Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Research On Capitol Hill 2014

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Reed Geertsen


Music has been shown to trigger old memories and induce various levels of stress relief and relaxation. My research focused on the effects of music on subjects with Alzheimer and Dementia disease. Eleven patients were selected through an informed consent process which included permission from responsible family members. During the course of three or more visits to patients in their care centers, the subjects listened to a variety of songs. These included songs that family members thought would be personally meaningful based on their knowledge of the patient’s past experiences with music. Other popular songs were selected to represent a wide range of different types of music. The findings underscore the importance of traditional rather than popular culture in the study subject’s responses to music. The songs that had the strongest impact on the patients with Alzheimer or Dementia disease in my study were consistent with the farming and religious background of most participants. This was evident in visual cues as subjects reacted mostly to country western and religious music rather than what had been popular at earlier times in their lives. Though many parts of the brain have deteriorated in Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients, they maintain their musical preferences.

Included in

Sociology Commons