Friday, December 7, 2012
The Thinking Brain's Music
This is what a brain sounds like. With a little help from math and science, that is. In a recent issue of PLoS ONE, researchers used math to turn brain waves into music. The result sounds to me a bit like some of the music James Horner put into the most recent Spider-Man movie when Gwen was hiding from the lizard in the tower -- in other words, it actually almost sounds like music! (That was one of my favorite moments of the movie, by the way.) For those of us who can't read that music above in our heads ... um, for all of us ... the music itself is can be heard from where it's embedded on the left side of this Wired article.
The upshot of all this is that if brain waves can be turned into sound waves this easily, perhaps there's something to the idea that music is fundamental to consciousness. Your neurons are all singing together in concert as the waves of chemotransmitters and sodium/potassium fluxes rock to and fro inside your head.
Or, in fewer words, life is music.
Considering that tomorrow is the Christmas concert that my whole family* has been preparing for, for months now, it gives me hope that all those hours of prep for an hour or so of sounds might be worthwhile and real.
* Baby Ben and Brendan have been helping out by keeping us in shape running after them so that our stamina is up for the concert. Sam and Aidan will be in it!