Why Does Music Aid in Memorization?

The Wall Street Journal:

The words to a holiday song bubble up to the surface of the brain, even decades since last hearing the tune. Yet recalling a bank-account password can put the mind in a twist. Neuroscientists have long debated the brain mechanisms related to memory, but they agree on one thing: Information set to music is among the easiest to remember. One expert, Henry L. Roediger III, professor of psychology at the Memory Lab at Washington University in St. Louis, explains how songs easily stick in the mind.

The hippocampus and the frontal cortex are two areas in the brain associated with memory and they process millions of pieces of information every day. Getting the information into those areas is relatively easy, says Dr. Roediger. What is difficult is pulling data out efficiently. Music, he says, provides a rhythm, a rhyme and often, alliteration. All that structure is the key to unlocking information stored in the brain—with music acting as a cue, he says.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

See Henry L. Roediger, III at the 26th APS Annual Convention.

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