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Can Sound Improve Memory?

Innovation Story

Can Sound Improve Memory?

Dara Manoach, PhD, and her research team are developing a headband to be worn during sleep, that helps with memory formation, attention and concentration.

Nancy Kilburn
December 14, 2021

Imagine if listening to soft sounds during sleep could improve debilitating attention deficits in people with schizophrenia? Or increase concentration in people with autism? Or even improve memory in adults as we age?

Mass General Research Institute researcher Dara Manoach, PhD, a neuropsychologist, is showing that it might be possible. The Paul B. and Sandra M. Edgerley MGH Research Scholar 2019-2024, Dr. Manoach and her team at the Manoach Laboratory are pioneering a promising, non-invasive treatment for patients: a wearable headband that emits sounds to stimulate brain waves that are essential for memory formation, attention and concentration — all while people sleep. Soon she hopes to test these devices with patients in their home environment.

Come take a tour of the Manoach Laboratory to see what philanthropy makes possible:

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