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" Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. "
- ♥ - Berthold Auerbach - ♥ -

The Music Your Brain Makes

What our brain looks like is well-known on MRI and CT scans. However, there is very little published about what our brain sounds like.

Brain scans which are produced as a result of blood flow and oxygenation of the brain are called functional MRI (fMRI). Philosopher Dan Lloyd at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut has turned fMRI scans into music.

It is known that certain parts of the brain light up in unison on fMRI when we do different things (for example, perform a task). These parts of the brain are grouped together, and are given a particular musical pitch. The 'brightness' (or intensity) of these parts of the brain during the fMRI scan correspond to the volume of this musical pitch. This is written as a software program.

For his research, Dan Lloyd assigned various tasks to his volunteers, and obtained their fMRI scans during these tasks. Using this software, he is able to map these scans as music.

How creative some people are, to be able to derive music from a diagnostic tool!

At the moment, radiologists look at scans when they report them. Perhaps, in the future, they will also need to listen to them!

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