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Wednesday, 18 March, 2009

Advances In Brain Synchronization

Music / science news: Guitarists' Brains Swing Together.

When musicians play along together it isn't just their instruments that are in time - their brain waves are too. New research shows how EEG readouts from pairs of guitarists become more synchronized, a finding with wider potential implications for how our brains interact when we do.

[Researchers] used electroencephalography (EEG) to record the brain electrical activity in eight pairs of guitarists. Each of the pairs played a short jazz-fusion melody together up to 60 times while the EEG picked up their brain waves via electrodes on their scalps.

The similarities among the brainwaves' phase, both within and between the brains of the musicians, increased significantly: first when listening to a metronome beat in preparation; and secondly as they began to play together. The brains' frontal and central regions showed the strongest synchronization patterns, as the researchers expected. However the temporal and parietal regions also showed relatively high synchronization in at least half of the pairs of musicians. The regions may be involved in processes supporting the coordinated action between players, or in enjoying the music.

The image shows two random musicians --with brains that may or may not be in synch.


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