Music and the Brain

Music and the Brain

We recently had the opportunity to study the effect of music on the brain, in an unusual performance and imaging project.  Our friend Samuel Salisbury, who is a master of the Indian sarangi, created a 20-minute immersive soundscape, while we monitored the EEG of a listener.  The sarangi is a stringed instrument that is bowed, and has a complement of “drone” strings, so that the instrument produces a uniquely aesthetic and beautiful sound.  We used a new imaging technique in the BrainMaster BrainAvatar software, to create an individualized 3-D brain activation map that showed the brain activity changes that occurred as the listener became immersed in the music.   We used a new wireless, dry-sensor EEG technology, the BrainMaster Freedom 24, to record EEG without gel, paste, or wires.  This provided a very relaxing and compatible setup, for the performance.

We have posted a video of this perfomance at


We will be doing more of these performances, and including dance and other art forms, as our continuing interest in art, music, aesthetics, and the brain.


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