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MUSIC-THERAPY

UTILISATION OF MUSIC AS MEANS OF


MEMORY IMPROVEMENT–
EXPERIMENTAL STUDY

Authors:
*Liliana (Neagu) Simion,Psychologist Psychiatry Hospital, Pucioasa, Dambovita
District, Romania, Drd. “C. Davila” Medical University, Medical Psychology Dept.-
Bucharest ,Romania, e-mail : psiholog_liliana@yahoo.com
**Prof. Dr. Ioan Bradu Iamandescu, MD, PhD, BA Psychology, Head of
Department of Medical Psychology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Carol
Davila" Bucharest Romania, Senior Allergist Hospital Colentina Bucharest . E-mail:
iamandb@yahoo.com
This work represents an original experimental research which addressess to the improvement
of the memory processes having real possibilities to be used for the treatement of many psychiatric
and neorological affections (for children, adults and aged-persons), but also for psychosomatic patients
who present a decrease of their intellectual potential;

Theoretical premises:
Mozart effect and „Super-memory”

Certain music styles and music of certain composers proved to be an element meant to
produce certain specific effects (clinical and electroencephalographic and of other type objectivable
for instance on CPT, MRI) whose systematized study generated two new chapters in the field of
psychological and neurophysiological premises of the music therapy: Mozart Effect and „Super-
memory”.
On the other hand, the music of Mozart in the most cases (excepting the tests regarding the
spatial thinking) is not the only one capable tot o produce positive effects for the human health. The
same effects may have the music of other important classic composers (Bach, Haendel, Vivaldi,
Beethoven, Schubert, etc.) whose music was not analysed so elaborately as the Mozartian music
(Iamandescu, 2004).
„Super-memory” represents a term with a spectacular tint even if, in the field of science
presents the related corrections. It reffers to the amplification of the capacity to memorize a subject
under certain external conditions represented, in the case of music (according the author who studied
this effect, Dr. Lozanov, quoted by Iamandescu), by a certain category: the baroc music played in slow
tempo prevailing string assembly (orchestra).
Music creates a favorable mood also from the neurological standpoint, activates the reticulated
form delaying the presence of tiredness.
The effects of the slow baroc music proved the decrease of the stress hormons and the increase
of the immune system. According to the reserches on the studied subjects it was noticed a decrease of
the beta waves (rapid) in average of circa 6% and a increase by the same procentage of the slow (alfa)
waves.
It is created according to Lozanov, a mood of attentive relaxation, characterized by a calm
spirit, and under these circumstances the body works more efficiently and with less energy while the
brain benefits from a plus of energy due to this save of somatic energy. Under such a mood there is the
possibility to improve rapidly the learning potential, similar to the one obtained with the help of a
technique already known regarding the „learning of foreing languages” during sleeping. The main
difference ist that the listener of the inducting music, as well as the sleep, on slow rhythms on EEG –
does not sleep and cannot benefit from the effects of an active learning, filtered through a critical
thinking. Therefore, the music of the string instruments– rich in harmonic tones– in a tempo of 60-65
metronome beats pro minute creates as a whole the conditions favourable for the delay of the somatic
and mental rhythms, allowing a global improvement of the memory and granting to the subject a inner
feeling of „temporal expansion” (sensation of „time expansion”).
On the other hand, the electric increased activity of the overgifted persons presesnts a slower
rhythm of the cerebral Alfa waves (7-13 cycles per second), simultaneously with the somatic
biorhythms, also slower, allowing them to achieve an ideal combination between „a body which
moves slowly and a rapid mind”.
Substantially, the slow baroc music provides the establishment of condition of
memorization– of super-memory – for a person with a medium intellect , creating for him/her– it is
true temporary – the mental advantages the overgifted persons beneft from (Iamandescu, 2004).

Objectives: Starting from these premises, under the supervision of Mr. Dr. Ioan-Bradu Iamandescu I
performed a study which intended to follow the application of certain cognitive and suggestive
methods of improving the memory and attention, including three independent variables: music as
different styles (the baroc music versus rhythmic music) and placebo preparations. The dependent
variables included in the study were: visual memory, semantic memory, applied lecture which care
requests the working memory, attention and text understanding, the concentrated attention and
distributive attention.
Material and method: For this experiment participated 260 subjects aged between 17-19 years,
devided into four equal groups. The effects were appreciated with the following instruments:
-for the verification of the visual memory was applied the Ray – Claparedé test;
-the semantic memory within a categorial framework was quantified by the utilisation of a test which
includes 5 names starting with a certain letter of four different categories;
-the applied lecture which requires the text understanding was measured by amounting the number of
correct answers to the related questions;
- the concentrated attention and distributive attention was quantifed by means of the Toullouse-Pieron
and D-A tests.

It was used the listening of certain musical pieces composed by Vivaldi, Haendel and Bach
and dance music (M. Jackson) during the test application.
The control was realized by the measurement of the results, comparing the experimental group
to itself but also to the control group.

The obtained results (the differences) were as follows:

CONTROL BAROC MUSIC RHYTHMIC PLACEBO


GROUP MUSIC EFFECT
Contextual 43 171 142 262
memory
Semantic -4 100 11 95
memory
Visual -80 59 29 154
memory
Concentrated c.op. 5.54 c.op. 6.31 c.op. 9.01 c.op. 3.96
attention c.ex. 0.8 c.ex. 1.97 c.ex. 2.13 c.ex. 3.18
c.m 0.8 c.m. 1.97 c.m. 2.13 c.m. 3.22
Distributive c.op. 5.59 c.op. 8.91 c.op. 9.16 c.op. 11.01
attention c.ex. -6.56 c.ex. -4.35 c.ex. -5.81 c.ex. -7.39
c.m. -1.99 c.m. 0.12 c.m. -0.58 c.m. -1.77

The hierarchy of the results according to the methods influence on the dependent variables:

Contextual Semantic memory Visual memory


Concentrated Distributive
memory attention attention
1.Placebo effect Baroc music Placebo effect Rhythmic music Placebo effect
(262) (100) (154) c.op. 9.01 c.op. 11.01
c.ex. 2.13 c.ex. -7.39
c.m. 2.13 c.m. .1.77
2.Baroc music Placebo effect Baroc music (59) Baroc music Rhythmic music
(171) (95) c.op. 6.31 c.op. 9.16
c.ex. 1.97 c.ex. -5.81
c.m. 1.97 c.m. -0.58
3.Rhythmic music Rhythmic music Rhythmic music Control group Baroc music
(142) (11) (29) c.op. 5.54 c.op. 8.91
c.ex. 0.8 c.ex. -4.35
c.m. 0.8 c.m. 0.12
4.Control group Control group Control group Placebo effect Control group
(43) (-4) (-80) c.op. 3.96 c.op. 6.59
c.ex. 3.18 c.ex. -6.56
c.m. 3.22 c.m. -1.99
Co – operativity coefficient (the thinking productivity from the quantity standpoint– the processing
speed and reflects the mobility and flexibility level)

Ce – exactness coefficient (represents a measure of the thinking productivity from the quality
standpoint– correctness)
o
Cm – mnesic coefficient

Concentrated attention– function of the attention which ensures the selection and the
congervent organization of the operations and the actions for the behaviour regulation.
Distributive attention– function of the attention which allows performance of several activities
simultaneously without interfering between themselves (it requires that some operations or actions to
be automatized and not to require conscious control Semantic memory– deposit of our knowledge.
Visual memory (sensorial) – depends the process of memorizing and knowledge consolidation.
Contextual memory - it necessitates the working memory which is activated during the period
of the task performance and memorizes the information on the spot.

CONCLUSIONS:
1. The Placebo effects influences especially the visual and contextual memories (increases the
power if registration ).
2. The baroc music improves the semantic memory (increases the evocation power).
3. The rhythmic music influences positively the concentrated attention as regards the relation
between the operativity coefficient /exactness coefficient proving the resistence to monotony
and a strong nervous system.
4. The Placebo effects diminishes the operativity coefficient but the mnesic and exactness
coefficients are superior to the other methods showing the prevalence of the inhibitory
process.
5. It is noticed a semnificative decrease of the values to the control group, which might mean
lack of interest in fulfilling the tasks (low resistance to monotony), and the increased
differences of the other methods show the positive influence which they have upon the
memorization.