Listen to a brain seizure turned into music

Illustration for article titled Listen to a brain seizure turned into music

Yikes, this is all kinds of creepy. Stanford scientists recently took the EEG signals from a person experiencing a convulsive seizure and converted them to tones that fell within the acoustic spectrum of the human voice. The results will send chills up your spine.


The scientists/artists responsible for this "piece" are Josef Parvizi and Chris Chafe. Their musical experiment has resulted in a kind of brain stethoscope — a biofeedback tool that could allow physicians to listen to their patient's brain activity in real time and be able to detect whether a seizure may be occurring.

As Parvizi explains, the volunteer experiencing the seizure was sitting quietly in bed and not having a seizure. But then

Around 0:20, the patient’s seizure starts in the right hemisphere, and the patient is talking and acting normally. Around 1:50, the left hemisphere starts seizing while the right is in a post-ictal state. The patient is mute and confused. At 2:20 both hemispheres are in the post-ictal state.Patient is looking around, still confused, trying to pick at things, and get out of bed.

[ Via PSFK via FastCo. | Image: Shutterstock / Julien Tromeur ]

Related: "Listen to the first 760,000 years of the universe."


George Dvorsky

Remix, please.