Music Evoked Autobiographical Memories in People With Behavioural Variant Frontotemporal Dementia

A. Baird
O. Brancatisano
R. Gelding
W. F. Thompson


Music is highly efficient at evoking autobiographical memories in both healthy and neurological populations. Music evoked autobiographical memories (MEAMs) are preserved in people with Alzheimer's Dementia (AD), and occur at the same frequency as in healthy people. To date there has been no investigation of the integrity of MEAMs in people with non-AD dementia. This study provides the first characterisation of the frequency and specificity of MEAMs and photo evoked autobiographical memories (PEAMs) in 6 people with Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (Bv-FTD). We found significantly reduced frequency and specificity of MEAMs and PEAMs in people with Bv-FTD compared with healthy elderly. This supports the known decline in autobiographical memory function in this population, and the integral role of medial frontal regions in the retrieval of MEAMs. Our findings highlight that the mnemonic effects of music vary between people with different types of dementia, which has implications for dementia care.