Cool! A Mind-Controlled Musical Instrument

Scientists have been working on mind-control projects for decades. How can we use the electrical waves generated by our brains to materially affect something outside our skulls? Not only would this be a cool party trick, but think what this would mean for the disabled.

The latest development is the Encephalophone, which is a musical instrument you play just by thinking about it. From New Atlas:

Lead on the project, Thomas Deuel, a neuroscientist from the University of Washington, claims this device is the first that actively makes sounds controllable by a person, as opposed to previous technology that was much more reactive and produced sounds that more passively reflected EEG signals.

“I am a musician and neurologist, and I’ve seen many patients who played music prior to their stroke or other motor impairment, who can no longer play an instrument or sing,” says Deuel. “I thought it would be great to use a brain-computer instrument to enable patients to play music again without requiring movement.”

Deuel and his team set out to make an instrument that could be coupled with a synthesizer to create specific musical notes that correlated with specific EEG patterns. They recently tested out the Encephalophone to see how easily it could be used by participants with no prior training, enlisting a group of 15 adults to try the instrument.

Read more here. Meanwhile, check out this video.

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.

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