The Effect of Auditory Stimulation on Autobiographical Recall in Dementia


Experimental Aging Research




Elderly individuals with mild-moderate ("high ability") or moderate ("low ability") dementia, answered autobiographical memory questions drawn from three life eras (remote, medium-remote, and recent), in familiar music, novel music, cafeteria noise or quiet. Recall was significantly better in the high-ability than the low-ability group, in sound than in quiet, and in music than in noise. Recall was significantly related to life era, declining from remote to recent memory. The superiority of recall in music compared with noise was apparent for recall from remote and medium-remote but not recent eras. The results are interpreted as favoring an explanation of the beneficial effect of auditory stimulation, predominantly in terms of enhanced arousal or attention deployment, with a possible subsidiary role for associative facilitation.

Music and Health Institute Terms

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

Indexed Terms

Acoustic Stimulation; Elderly; Elderly; Alzheimer Disease; Arousal; Association; Attention; Dementia; Memory; Mental Recall; Noise; Time Factors

Study Type

Quasi-Experimental Study; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type