Man Reacts To Music: How Music And The Elderly Work Together (VIDEO)

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Smell may be the sense most associated with memory, but hearing just took a big leap in the same direction.

Alive Inside, a documentary premiering next week in New York, investigates a social worker's attempt to engage seniors with dementia and Alzheimer's at a nursing home. When he discovers how well it works, he brings in neurologist Oliver Sacks, and the two embark on an experiment to see music's impact on this population.

The video above has become a viral hit as more people discover it, and it's no surprise -- people's connection with music, particularly music from their younger years, elicits strong emotions, and some researchers have even suggested it as a necessity for people.

Ray Mueller, a member of the Shumei Arts Council of America’s Advisory Board, told Psychology Suite 101, “Research has located specific areas of mental activity linked to emotional responses to music. It seems music is a human need and the brain is able to act as a function to satisfy that need.”

For older populations, music has been associated with everything from helping uncover memories in patients with Alzheimer's to reducing falls during exercise.

The video is also affiliated with Music & Memory, an organization dedicated to helping seniors connect to music, including collecting used iPods for donation.

SEE: The positive things music can do for the brain:

How Music Affects The Mind
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