October 21, 2023 at 12:43 pm

Scientists Extracted A Pink Floyd Song From Somebody’s Mind Just By Monitoring Their Brain Waves

by Trisha Leigh

Source: PLOS

If you’ve ever wondered what songs and the like sound like when your brain “hears” and interprets them, well, it’s your lucky day.

US Berkeley neurologist and psych professor Robert Knight claims in a press release that he and his team have “begun to crack the code” on interpreting the content and meaning behind human brain waves.

Studies before this one have “translated” brain waves, but this one is the first to decipher the “prosody” – the “rhythm, stress, accent, and intonation” carrying meaning beyond the words alone.

Source: PLOS

Source: PLOS

The neurologists at New York’s Albany Medical Center published their findings in PLOS Biology. To get their results, they hooked up 20 participants to 2,600 intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) nodes and cranked up Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1 by Pink Floyd.

The found that the superior temporal gyrus, located just above and behind your ears, were the best place to collect data that they could then translate into a weird version of the classic hit.

Listen to this excerpt from Now This

Pretty wild, right?

Researchers took the data from the iEEG recordings and ran it through AI software that was used to “decode brain activity and then encode a reproduction.”

They were able to figure out which parts of the brain involved processing rhythm, confirming that it appears to be a function of the right brain, says Knight.

“Language is more left brain. Music is more distributed, with a bias toward right.”

Source: PLOS

They believe their research could help people who struggle communicating after a stroke or other catastrophic brain injury.

“This gives you a way to add musicality to future brain implants for people who need it. It gives you an ability to decode not only the linguistic content, but some of the prosodic content of speech, some of the affect.”

Come for the weird and cool song, stay for the possibility of helping stroke victims.

Science sure knows how to reel us in.