Beatles music more than 'auditory cheesecake', scientists find





Scientists have discovered that even after more than 40 years, people can still vividly recall where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the Fab Four’s music.

They say it shows that music is one of the most powerful triggers of memory, and Beatles music in particular is more than mere “auditory cheesecake”.

The online research was the biggest ever survey into the links between memory and music, and scientists believe its findings will be replicated among millions of other music fans throughout the world.

More than 3,000 people of all ages from 69 different countries took part in the study by the University of Leeds, called the Magical Memory Tour, which asked respondents to write about their memories surrounding Beatles songs.

Most responses were from “silver surfers” between the ages of 55 and 65, who would have been in their teens during the Beatles hey day in the 1960s.

The song that emerged overall as generating the most memories - from first kiss to funerals to hot summer nights - was She Loves You, followed by I Saw Her Standing There, Imagine and In My life. However, for Americans, I Want to Hold Your Hand evoked more memories.

The study was devised by psychologists Professor Martin Conway and Dr Catriona Morrison from the Institute of Psychological Sciences, who discussed their findings as part of the BA Festival of Science in Liverpool.

Dr Morrison said: “We are so impressed with how vividly people could recall memories sometimes from more than 40 years ago, especially when many eloquent and vivid memories appear to have been little recalled in decades.


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