyone, and not able to remember their past or take much of an interest in their present or future. To Cohen’s amazement, once they started to listen to music from their teens and twenties – the music they grew up with – it sparked their interest and they seemed to come alive, suddenly able to recall the songs, the events where they heard those songs, and details of their lives they’d forgotten. What’s more, they were eager to share the songs and stories with others.
Cohen, in conjunction with renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks, have spent the last few years working with patients, studying the effect of music on long-term memory recall, and inspiring scientists to look into the power of music and its effect on the brain. You can read Sacks’ book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain to get more information on how music and memory are connected, and watch Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory (the documentary produced by Cohen) to see the amazing results and reactions of people who have found their memories restored to them through music.
For more information on music and memory, read this post.