Music and Memory

Music has always helped people express emotions and feeling to the world, it has also helped people explore frontiers of spirituality, healing, concentration and Alzheimer’s

One of my favorite research topic of 2015 was about the effect music has on a person’s memory. It fascinated me so much that I started reading medical papers and research about what exactly happens in the human brain while listening to music and can it be helpful to us in some or the other way.

Guess what Music can actually help us in a lot of ways, and that does not include moving on after a breakup ūüėČ but on a serious note, it helps us focus, heal, study and in some cases reduce the effects of dementia. Don’t believe me? Stick around for a while and I will prove that to you.

Music, as we all know, is something which has always been closer to our hearts, remember the time when your feet started moving or your fingers started tapping just after hearing your favorite song on the internet. Well it does have a scientific explanation to it and it has to do a lot with neuroscience, It’s not that boring trust me I will try to explain it in simple words.

The image on the left is well an edited picture of your brain and on the right is an edited picture of neurons which reside within your brain. To be precise they are the building blocks of your Nervous system which include your brain. And for those of who are not aware neurons form a major portion of your brain, you have as many as 100 billion (100,000,000,000) neurons in your brain right now (that is a lot!!). These neurons serve as a messenger in your body and transmit and receive impulses in the form of electricity via talking to adjacent neurons gathering data from all organs and submitting it to the brain for further processing.

So the talking or communication between two neurons is called neural pathway which is an important concept to understand how music helps patients with dementia to remember memories from the past. So when you listen to your favorite music at a party or while studying to dance or focus the type of music you listen to have a big effect on these neurons which helps you in a certain way to dance like a wild party animal or to study long hours at the library.

Ever wondered your brain getting with millions of neurons while listening to a beautiful symphony or Rock song. Well, now you know how your brain is responding the next time you listen to your favorite beats, below-shown diagram is an MRI image of the same.

brain on music
Source: Soundmattersblog.com Brain on Music

Coming to the next part of our blog, how is music helping people with dementia and Alzheimers. There is an active research going on at Alzheimer’s foundation of America,¬†Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging of Hunter College, CUNY, and many other medical institutes. There are dedicated websites which are completely focused on this research some of which are Music&Memory,¬†Alzheimer’s foundation of America, Brain Journal¬†and much more.
I also came across a documentary on Netflix called ‘Alive Inside‘ which is completely related to the topic we are discussing, and it’s so well directed that critics have appreciated that documentary for a long time. In the film, there are several cases which have been shown beautifully how patients with Alzheimer’s respond to music giving their loved ones a hope to communicate and connect with them.

Watch an excerpt from the Movie ‘Alive Inside’ here.

So how does music do it? How is it helping people remember stuff from their past who normally cannot even recognize their own family members?
According to¬†Alzheimer’s foundation of America its because:

This happens because rhythmic and other well-rehearsed responses require little to no cognitive or mental processing. They are influenced by the motor center of the brain that responds directly to auditory rhythmic cues. A person’s ability to engage in music, particularly rhythm playing and singing, remains intact late into the disease process because, again, these activities do not mandate cognitive functioning for success.

src : Alzheimers foundation of America website

Music has always been an important part of humans life since ages it has been used to heal from within, or to go to a complete state of relaxation while doing meditation or hypnotherapy or towards inducing the brain in a trance state after consumption of Ayahuasca which is a brew made by Shamans which after consuming can show you a completely different universe within your mind.

So take out your headphones and lit your neurons on fire!!
If there are any questions related to the topic please comment below or email me at rohanshirodkar29@gmail.com. I will surely answer all your questions. 

Finding Yogi

Who is a true yogi? Should we even follow a spiritual teacher in today’s world? I try to answer some of these questions in this blog.

Please be advised that the following post is my view on the topic, and I am not pointing a finger at any individual person whom you believe is a true Yogi/Sadhu/God men. I am presenting my personal perspective on this topic. 

“Not all people are same, some are real some are just good actors”

Me and you both are in search of our true self, our roots, the real meaning of our life. We have asked this question to our self, to our elder’s, to the priest’s in temple’s or any worship places we have been but still we did not find a clear answer. So finally we gave up and surrendered our self to the new generation con-men of our society who take help of our weakness and make it their own strength. Which resulted in a start of a generation where these Baba’s started Raping girls, making money from poor people’s hard earned money, some started purchasing properties, Cars, and many other things, all under the name of showing you or answering your so called “complex questions about true meaning of our soul” which you have not yet found for yourself. Having millions of dollars worth of cash, properties, investments, These so called ‘BABA’s’ take an important part of your brain which is the Subconscious mind and play tricks on it. By showing fake miracles, speaking godly words and phrases, taking non-sense and made-up meanings of an original context of a literature, and at the end of the day you claim to have seen a ‘God’ in that fake person.

History of this world had some wonderful and enlightened souls such as Buddha, Jesus, Sai Baba, Swami Vivekananda etc. who impacted the world in a beautiful manner, a true eye awakening moment for the people living on this planet. Then there were some prominent saints too, such as Sant Tukaram, Eknath, Namdev who lived in 16th century India who devoted their entire life in search of God and wrote beautiful poems, verses, books and various articles on the real meaning of god and most importantly stressed on an important part of “helping others” as a first duty of a person towards god. Never did these pure souls took a single penny from people attending their “Satsang”(A meeting in which saints share their knowledge with people). But things have changed, and it gave rise to Business minded baba’s making money out of something which is so basic as Yoga or as “complex” as an explanation of your soul. The mere need of getting answers from someone who knows anything about our true duties, present life, afterlife, how to wash away sins etc. gave rise to ‘God Business’. Isn’t the term a bit harsh to read and realize the reality? Also, does it present a hysterical irony that the person who claims to wash away your sins is committing a bigger sin by selling his knowledge, products, books, Ganga’s holy water, photos of god’s, bracelets and necklaces having photos of God? To be frank, I don’t believe in the concept of “Personal God”, those who are hearing this word for the first time, I will present a small explanation.

Personal God is a term which is used when people take their own concept of God and follow them blindly excluding all other types and forms of God. These people don’t believe in 1 common God but in billions of separate forms. Like a person who believes to be a follower of Lord Shiva will not believe or follow other person’s god-like Lord Jesus or Lord Buddha. This is what I refer to as Personal God. The common Psychology behind having a need to follow one particular type of god is because the human mind cannot believe in something which he cannot see, that is why the concept of God being everywhere and in every individual does not get followed by many people and we end up choosing our own form of God. I asked a person who was a follower of Lord Shiva that why did he choose him, Did he like the way he meditates or Did he like the background history of how he was created, the explanation he gave, made me realize how hilarious the world is. He said that my parents said that I should follow him, and once he had gone to a church with his friends and his parents got mad at him and told him not to follow any other religion other than our own.

The reason I am discussing the topic of personal god and different religion is because deep down that is the real reason for racial discrimination, riots in the name of religion, wars, and discrimination of religion.

And these con-men take help of our weakness and turn their small investment of few hundred rupees into crores of Indian rupees.

I guess the search for a true yogi is looking in a mirror, maybe read some good books and question the reality of the world and become more self-aware of our true self by helping people who need us.