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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Oliver Sacks, renowned neurologist speaks about music's power

Oliver Sacks, professor at Columbia University, studies people with neurological conditions ranging from Tourette's syndrome to autism. In a presentation, he described the unique connection between human cognition and music.
Sacks spoke on his experience working with patients who suffered from sleeping sickness, aphasias and Alzheimer's disease. Music "survives amnesia, dementia and much else," Sacks contended. It plays a part in their therapy and can even help patients with advanced Alzheimer's.
According to Sacks, aphasia patients can partially recover through "music intonation therapy" because the parts of the brain responsible for musical perception reside in close proximity to those responsible for memory.
Sacks quoted an Alzheimer's suffering patient's relative: "Music is one of the only things that keeps him grounded in the world."

1 comment:

Tony Dollars said...

Memory practice is something that seems to work as an exact science. Those things that are reliable, fun, and emotionally igniting are those things that can be used to jump start the memory. I like to say, "Anything one is exposed to on a consistent basis begins to be the way you think. After a while they get good." Let me add, "And it transfers."