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Polygence Scholar2022
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Adriana La

Redwood High SchoolClass of 2024Visalia, California



  • "How are the amygdala and the hippocampus involved in the emotional processing of music and memories?" with mentor Arij (Nov. 7, 2022)

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How are the amygdala and the hippocampus involved in the emotional processing of music and memories?

Started June 17, 2022

Abstract or project description

For the human brain to analyze and understand music, there is a brilliant and meticulous symphony that orchestrates our ability to perceive a compilation of sounds as music. Starting as variations in air pressure received by the pinna at the outer ear, musical sounds are transmitted via the ossicles in the middle ear to the cochlea of the inner ear that habor our sensory hair cells, which due to their mechanotransductive capabilities, transform the mechanical forces into electrical signaling that is then picked by the spiral ganglions transmitting the auditory message to various areas and pathways in the brain. While this cascade of events hold for every sound that enters our ears, why and how does music affect us? Why do specific songs trigger happiness while others unleash sad memories, and yet other songs bring relaxation or send shivers down our spines? In this work, we review the involvement of two major brain nuclei, the amygdala and the hippocampus, in the emotional processing of music. Among their many roles in the brain, these two nuclei had been shown to be heavily involved in enhancing emotional music memories and the euphoric response to music, interacting with one another to form long-lasting memories. This review gives an elaborate overview of the intricate interplay between the amygdala and the hippocampal neurons in the generation of the neural encoding of musical memories and their associated emotions.