Medical Mysteries of Music

AI has hacked into music in the brain. This is…weird.

Scientists love to study the effect of music on the brain. The way we process these sounds reveals a lot about how that lump of fat between our ears actually works. Now a new study reconstructed a song just by eavesdropping on a person’s brain pattern activities.

Using AI, boffins at the University of California, Berkley built a “brain decoder” that could translate someone thinking about a song into an actual song everyone could hear. From The Daily Beast:

[R]esearchers attached 2,668 intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) electrodes to the brains of 29 patients as they listened to “Another Brick in the Wall.” They discovered that electrodes placed specifically at the Superior Temporal Gyrus (STG) region of the brain were largely responsible for auditory processing and rhythm perception—and provided the best data for reconstructing the music.

They were able to reconstruct the song the subject was singing to themselves in their head. In this case, the person was thinking about Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2.” You can hear it. (Try to ignore the irony of the line “We don’t need no thought control.”)

And that’s not all. Check out this.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37911 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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