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. 

The Big Questions

Sometimes in life we have some questions which we cannot ask everyone because we are sure they won’t be able to answer them, this blog will guide you towards what you can do about it.

Who am I? Is everything in this universe connected? Is the observable universe an illusion? Why everything in Nature happens in a perfect order? Why is there a perfect symmetry in all living and non-living object? Are we living in a multidimensional and multiverse at every moment? What happens after we die? Does the consciousness still continue to exist?

These are just some of the questions I am sure you have asked yourself or googled about if you have ever been interested¬†in knowing something more than what is taught in today’s educational institutions or just for exploring the frontiers of spirituality.

I was always curious and still am curious about finding answers to some of these questions and believe me the more I ask, I get closer towards finding the answer but with more complicated and complex questions. ¬†I know this life is not just about getting an education, then a job or just about earning money and getting along with life it’s about something more important more meaningful. ¬†And then the biggest question is If we are able to question about this stuff, it is possible to find answers for them. Because if there were no answers towards some concept we cannot even question it.

For Eg: When we think about questioning our non-existence, it’s difficult to comprehend the concept of us being non-existent. And we cannot enquire about it further because the moment you think about something it starts the existence of everything.

But some questions like consciousness and its relationship with our intellect and memories is possible and the answers can be explored when we are in a state of deep thinking or relaxed state. In our daily life, we cannot think about such concepts because of all the chaos which is going on in our mind. For such questions to be answered we need to be in a meditative state because we do not need any stress or chatter going on in our mind.

Every spiritual person who has ever come across any theories or answers towards these big questions will be in a state of relaxation and like a sudden bolt of lightning he is like “Ohh that’s why it exists”. It’s unique and personal every time with everyone.

The basis of all religion have always been on the basis of such questions and that has motivated people to search and explore spirituality that is looking within their selves for the answers.

So If you are like me and trying to find answers for such questions you can just relax by doing some deep breathing exercises and get in a meditative state and ask the question over and over again in your mind, and slowly as your mind chatter will settle down a small voice in your head will start giving you glimpses of wonderful things from which the answers will emerge.

 

Does Spirituality mean believing in something that does not Exist?

Every person tries to question his reality at some point in his life. This blog provides some insight about it.

We always have heard people who are religious in nature not accepting concepts of spirituality because they find it difficult to believe in the oneness of God. The concept of God has been exploited by various religions and are customized today as per one’s need. I prefer calling it “Personal God”. Very few people realize that Spirituality has a science behind it, and it always works no matter what. Spirituality works like laws of physics work, they are perfect in all sense and they will always be so. When I say that they work, some people can question me with “How did I come to know?” I can answer your question in this very blog.

I was always religious and being born and brought up in a Hindu family, I was accustomed to a normal Hindu religion which was following many gods and never to question its existence or ask for any reason. This all changed later on and I became who I am now. And I really feel comfortable with the knowledge I have gained through time, reading, exploring & searching for some questions which I never got to ask before. For people who don’t agree with me or are criticizing me right now please read the whole blog and then continue with the same.

Spirituality is a science of oneness, it can be called as getting to the original form of a human being. Well, that certainly sounded superfluous for people hearing it for the first time. But yeah that is the truth. To put my whole knowledge which is collected over year in just one line, I would say that “We all are one and one Energy alone.” This is what spirituality is for me. To find the oneness with other humans, nature, and this mystical universe. Which is same as a universe which exists within each of us, because we are composed of exactly the same matter and energy which has composed this whole existence. And your thoughts are a big part of it, manipulating the entire existence as per your beliefs and feelings. Does universe exist when we cease to exist? Yes, we do exist when we are not in some physical body. And we will continue to exist forever, going through various forms because we are just energy and energy alone. We are never going to be destroyed ever again. But then the question comes, How were we created in the first place? The ultimate question of all ages. The answer for me is we were always there, it means we were already existing before we came into being and we will always be existing forever.

But how does this explanation argue with Other religions and the concept of GOD? For me this universe and the energy which is existing within all of us. The sum total of all this is the real GOD. This is an intelligent universe, its customizable according to our beliefs and thoughts. Because that is the only medium of communication between you and the universe.  You can manipulate matter, conditions, experiences which come in your life. So Spirituality is knowing this ultimate truth, the regular practitioner of meditation would know that the happiness one receives when one is in that state is hard to describe and we soon realize that we are happy and want nothing from this life. We are just one and we all come into the same world, have a ifferent experience and then leave this temporary body and move to next one. Spirituality is 100 times better than one religion or all religion because we do not get bind to some rules which if we do not want to follow, still we have to follow. Instead it teaches us about love, kindness, helping someone, compassion and other good things which bring out the good in us.