carpe377: October 2011 Archives

Musical Memory

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While going through the expanses of my iPod I will often stumble upon a song that will trigger a memory from years ago in vivid detail and leave me wondering why music couldn't trigger answers to test questions when I start singing it in my head. With music possessing such a powerful ability, it made me wonder how exactly this process occurs within the brain and whether or not a specific part had control over this odd "musical memory".

In class the topic of brain stimulation causing projections of vivid images came up. These projections have not been proven to be more than fantasies made up by the brain, which leaves them essentially useless in any practical sense. Music, on the other hand, has been proven to help the regaining of memory by those affected by brain injuries that inhibit recollection of memories. Often researchers have found that a simple verse from a familiar song will cause subjects to remember things that they previously thought they would never remember again. It is also used with those who have had damage to the part of brain that allows speech, by playing a melody and allowing victims to fill in the verses. With such an amazing ability to rehabilitate I immediately expected there to be some area of the brain completely dedicated to music. I was wrong, for just as memory does not seem to have one specific area of the brain it resides in, neither does music.

With music being something exclusive to humans, it would make sense that we would have some part of the brain that was unique to our species. It would also explain how some people, such as those affected by autism, sometimes have an unnatural talent for music while others are musically inept. Yet with this complex process requiring multiple areas of the brain and still not being completely understood, testing the applications of music and its rehabilitation powers still fall into the hands of those conducting the experiments.

The article can be found here:,9171,46157,00.html

This question is often irrefutably answered with the conclusion that society and upbringing is the cause of criminal activity among people, however I never quite believed that and went looking for some supportive evidence. In the article "Behavior: Are Criminals Born or Made?" the question once again comes up only this time it is answered with a different approach. I have always had the mindset that even with a terrible childhood and horrific upbringing a person must have a certain characteristic that would make them more prone to be a criminal than someone else. With recent research two scientists conducted in the article, it turns out my hunch is somewhat correct.

With the data gained from the experiments, and not to my surprise, the results claimed that criminals can be characterized by much more than just a bad upbringing. I have noticed this on multiple occasions when walking through a shady area of a city or watching some cops show where an offender is getting arrested, they often have the same physique as well as personality traits. It is somewhat of a stereotype I'll admit, but it very rarely fails to produce the correct assumption and can be claimed as another factor that leads into being a criminal. In my eyes, these factors such as aggressive personalities and having a stronger body type can be larger players in the role of being inclined to criminal activity. Crime requires a person to be aggressive and intimidating in some cases, and having a powerful physique and the abrasive personality can make this all the easier for the person, and I know that when I have a strength I will play on it until it essentially becomes a weakness. This principle can be applied here and make people more inclined to use their strengths in a profitable way: crime.

While the whole nature versus nurture debate in this topic may still favor nurture, I do believe there is compelling evidence on the side of nature. Stereotypes may be a harsh thing to apply to a person and throw them into the category of criminal, but these stereotype characteristics may have more justification to them than most will currently admit.

The link for the article can be found here:,9171,960148,00.html

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by carpe377 in October 2011.

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