Music on the Brain
Brain waves align in musicians playing out the same song together, even if they play different notes.
New findings on musical harmony hit home — in the brain. According to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, brain movement aligns among musicians who perform together.
Not at all like past reviews that revealed coordinated brain conduct among musicians who play a similar song, the most recent research, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, suggests that brain waves of different musicians playing together align even when every musician plays different chords or notes. “When people coordinate their own actions, small networks between brain regions are formed,” said Johanna Sänger, doctoral fellow and study leader, in an official release.
Using electrodes, researchers recorded the electrical activity in various brain regions of guitarists performing different sequences of “Sonata in G Major,” a duet by Christian Gottlieb Scheidler. One member of every duo was designated the lead, assuming responsibility for orchestrating start time and tempo, while the other followed.
Even though they were playing unique chords, Each musician’s brain activity was synchronized with the other, find a direct neural link representing or resulting from their interpersonal coordination. Each player’s internal brain movement was also synchronized with the music. “In the player taking the lead, the internal synchronization of an individual’s brain waves was stronger and, vitally, was available already before the duet started to play,” noted Sänger. “This could be an impression of the leading player’s choice to begin playing at a specific moment in time.”
Brain synchronization is at present thought to arise in areas of the brain related to social cognition and music production. However, music is not the only activity that seems to trigger neural connectedness. “We think that different individuals brain waves also synchronize when individuals commonly coordinate their actions in other ways, such as during sport, or when they communicate with one another,” added Sänger.
Recently, researchers have also studied other brain patterns, reporting that the capacity to rap and improvise is tied to the frontal cortex of the brain responsible for creativity and that brain waves can be recreated into the words of those who can’t speak.