London, March 9 : Psychologists at Leeds University are using the Beatles to increase their understanding of human memory and eventually create the biggest Internet database of so-called "autobiographical" memories.
The Leeds team is asking people to recollect moments in their lives that connect with the Fab Four with the aim to discover how musical memories can shape a person's identity.
The scientists said that the thoughts might be linked to a particular Beatles song or album, or possibly a news event, such as the assassination of John Lennon.
The project, which was launched as part of National Science and Engineering Week, aims to craft the biggest Internet database of "autobiographical" memories.
According to the team, these memories can be prompted by certain signals and music, especially, has a strong sensitive and recollective power in relation to long-term memories.
The researchers believe that by using the Beatles to trigger such thoughts, they can reach out to the widest possible population sample.
"We are using an iconic cultural entity to get all those memories in one place and to try to assess the influence that the Beatles had on people's lives," Times Online quoted Dr Catriona Morrison, a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds University, as saying.
"Whether you were there in the 1960s or if you grew up in the 1980s, virtually everybody has got some thoughts or memories about the Beatles," she added.
Professor Martin Conway, who is jointly overseeing the study, said: "One of the things we hope to analyse are which Beatles cues trigger the most memories and why? Is is it a song, album or news event?"
"Does this memory depend upon the age you were when the memory event occurred or is it more closely related to how strongly you feel about the Beatles or the memory itself?" he added.