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Music improves verbal memory encoding while decreasing prefrontal cortex activity: an fNIRS study

Ferreri, Laura, Aucouturier, Jean-Julien, Muthalib, Makii, Bigand, Emmanuel and Bugaiska, Aurelia 2013, Music improves verbal memory encoding while decreasing prefrontal cortex activity: an fNIRS study, Frontiers in human neuroscience, vol. 7, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00779.

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Title Music improves verbal memory encoding while decreasing prefrontal cortex activity: an fNIRS study
Author(s) Ferreri, Laura
Aucouturier, Jean-Julien
Muthalib, Makii
Bigand, Emmanuel
Bugaiska, Aurelia
Journal name Frontiers in human neuroscience
Volume number 7
Article ID 779
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publication date 2013-11
ISSN 1662-5161
Keyword(s) encoding
fNIRS
music
prefrontal cortex
verbal memory
Summary Listening to music engages the whole brain, thus stimulating cognitive performance in a range of non-purely musical activities such as language and memory tasks. This article addresses an ongoing debate on the link between music and memory for words. While evidence on healthy and clinical populations suggests that music listening can improve verbal memory in a variety of situations, it is still unclear what specific memory process is affected and how. This study was designed to explore the hypothesis that music specifically benefits the encoding part of verbal memory tasks, by providing a richer context for encoding and therefore less demand on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Twenty-two healthy young adults were subjected to functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) imaging of their bilateral DLPFC while encoding words in the presence of either a music or a silent background. Behavioral data confirmed the facilitating effect of music background during encoding on subsequent item recognition. fNIRS results revealed significantly greater activation of the left hemisphere during encoding (in line with the HERA model of memory lateralization) and a sustained, bilateral decrease of activity in the DLPFC in the music condition compared to silence. These findings suggest that music modulates the role played by the DLPFC during verbal encoding, and open perspectives for applications to clinical populations with prefrontal impairments, such as elderly adults or Alzheimer's patients.
Language eng
DOI 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00779
Field of Research 110999 Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, Ferreri, Aucouturier, Muthalib, Bigand and Bugaiska
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30084978

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.