Daniel Levitin - Memory Quotes
7 Sourced Quotes
The story of your brain on music is the story of an exquisite orchestration of brain regions, involving both the oldest and newest parts of the human brain, and regions as far apart as the cerebellum in the back of the head and the frontal lobes just behind your eyes. It involves a precision choreography... between logical prediction systems and emotional reward systems.... it reminds us of other music we have heard, and it activates memory traces of emotional times of our lives. Your brain on music is all about... connections.
Memory strength is also a function of how much we care about the experience.... If I'm playing an instrument I like, and whose sound pleases me in and of itself... caring leads to attention, and together they lead to measurable neurochemical changes. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with emotional regulation, alertness, and mood, is released, and the dopaminergic system aids in encoding the memory trace.
Memory for playing a musical piece... involves a process very much like that for music listening... through establishing standard schemas and expectation. In addition, musicians use chunking... tying information together into groups, and remembering the group as a whole rather than individual pieces.
A song playing comprises a very specific and vivid set of memory cues. Because the multiple-trace memory models assume that context is encoded along with memory traces, the music that you have listened to at various times of your life is cross-coded with the events of those times. That is, the music is linked to events of the time, and those events are linked to the music.