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Poster F47

Associations between Music Sophistication and Memory: A Pilot Study in Healthy Older Adults

Poster Session F - Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Naomi A Arnold-Nedimala1 (, Daniel D Callow1,2, Gabriel Pena1, J Carson Smith1; 1University of Maryland, College Park, 2Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

PURPOSE: Memory loss is a leading indicator of cognitive decline in aging adults. Emerging research suggests a relationship between music and memory preservation. This pilot study aimed to understand the associations between music sophistication, such as music perceptual abilities, emotional response to music, and memory recognition in cognitively sound, physically active older adults. METHOD: Thirty-nine (complete data n=30) cognitively sound (based on Mini-Mental State Examination), physically active older adults (60+ yr) volunteered to participate. Participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y), and the Goldsmiths Musical Sophistication Index (Gold-MSI) before completing an object recognition memory task. Separate linear regression models, with sex as a covariate, were conducted to determine if music perceptual abilities (PA), musical training (MT), singing abilities (SA), emotional response to music (EM), and general music sophistication (GM) were associated with object recognition memory performance. RESULTS: There were no relationships between MT, SA, GM, and object recognition memory performance. Positive relationships were observed between both PA (p=0.055) and EM (p=0.074), and recognition memory performance, however these were not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: The hypothesis that music plays a protective role for cognitive function highlights the need to understand if music sophistication is associated with memory performance in healthy older adults. Previous studies have reported associations between music sophistication sub-factors (PA, MT, EM) and verbal fluency and executive function in cognitively impaired older adults. Future studies need to be conducted to understand the impact of music sophistication on memory preservation in cognitively sound older adults.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Development &aging


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April 13–16  |  2024