Your brain is always active, whether you’re doing a task as simple as sipping a latte, or as complex as interpreting the meaning in a conversation over coffee. Your brain has many specialized parts dedicated to vision, hearing, touch, and memory. Even when you’re kicking back with your eyes closed, your brain is still very busy. In fact, the patterns of activity while resting are believed to reveal networks of parts of the brain which often act together.
We already know that the brain reacts differently to different kinds of music. (Reference: Music and Alzheimer’s Patients; How teens can improve self esteem with music) But researchers in a recent Chinese study set out to create music using the patterns of our brain’s activities, recording the activity of the brain in musical notes.
According to the researchers, brain patterns translated into music “embodies the workings of the brain as art, providing a platform for scientists and artists to work together to better understand the links between music and the human brain.”
How’s this for freaky: the participants in the study discovered that their own brain’s “music” was super relaxing. There are several studies supporting the use of meditation to connect with our “inner rhythm,” so this isn’t necessarily a surprise. However, using one’s own brain patterns has proven so deeply relaxing that the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate is exploring a form of neuro-training called “Brain Music,” using music created from an individual’s brain waves to help the individual move from an anxious state to a relaxed state.
So how do you lay your own brain track? Jing Lu and colleagues from the University of Electronic Science and Technology, China, combined and translated two kinds of brain wave recordings into music, transforming one EEG recording (a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your brain) to create the pitch and duration of a note, and an fMRI (a technique for measuring and mapping brain activity) to control the intensity of the music. Not your average music studio.
Excerpts of this post are from Public Library of Science “Remixed brain waves reveal soundtrack of the human brain.”
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