Create music with your mind with Encephalophone instrument
The Encephalophone instrument could revolutionize therapy for those suffering from neurological disorders.
Swedish neurologist, Dr. Thomas Deuel, has been working with Washington’s DXARTS, a program that crosses science and arts to cross-pollinate and revolutionize both fields.
Deuel then teamed up with UW-based physicist Felix Durvas to create the Encephalophone, an instrument that uses an electroencephalogram (EEG) cap fitted with electrodes to read brain waves which is then transmitted to a synthesizer.
Deuel’s purpose in co-creating this instrument was both for exploration in music technology as well as the possibility of creating a therapeutic tool for those suffering from brain disorders like stroke aftermaths and ALS.
The hope is that learning music in a new way, using different parts of the brain, might serve as a method of neurological rehabilitation, in a totally non-invasive way.
How it works
The beanie-looking EEG cap with its cluster of wires is hooked up to amplifiers and computers, creating a “brain-computer interface” and sounds like the electronic version of instruments like the guitar, piano, or whatever else the synth can produce.
The EEG cap charts electrical activity in the brain’s motor cortex. “When you move your right arm, the motor cortex is engaged and I can see that with the EEG,” Deuel explained. “But when you just think about moving your arm, the same signal happens — even if you’ve had a stroke or Lou Gehrig’s disease and think about moving your arm, I can see it.”
However it takes training to perfect it, just like with any instrument. You have to learn how to play it.
Music is inside us all, and the drive to express that music is strong for all, no matter the level or means.
Watch this video on the Encephalophone instrument that could help rehabilitate sufferers of neurological disorders and release their musical nature below.