A Media player for your brain?
Maybe you have a song stuck in your head, or maybe you just like to hum songs to yourself. Thanks to MRI researchers, it’s now possible for everyone else to hear what that song in your head… well, sortof. You could call what Dan Loyd and researchers at Trinity College have developed a media player for your brain.
An MRI can see activity in different parts of the brain while performing tasks and while the brain is engaged in thoughts. Dan assigned pitches to different parts of the brain – the MRI then detects activity in these regions, and then the data is used to generate notes to match the active brain region.
To you an I, this seems like a fantastic musical application (although I’m not sure how easily the MRI machine would fit into the tour van), however his intentions are much more medically-oriented. Lloyd is using the data gathered from scanning volunteers with dementia and schizophrenia to help understand more about these conditions. The ‘songs’ that peoples’ brains play seem to be (at least partially) a function of their disease.
Check out this video from NewScientist:
I wonder if Dan could set me up with one that has a MIDI output?