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Audio Feature: Brain Music

If your brain was a musical instrument, what kind of songs would it play?

No, this isn't some awkward blind-date icebreaker (though, hey, you're welcome to use the line). It's a real live science experiment conducted by Vince Calhoun (University of New Mexico) and Dan Lloyd (Trinity College, Connecticut). The pair wanted to see what would happen if they converted brain data from functional MRI scans into musical tones--kind of like a neural "stethoscope." The surprisingly tuneful result could one day help to diagnose disorders like schizophrenia. Take a listen:


NOVA summer intern Ashleigh Costanza created this feature on "brain music" with a little helpful tutelage from Calhoun and Lloyd.

Special thanks to our podcast guru David Levin for lending a hand, and to all of our NOVA interns for a great summer. (Want to be a NOVA intern? Learn more here.)


User Comments:

If listening to a schizophrenics sounds shows an increase pace to the music, I wonder what the sounds of my brain would sound like since I have depression, but also Multiple Personality Disorder with many other personalities. I wonder if there would be harmonic or discordant sounds? This is really intrigueing.

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