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Physics
  

Turning Brainwaves Into Music

HARTFORD, Conn. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Music … we hear it on the radio. We play it on our iPods. We dance to it. Why do we love music so much? As one philosophy professor is showing, it could be because it's within us all. He's proving music is more than skin deep.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Music … we hear it on the radio. We play it on our iPods. We dance to it. Why do we love music so much? As one philosophy professor is showing, it could be because it's within us all. He's proving music is more than skin deep.

For Albert Yost and the Gallaibh Celidh band, music isn't just a way to entertain.

"The thing I like about Irish music is that it hits both extremes of emotions,” Yost explained to Ivanhoe. “It's either very happy or very sad or somewhere in the middle. You're always reaching someone."

For half a century, music has been Yost’s passion.

"There's times here the three of us are playing and at the end you almost sit quiet, because it's almost like you just finished a prayer and it's just beautiful," Yost described.

But the music doesn't stop once you put the instrument down. From our toes to our heads, music is everywhere.

"Inside each of us there's a symphony going at all times,” Dan Lloyd, Ph.D., a philosopher at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., said. “We’re never quiet inside."

Now Dr. Lloyd is using medical imaging to “tune in” to the inner soundtrack of your mind, by turning brain scans into music.

"Basically, I think of the brain as if it were a musical instrument,” Dr. Lloyd said.

Brains are scanned using FMRI. Active areas light up and are assigned a different note. As the intensity of the activity increases, so does the volume of the sound. Dr. Lloyd has created symphonies using healthy brains of young and old.

"It turns out that young and old is not so different,” Dr. Lloyd explained.

He's also created "music" with schizophrenic brains.

"I think with the brains in schizophrenia, there's a tendency for things to drift out of synchrony and so it comes out a little jazzier,” Dr. Lloyd explained. “This is consistent with hypotheses about the nature of schizophrenia that attribute some of the problems of the illness with failure of the brain regions to coordinate properly."

Healthy or not, one thing is clear…

"Music makes the world look different," Yost said.

Finding the symphony in us all.

Dr. Lloyd says doctors may one day be able to use brain music to diagnose conditions like schizophrenia. So far he's only assigned notes to a few dozen of the thousands of possible variations. He has turned more than a hundred brains into music and plans to continue his work finding the music inside our heads.

Dr. Lloyd says doctors may one day be able to use brain music to diagnose conditions like schizophrenia. So far he's only assigned notes to a few dozen of the thousands of possible variations. He has turned more than a hundred brains into music and plans to continue his work finding the music inside our heads.

The American Association of Physicists in Medicine contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.

Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:

Dan Lloyd
http://www.trincoll.edu/~dlloyd

dan.lloyd@trincoll.edu

Dr. Sudarshan Chamakuri
Medical Physicist
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
http://www.aapm.org

adiationtherapy@hotmail.com


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Turning Brainwaves into Music

Music: we hear it on the radio. We play it on our iPods. We dance to it. Why do we love music so much? As one philosophy professor is showing, it could be because it's within us all. He's proving music is more than skin-deep.

 

Prior Reports
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