What Happens When You Forget How To Remember

With so many in our own extended families now suffering Alzheimer’s, human memory has become of more and more desperate importance. What is it…? what if it suddenly vanished…? what if you could no longer summon recollections of your mother’s embrace or that moment you first met your spouse…? And if all those memories were gone, would the concept of ‘you’ reading this even make sense?

Something else. Without your memory could you still remain in contact with what some neuroscientists call ‘neurotheology?’ That’s how they theorize some brains are wired to worship [aka, the God Gene].

But while you and I chit-chat about such things in sports bars and on Facebook, they’re not simply only chatting at medical centers like Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic. Hi-tech research teams there are pressing bold new frontiers wherever they’re finding them.

I once asked one of the team members right here in Chicago’s own Rush Medical Center: “Would you ever consider playing music as part of your memory research…?” Franklin assumed I meant background music in the lab. I was thinking more like integrative medicine is used in hospitals. With all the gusto of a medical neophyte, I suggested, “How about having your subjects listen to music say like Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesias singing ‘To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before.’ ”

Experiencing the invisible memory as well as measuring the quantifiable serotonin. “Crazy, I suppose.” Franklin surprised me when he didn’t laugh. Now several weeks later, I’m desperately curious to see if pop music as well we precise measurements has something to say in those otherwise sanitized labs….

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