MRI Now Stands For “Music Recording Interface”?
This is a very cool. There’s been a lot of music videos made over the years, and coming up with something original is pretty difficult to do. I mean, not everyone can be Björk and animate a video as if your spirit lived inside of a living, functioning cell nucleus.
This new video from British singer Sivu was shot entirely inside an MRI machine! It apparently took 3+ hours to get it done, and having been in an MRI machine before, that does not sound fun. On top of that, it’s a pretty damn good song if I do say so myself.
Of course, this isn’t a functional MRI machine, the version that is sensitive to changes in large-scale brain activity. If it was, what areas might we see lit up?
Well, we’d see several regions active that are responsible for pleasure and emotion, with complicated mouthfuls of names like the ventral striatum, amygdala and ventral medial prefrontal cortex. We’d also see regions controlling the mechanics of speech, like the motor cortex, as well as regions that determine self-awareness so he can hear the pitch and adjust it (the insula, for one). And then when we get to accessing language and memorized lyrics? Well that could light up practically the whole brain in different contexts (from this paper):
I say we look into it. Sounds fun.
(via Open Culture)
A Real-Time Singing MRI Holiday Greeting/Nightmare Fodder
Christmas was yesterday, but I’m the kind of person who likes to prolong the magic of the season. And by that I mean I want to haunt your dreams with a Christmas carol that you will never unsee.
Behold this real-time MRI of someone singing “Deck The Halls” by the folks at the Beckman Institute. The real use of technology like this is to study the dynamics of human speech by looking inside someone’s head. It also has an interesting side-effect: Whenever I hear this song, for the rest of my life, I will see this.
A fascinating look inside the most common objects.
Creative blog uses MRI scanner to look into objects such as vegetables, often with pleasurable results. These captures into animated gifs (as you can see above).
You can check out more at the blog here
[Note - I am not responsible for the above Gifs - they were made by Andy Ellison who runs the blog - the only alteration I have made of them is to optimize and reduce the original file sizes so they can run here. Higher resolution versions can be found at the blog itself]
The very first video of a human birth seen in an MRI
This is truly amazing. Also, filed under “Exhibit A” in the “Reasons to Respect Mothers” folder, as this looks rather … uncomfortable.
In scientific terms, this illustrates perfectly how the human pelvis has evolved to be in balance with brain size at birth, and that our transition to walking upright was a tough one when it came to having bigger and bigger heads. If it weren’t for our head’s “soft spot” at birth, childbirth in an walking primate would be even more difficult than it already is.
Bonus: Here’s a story at New Scientist with details on how this was done, with bonus links to other “interesting” MRI experiences.
Did you get creeped out by the hyper-realistic Tom Hanks face in The Polar Express? You aren’t alone. It turns out that this common uneasiness may be a result of the brain not being able to reconcile non-human motions with highly human appearance. This is also why Wall-E is way cute.
It suggests that the brain couldn’t compute the incongruity between the android’s human-like appearance and its robotic motion. In the other experiments — when the onscreen perfomer looks human and moves likes a human, or looks like a robot and moves like a robot — our brains are fine. But when the two states are in conflict, trouble arises.
“The brain doesn’t seem tuned to care about either biological appearance or biological motion per se,” said Saygin, assistant professor of cognitive science at UC San Diego. “What it seems to be doing is looking for its expectations to be met — for appearance and motion to be congruent.”