Explicit (Semantic) Memory for Music in Patients With Mild Cognitive Impairment and Early-stage Alzheimer's Disease


Experimental Aging Research




BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Explicit memory for music was investigated by using a new test with 24 existing and 3 newly composed pieces. METHODS: Ten patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 10 patients with early stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD) were compared with 23 healthy subjects, in terms of verbal memory of music by the identification of familiar music excerpts and the discrimination of distortion and original timbre of musical excerpts. RESULTS: MCI and Alzheimer's patients showed significantly poorer performances in tasks requiring verbal memory of musical excerpts than the healthy participants. For discrimination of musical excerpts, MCI and AD patients surprisingly performed significantly better than the healthy comparison subjects. CONCLUSION: Our results support the notion of a specialized memory system for music.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Cognitive Abilities; Elderly; Memory; Music and Cognition; Music Cognition; Neurodegenerative Disorders

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Elderly; Alzheimer Disease; Cognitive Dysfunction; Memory; Neuropsychological Tests

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type