Listen to the Music of a Brain Seizure

Music researcher Chris Chafe and neurologist Josef Parvizi, both of Stanford University, have collaborated to turn the data from an EEG into audio signals with a device called a "brain stethoscope."

Parvizi, an associate professor, specializes in treating patients suffering from intractable seizures. To locate the source of a seizure, he places electrodes in patients' brains to create electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings of both normal brain activity and a seizure state.

He shared a consenting patient's EEG data with Chafe, who began setting the electrical spikes of the rapidly firing neurons to music. Chafe used a tone close to a human's voice, in hopes of giving the listener an empathetic and intuitive understanding of the neural activity.

The data comes from more than 100 electrodes in the brain. You can hear the seizure trigger, rise into a "storm" of brain activity, and gradually trail off as the seizure is exhausted. Chafe and Parvizi hope to use the technology for further brain research and for practical applications such as training non-medical caregivers (parents, etc) to recognize when a seizure is imminent. -via Dangerous Minds

(Image credit: Petter Kallioinen)

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