Music evoked autobiographical memories in people with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia

Amee Baird, Olivia Brancatisano, Rebecca Gelding, William Forde Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Music is highly efficient at evoking autobiographical memories in both healthy and neurological populations. Music evoked autobiographical memories (MEAMs) are preserved in people with Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD), and occur at the same frequency as in healthy people. To date there has been no investigation of the integrity of MEAMs in people with non-AD dementia. This study provides the first characterisation of the frequency and specificity of MEAMs and photo evoked autobiographical memories (PEAMs) in 6 people with Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (Bv-FTD). We found significantly reduced frequency and specificity of MEAMs and PEAMs in people with Bv-FTD compared with healthy elderly. This supports the known decline in autobiographical memory function in this population, and the integral role of medial frontal regions in the retrieval of MEAMs. Our findings highlight that the mnemonic effects of music vary between people with different types of dementia, which has implications for dementia care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-336
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Early online date20 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020



  • frontotemporal dementia
  • behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia
  • music
  • memory
  • music evoked autobiographical memory
  • autobiographical memory

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