The human brain can recognize a familiar song in an instant – revealing how deeply our favorite songs lie in our memory
- Researchers at University College London looked at the brain's response to music
- They discovered that it recognized a known number within 100 to 300 milliseconds
- Scientists say that findings point to very fast temporal circuits, making rapid recall possible
Some people recognize a tune in an instant, new research suggests.
The human brain can identify a known song within 100 to 300 milliseconds, according to a new study.
Scientists say the findings point to the deep-rooted favorite songs that we have in our memory.
Researchers at the University College London (UCL) Ear Institute wanted to know how quickly the brain reacted to well-known music.
They also wanted to investigate the temporary profile of processes in the brain that make this possible.
The human brain can identify a known song within 100 to 300 milliseconds, according to a new study (stock)
Senior author professor Maria Chait said: & Our results show that recognition of well-known music happens remarkably quickly.
& # 39; These findings point to very fast temporal circuits and are consistent with the deep hold that very familiar music pieces have in our memory. & # 39;
The small study published in the journal Scientific Reports looked at a main group of five men and five women.
They each produced five well-known songs, and researchers then selected one of the well-known songs for each participant and tuned them to a tune.
This was comparable – in tempo, melody, harmony, vocals and instrumentation – but was known as unknown to the participant.
The participants then listened passively to 100 fragments of less than a second in length, from both the known and the unknown song, in random order.
A total of approximately 400 seconds was listened to.
Using electroencephalography (EEG) imaging, which records electrical activity in the brain, and pupillometry – a technique that measures pupillary diameter, which is considered a degree of excitement, scientists analyzed the responses.
Researchers at the University College London (UCL) Ear Institute wanted to know how quickly the brain reacted to well-known music
Researchers discovered that the human brain recognized known melodies of 100 milliseconds (0.1 seconds) from the start of the sound, with an average recognition time between 100 ms and 300 ms.
They say this was revealed by rapid dilation of the pupils, probably linked to increased excitement associated with the known sound, followed by cortical activation related to memory retrieval.
Such differences were not found in a control group consisting of international students who were not familiar with all songs & # 39; familiar & # 39; and & # 39; unknown & # 39 ;.
It takes around 300 milliseconds for the human eye to blink.
Professor Chait added: & # 39; In addition to basic science, understanding how the brain recognizes known melodies is useful for various music-based therapeutic interventions.
& # 39; For example, there is a growing interest in exploiting music to break through to dementia patients for whom memory of music seems to be well preserved despite a different systemic failure of memory systems.
& # 39; Designating the neural route and processes that support music identification can be an indication for understanding the basics of this phenomenon. & # 39;
The researchers acknowledge a number of limitations to the study, including that familiarity is a multifaceted concept and that only one known song was used per subject.
HOW DO WE LEARN AND MEMORIZE?
The human brain consists of billions of neurons, electrically excitable cells that receive, process and transmit information via electrical and chemical signals.
These neurons are connected to each other to form billions of different neural pathways.
Our brain develops a new path when we experience something new and every new experience can change our future behavior.
With repeated experiences, these paths become stronger and with further repetition, they can be cemented as a learned skill.
Neuroscientists at the University of California Irvine & # 39; s Center were able to prove what they had long suspected when they were able to isolate and observe the actions of the brain while learning a new task in the brain of mice.
They discovered that when two neurons often interact, they form a band that allows them to transmit more easily and accurately.
This led to more complete memories and easier recall.
Conversely, when two neurons rarely interacted, the transfer was often incomplete, resulting in defective memory or no memory at all.
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