At the Intersection of Neuroscience and Art

November 24, 2015
News

There is a neural orchestra inside your head.

The music comes from tiny electrical signals produced by millions of neurons in the brain, always playing and often changing, depending on what the brain is processing.

Listen to the orchestra, and you'll gain insights into fundamental neural activity and how it differs across individuals. Researcher Jose "Pepe" Luis Contreras Vidal is listening and he's doing so from outside the confines of his University of Houston lab.

With National Science Foundation (NSF) funding, Contreras Vidal collects neural activity data from hundreds of individuals as they peruse art museums, play games, paint, draw and dance. His research, at the intersection of neuroscience and creativity, could lead to a deeper understanding of neural activity and help design more effective, safer biomedical devices.

It has also introduced people to their very own neural orchestras.

"We're getting data we clearly need," Contreras Vidal said. "But it's also great in terms of outreach. You can actually combine science and art and engineering."

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