A Mind Roused by Music

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Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks, a physician and author, has been called “the poet laureate of medicine" by The New York Times. His books and essays, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars, are used in schools and universities around the world.

A clip from the documentary Alive Inside shows us a man named Henry who suffers from dementia. Eyes cast downward, he has trouble answering the simplest yes or no questions. Immanuel Kant once called music “the quickening art”, and nowhere else is it more apparent than when Henry is presented with music. He regains his mental acuity, and the difference is like night and day.

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