EyeMusic brings music to our eyes | Health

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Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Reading this yesterday I immediately thought of that of that “terrific!” Ben Affleck Superhero movie - DareDevil - the one where he “sees” the world through visual radar - being able to use sound to bounce waves off objects and then interpret them kinda like a submarine!

This is not the case!  the point behind this article is the idea that the visual cortex isn’t really about vision - and that if you train a blind person to read using touch with Braille, they use the same visual cortex as a seeing person.

What they’re doing here is using sound to represent what the world looks like - not radar or sonar - but actually creating auditory signals such as upward swoops to represent smiles.  Apparently after just 30 minutes instruction, a blind person can identify a series of different shapes.

It’s all pretty interesting and insightful when it comes to how the visual cortex isn’t just about sight - but I’m not sure about the wider world applicability.  


See on jewishjournal.com

How Playing Music Affects The Developing Brain

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Researchers in the burgeoning field of music neuroscience discuss the effects of music on brain development.

Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Quite a long read but the key takeaways are:

- Having music in schools raises test scores

- Music training has a positive effect on the brain’s executive function

- Music training increase brain plasticity

- Music can predict a child’s literacy (fantastic tool and cheap!)

- music neuroscience faces the same funding problems as music in the classroom does

Well worth a read!


See on commonhealth.wbur.org

Think Before You Clap: You Could Be Beat Deaf

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People who can’t clap on the beat drive comedian Aaron Michael King crazy, especially one group in particular. He devoted a whole YouTube sketc

Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Had never heard of Beat Deafness before but it certainly makes sense.  The article starts a little tongue in cheek with the old chestnut that white people don’t have rhythm but then actually gets to the science.  Interestingly enough even the guy who is supposed to be beat deaf can actually keep in time with a basic metronome.


See on ripr.org

The Romantic Power of Music

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Recent studies show that musical ability might be a sexually selected trait.

Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Aside from all the cognitive benefits of getting your kid into music classes early - here’s another reason - chicks will dig them (and guys too!)  Well written article that looks at the first real rock star - Franz Lizt and examines why people go crazy around this kind of musical genius.  The consensus seems to be that if you can play your instrument at an exceptional level then you pretty much have your shit down - this is kind of like Douglas Adams Hitchhiker’s towel.  


See on theatlantic.com

Songs To Saw Logs To


Last weekend my boyfriend and I went on a mini-road trip to our old stomping grounds, Echo Park, Los Angeles—a little neighborhood wedged in between DTLA and uber hip(ster) Silverlake. Since moving to Phoenix 6 months ago, we have been itching to get back to the city of angels to visit our handful of good friends as well as escape from the desert’s oppressive heat.

One of those good friends kindly let us crash on his large, surprisingly comfortable, sectional sofa both of the nights we were there.  The first night, I didn’t have any trouble falling asleep whatsoever. Whether it was the Double IPAs I had from Sunset Beer, the 6 hour drive, or the much cooler temperature, I drifted easily into slumber. At 8:00a, however, I was jolted awake by the sound of someone’s bass blaring from their vehicle down below and a pack of angry-sounding dogs yipping at each other from across their respective turfs.  

Needless to say, as much as I despise the heat and the fact that everything in Phoenix is a dull beige color, I have grown rather accustomed to my serene neighborhood. Unable to fall back asleep, I grabbed my phone and hastily opened my Spotify app hoping to find a station that would drown out the “big city” noises. After finding a “Sleep” radio station, I slipped in my ear buds and felt my breathing begin to soften as I got reacquainted with my old chum, Sleep.  

For me, sleep is much more than just something I do when I’m bored, lonely, or tired. It’s a rite of passage that only comes after following a very particular, very annoying routine. I need the conditions of my slumber to be just right or I’ll lie awake pondering insomnia and the mere absurdity of it. Give me white noise (any fan will do but a box fan is preferred), an eye mask, two pillows, a light blanket, and a pair of socks. I know what you are thinking, she must be a real peach to share a bed with. The truth is, you’re right! My sleeping habits have been a point of much contention throughout my relationships.

The fact that I found this radio station has given me a new lease on life. If you also experience insomnia when away from your routine—consider creating a sleeping playlist before your trip (or just download the Spotify app and find the Sleep station like I did.) The song below should help you get started on your “Songs to Saw Logs to” playlist. Sweet dreams!

Nicole Paulus, Nico New Media

Photo credit: Jeff Hill via Flickr



Like what you read? There’s more where that came from…

10 Pieces Of Music Created With Brainwaves | The Creators Project

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These tech-aided, brainwave-created music experiments bring a new meaning to “straight off the dome.”

Andrew McCluskey's insight:

it’s fascinating to see certain paths develop in this opaque world that is music and human beings and psychology and neuroscience.  There’s a been a trend in recent years of people taking obscure data sets such as galaxy clusters or road layouts and turning that data into music.  Which is kinda cool but it’s not really that “interesting” to me ‘cos the music created is filtered through whatever the programmers add as the sounds to be manipulated by the data set - so it’s kinda interesting but never sounds very good.

What we have here is the same concept of souhnd being generated - but the data set is waaaay more interesting.  Instead of gathering discrete data points and feeding them in to a program - brainwaves are picked up by EEG and fed into the sound generator in real time - in one example the sound generator is live musicians reacting to a score being created on the fly - which is pretty gnarly if you think about it.

There are 10 different examples and a few of them actually sound pretty good - of course a few others sound like cats screeching - but hey - progress is being made! 


See on thecreatorsproject.vice.com

This Week in Music to Work to - July 17, 2014 

Every week Charlotte and I curate information on how music affects human beings and we post them over on our Scoop.it page here.  We look at hundreds of different articles spanning neuroscience to psychobabble and try to highlight the good stuff.

Going forward we’re going to publish a weekly summary here on the music2work2 blog as an easy reference for those of you interested in this kind of thing.



A Musical Mission To Improve The Lives Of Elders With Dementia - NBC News

The conversation on how music can help the elderly is picking up steam - the famous Henry Alzheimer’s video which was published back in 2011 now has 1.5 million views.  This is an interview with a filmmaker who’s documentary “Alive inside” highlights how music can have a huge impact on the lives of those with dementia.  It’s insightful and touching - well worth a read. 

Pop music is making us depressed. But there’s a happy pill for that

Hysterically funny love letter to Hayley Williams of Paramore wrapped in a smattering of relevant research mixed with a healthy contempt for today’s plastic pop stars - definitely worth a read!

Finding ‘Flow’ | Empower2Perform

Great introduction to the idea of Flow and how you can get there more quickly.  Not necessarily music specific - but the use of music to work to can enhance your transition into a flow state more easily! 

To cut down on sugar just change the background music - Telegraph

Really interesting idea but with fairly anecdotal and small study evidence.  But the promise of  making a dish seem 10% more sweet or sour just by altering the audio environment does open a lot of doors.  While there is definitely opportunity here - I’m a little suspicious of the wine pairings at the end of the article - a fun read!

To The Beat And Sound - The Sport In Mind – Sport Psychology

Some nice data here backed with research - the big takeaways are the use of music to either psych the athlete up - or to calm them down - clear evidence that the right playlist can achieve both ends.  interesting data on German soccer players improving their motor skills when listening to  music of a set rhythm - hopefully they won’t be wearing them when they face theUSAon Tuesday! 


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A Musical Mission To Improve The Lives Of Elders With Dementia - NBC News

See on Scoop.it - Music to work to

Alive Inside In the beginning, filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett had planned on following Dan Cohen for just one day. Cohen, a social worker and founder of t…

Andrew McCluskey's insight:

The conversation on how music can help the elderly is picking up steam - the famous Henry Alzheimer’s video which was published back in 2011 now has 1.5 million views.  This is an interview with a filmmaker who’s documentary “Alive inside” highlights how music can have a huge impact on the lives of those with dementia.  It’s insightful and touching - well worth a read. 


See on nbcnews.com

Pop music is making us depressed. But there’s a happy pill for that

See on Scoop.it - Music to work to

Why are we so depressed? Well, that would require a book, but science show us our popular music is part of the problem.

Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Hysterically funny love letter to Hayley Williams of Paramore wrapped in a smattering of relevant research mixed with a healthy contempt for today’s plastic pop stars - definitely worth a read!


See on deathandtaxesmag.com

To cut down on sugar just change the background music - Telegraph

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Playing ‘sweet’ sounding music over dinner could allow you to lower the amount of sugar in food without changing the taste in a phenomenon dubbed ‘sonic seasoning’ by experimental psychologists at Oxford University

Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Really interesting idea but with fairly anecdotal and small study evidence.  But the promise of  making a dish seem 10% more sweet or sour just by altering the audio environment does open a lot of doors.  While there is definitely opportunity here - I’m a little suspicious of the wine pairings at the end of the article - a fun read!


See on telegraph.co.uk