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New device helps you create music with your mind

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Scientists at the University of Washington have developed an interface which collects signals from the brain and transforms them into musical notes.

The music is played on a synthesiser, which is synced up to the new technology, dubbed the Encephalophone.

The biofeedback device was created using an electroencephalogram (EEG) to decipher a dominant rhythm, which is then converted into a musical scale that can be manipulated in real time.

Scientists enlisted 15 subjects aged 25 to 65, with varying musical ability, to test the interface.

Each were asked to wear a cap to collect two types of brain signals, one from the visual cortex, the other from the motor cortex.

The frequencies collected were then converted into musical scales sounding like a range of instruments.

All participants were able to perform more accurately than a random note generator, although those individuals with more musical training showed increased performance precision.

Research on the device has been published by the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal.

Developers are continuing to refine the device with the hope it can become both a tool for musicians and patients suffering from paralysis or the effects of a stroke.


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