We examined novel music and its effect

We all listen to music to bring us enjoyment, to calm us down or to get us in a good mood but I don’t think we ever realized that the arts is a form of therapy. There has been several research on how people who have a hard time with memory or who suffer from different diseases and disorders can better their cognition by listening to music. This is called mnemonic, different techniques used to help the brain improve ability to remember information. Research has been done on people who suffer from Williams syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease to try to prove that music helps increase their verbal memory rather than speech.        Williams syndrome(WS) is a developmental disorder that can disturb intellectual cognition. It has been found that familiar music can increase verbal memory with people who suffer from WS who have had previous music training, but there are also evidence on how the increase of cognition recall can be helped by unfamiliar music(Dunning & Martens, 2014). Their experiment was based on Martens et. al (2011) previous experiment when he examined novel music and its effect on verbal memory with people suffering with WS because they tend to interact more with music rather than other techniques.           In this experiment, there were forty-four participants(27 females, 18 males), all of the participants were given the Kaufman Brief intelligence test. The researchers had the parents or the caretakers complete a music questionnaire, to determine whether the participants had any previous musical skills or whether they had interest in music. After the questionnaire, the participants were asked to identify the group and the name of the eight different animals that were shown to them. The participants did not know the different groups of the animals that the animals belonged to, so they had the participants hear 8 sentences, 12 times teaching them the groups both sung in the twinkle, twinkle little star tone and spoken by a female speaker/singer. To assess the memory of the participants the used a direct recall format and multiple choice format.         The results of the questionnaire showed that thirty eight of the participants parents/caretaker said that their child listened to music everyday meaning 66% of the participants listen to music for more than 2 hours a day. Fourteen of the participants have had music therapy and participated in the choir. 56.5% of the participants enjoy music and 43.5% of them enjoy music more than their siblings. Twenty-Three out of the thirty eight participants had taken music lessons for at least one year. The results of the questionnaire and the memory testing proved the researchers theory. It showed that music has a positive effect on individuals who suffer with WS. It improves their verbal memory that they learned through the music. This is said because music has shown to reorganize the brain functioning and increase the left temporal lobe development which creates a verbal stimuli.        Although research shows that the most promising mnemonic devices are the ones that are easy to remember, that help create a future retrieval process, and create a structure out of what was learned. Music that provides melody and that has a nice rhythm can help group information called chunking, which is another form of learning information and also creates a better way to retrieve information. (Moore, Peterson..,2008) tried to test their hypothesis of music benefiting individuals who suffer Multiple sclerosis but it did not prevail.  Multiple sclerosis is a disabling disease located at the central nervous system, it disrupts the flow of information within the brain and the body. One of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis is cognitive impairment, difficulties with learning and memory. To help with such difficulties, music is said to be a mnemonic device to help with their memory(Moore, Peterson..,2008)         The researchers recruited patients from a neurorehabilitation center and gathered a total of 54 participants. Before the participants were able to partake in this study they had to go through multiple screenings. The participants needed to be right-handed, non-smokers, be at a certain level of disability, have at least five lesions in the brain that were identified through an MRI scanning, they had to be stable through their immunomodulatory therapy, and their exacerbation phase couldn’t be no more than 2 within the 12 months prior to the study and during the study, they couldn’t take pulse-corticosteroids for the exacerbations nor could the participants be subjected to seizure, brain injury, or substance abuse. Although twenty four out of the fifty four participants did not make the cut, some of them were called to come back, leaving this study with 38 participants(30 females, 8 males) who suffer from multiple sclerosis.         In order to do prove their hypothesis of how music improves memory more than speech, they broke the participants into two groups. The spoken group and the music group. The computer randomly picked 14 females, and 4 males to go into the spoken group and 16 females, and 4 males to the music group. To understand each participants cognitive capabilities there were a series of 4 neuropsychological test: one of them help measure verbal learning and memory, which is called the Buschke selective task(SRT), another test called Logical memory I test that followed wechsler memory scale, similar to the buschke selective task, it also measures verbal learning and memory. The next test was the wisconsin card sorting test(WCST), which measured executive functioning. Last but not least the seashore rhythm test, measured attention span. Later on Neurologist assessed each participant’s multiple sclerosis to see whether they were chronic progressive or chronic stable.         Rey’s Auditory-Verbal Learning test(AVLT), a test for people with multiple sclerosis, for verbal learning and memory was administered to the 27 participants who had EEG recordings, meanwhile the remaining 11 participants were given the computerized testing. For the people who received the AVLT, they were given a 15 word list(List A) and a distracter list(List B). They were asked to try to remember List A. Afterwards, the participants learned a 50 word list that included words previously learn and words that were similar to List A and List B. Within 4 seconds the participants were asked to figure out which words were a part of  List A by answering yes or no on the computer. Participants that were chosen for the spoken group heard both list in a spoken format and were told to repeat as many words they could remember in whichever order the could remember them in. For the music group a female recorded herself singing the words in a skip to my Lou tune and she also spoke the list of words. The participants responses were recorded using a cassette tape and a computer recording system.          The results show that there weren’t any alarming differences when it came to the recognition memory test between both the spoken and music group. The spoken group’s test results were slightly higher than that of the music group. According to the researcher’s (Moore & Peterson, 2008), the reason the testing did not support their hypothesis is because the music group learned the list in a song format, but the recognition test was given in a spoken format, which can cause confusion. Also they believed an increase in the time of learning and recalling the words would have made a huge difference. There were no structure of strategy taught to learn the information. The tune skip to my Lou was probably not familiar to the participants.          While that study did not work, there was an Alzheimer’s study done to see if music aids new verbal information for individuals who suffer with AD(Moussard,2011). The researchers wanted to test out whether new lyrics are easier to learn and memorize when sung or spoken.  In order to test their hypothesis they used four different formats, spoken, sung on a non familiar melody(NF), sung on a recent learned melody(LF), and sung on a life-long and highly familiar melody(HF).         A 68 year old woman named JL suffered cognitive impairment, which they classified as AD. She was never a musician but she liked music. The researchers tested her musical abilities by having her pick out note changes in melodies. She was able to figure out whether the melody played was familiar to her or not but unable to remember those same melodies while given a recognition task. This where the four different formats comes in. They had a female singer  record herself 4 times in different formats. On one of the recordings, she recited the song regularly with no melody or tune. Two of the recordings consisted of her singing a song that was unfamiliar to JL, the last recording she sang a familiar melody acapella. To test LF, JL heard the melody multiple times before testing out the lyrics learning using the same controls. To learn the sung lyrics, the participant was told that it’s better for her to learn the lyrics rather than paying attention to the melody. To gather the information, JL had to participate in 12 sessions twice per week of evaluation.        JL test results showed that she recalled 65% of the sung NF, spoken, sung LF, and sung HF conditions. To show comparison amongst the three conditions, they calculated each percentage of JL’s recollections and came to a conclusion that JL’s best performance was indicated in the sung LF condition. Her worst performance was indicated in her sung NF condition. Although 3 out 4 four of the conditions had similar percentages, JL was not able to recall any of the words after ten minutes. The only time she was able to remember the words after ten minutes was during the unfamiliar melody that was previously learned, the LF condition.