‘What really happens to our brains when we hear music?’ That’s the question asked by Richard Vine of The Guardian at the start of his feature about the day that rapper Tinie Tempah agreed to let scientists scan his brain.
There follows a fascinating article shaped around research undertaken by Professor Slawomir Nasuto, director of Reading University’s Brain Embodiment Laboratory, and Dr Ian Daly on the Brain Computer Music Interface for Monitoring and Inducing Affective States (BCMI-MIdAS) – a joint project with a team at the University of Plymouth lead by Professor Eduardo Miranda.
Normally the pair work with undergraduate students. But their participant for this experiment was award-winning rapper Tinie Tempah. For Professor Slawomir Nasuto and Dr Ian Daly, this is the “holy grail” at the heart of a five-year project. They’re hoping to harness the emotional power of music for therapeutic uses – “to create a system which eventually will be able to help people with depression and different forms of emotional disorders associated with neurological disorders.”
For the experiment, they get subjects like Tinie to listen to music under laboratory conditions: hooked up to an EEG (electroencephalogram) while having their brains scanned from the inside of an fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine. By combining the data collected, a fuller picture of what’s happening when we experience emotions emerges; we can see what areas of the brain are being stimulated when our brains are listening to music, and how much activity there is. In other words, what your brain looks like “on music”.
Watch the video of Tinie Tempah’s brain on music or read more using the sources below.
The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/12/mind-blowing-music-tinie-tempahs-brain-scan?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
Music Channel Blog: https://blogchannelmusic.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/mind-blowing-music-tinie-tempahs-brain.html