A Pink Floyd song reconstructed with brain activity

A Pink Floyd song reconstructed with brain activity

Researchers have used the results of an intracranial electroencephalogram and artificial intelligence to recreate a Pink Floyd song. Although the result isn’t perfect, the discovery could one day make it possible to create brain implants that can regenerate sounds and vocalizations for people who have lost the use of speech.

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Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have succeeded in reconstructing a Pink Floyd song from only intracranial electroencephalogram (iEEG). In an article published in the journal PLOS BiologyThey describe their method, which uses artificial intelligence to decode the recordings and encode them into audio form.

The researchers used recordings obtained by iEEG from 29 different patients. These data come from interventions performed on epilepsy patients in 2008 and 2015, with a total of 2,668 electrodes in direct contact with the brain. Its purpose was to locate the starting point of an epileptic seizure. Patients listened to music during the procedure Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1 de pink floyd.

Pink Floyd song recreated from brain activity. © UC Berkeley, The Guardian

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Despite the overtly obvious distortion, the reconstruction of the song is recognisable, including the lyrics. Furthermore, thanks to the multitude of electrodes, the researchers were able to precisely locate the areas of the brain that process music. They found that the right hemisphere was dominant for music perception. The superior temporal gyrus appears to play a primary role, and researchers have also identified a new subregion sensitive to musical rhythm.

The researchers hope that this discovery, together with previous work on word reconstruction, may represent a first step towards brain implants that can restore speech to people who have lost it after stroke or paralysis. Where previous experiments on word reconstruction had produced a very robotic sound, this new advance could restore musicality to the language, to convey nuance and emotional dimension.


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