Tell if a person is a musician and even which instrument plays. It can be possible reading your brain waves. It is what emerges from a study conducted by scientists at the University of Milan-Bicocca who analyzed 20 people: 10 young people aged 21 to 32 years, graduated from the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi of Milan, and 10 non-musicians collegue students. The study, published in the journal Music Perception, published by University of California Press, was conducted by Alice Mado Proverbio, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology Bicocca, together with his research group in the music Neuroscience, in cooperation with Andrea Orlandi, a doctoral student in psychology.

The Italian study

The research has focused on the activity and bioelectrical surface area of ​​the prefrontal cortex. Each of the 20 boys displayed 180 videos in which they were executed one or two notes with violins and clarinets, inside a cabin acoustically screen, with the aim of isolating people from any other sound and get the best possible correlation between stimulus and response. There was evidence that underwent sensory stimulation neurons communicate with each other, producing a very weak bioelectric signal, detectable on the surface of the head: depending on experience or personal characteristics, will change the level of brain activation. The bond sought by Bicocca Erp Lab is combining the timbre of a musical instrument to individual skills, allowing you to understand whether there is familiar with certain musical sounds with a specific tool.

The explanation lies in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This region encoding the stimuli (based on the inputs coming from the hearing, the superior temporal cortex) and relates to already encoded stimuli, integrating them with our prior knowledge. It allows us to "read" and interpret the reality. Theexperts explain this because our brains, and in particular the prefrontal cortex, create an activity dedicated processing less intense encoding of material already known or familiar and you can determine, observing the 'anterior negativities' front, what is the instrument played by a person of whom we know nothing, or exclude that play a musical instrument.

It a study of "mind reading", and they identify the neural signaturesof mental representations, making it possible to put point algorithms. For some time, scientists try to investigate the effects of music on the brain. In a Robert Zatorre research, one of the founders of the Canadian Research Lab Brain, music and sound studied the neuronal mechanisms of music perception.

Because of their perception of hearing, sounds are transmitted to the brain stem first and primary auditory cortex then; the impulses then travel in brain networks important for perceiving music and to store the already heard. The brain's response to sounds is in fact conditioned by his heard in the past, because the brain contains the data for all the melodies.