From the figure of the previous post, we will find something interesting. Chromatin and sheet music are like two dancing ribbons, one tells a story about life, another tells a story about sound. Let’s continue the story about the two ribbons, well, I mean “Epigenetics and Music”.
Brain memory is a major tool for neural information storage via the epigenetic mechanisms. Though non-coding RNA and prion multimerization in the CNS are found to be involved in neuronal memory, histone acetylation and the CREB/CBP system gradually become the focus of research, because of its crucial function to LTP, the molecular foundation of learning and memory. In the hippocampus, acetylation and phosphorylation of histone H3 are increased when NMDA receptors and ERK are activated (essential events in LTP). Accordingly, histone acetylation by HDAC inhibitors, such as TSA or SAHA, also enhances induction of LTP and results in reinforced and expanded behavioral memory. Music, at least as a learning process, somehow paralleling the epigenetic drug treatments, may delay brain aging and have positive effect on some neurodegenerative diseases.
Music shapes our brain by depositing epigenetic marks, and also leaves us with a special gift: an epigenetic blueprint of an emotion.