How many songs can a human ever play?
Posted On August 8, 2021
We’re all familiar with the concept of the human race.
We have our individual DNA, our genetic make-up, our physical characteristics.
But do we really understand how we are all related to each other?
Some studies suggest that we do, but only in very limited ways.
There is still much to learn about human and animal relationships, but at least in the early stages of understanding how humans and animals interact, there is a lot we don’t know.
Now, a new research team has looked at just that, using a new tool called the PET scan, to try to find out just how many songs each of us can play.
It is the first study to test the ability of the brain to learn, and it could mean a lot to the future of our ability to play music, says Dr Michael Reeves, a researcher at the University of Cambridge in the UK.
“The PET scan is a technique that has been used to study how the brain works, and we’re starting to understand how it works,” Reeves says.
This technique is now being used to test brain scans of deaf people.
The team used PET scans to measure brain activity in individuals with and without congenital hearing loss.
They were able to measure activity in the brain areas associated with learning, memory and emotion.
For the PET scans, the participants listened to a series of songs with different words in each song, like Lonely Boy, Black Jesus and I Love You.
After listening to the songs, the researchers then recorded brain activity and measured how much the participants were able, or unable, to recall the words in the songs.
Once they had learned the words, they played the songs for one to five minutes at a time, listening for brain activity.
At each time, the scientists measured the participants’ brain activity for different areas of the cortex, the part of the mind that is involved in learning and memory.
Then, using software called Neuroimage , the team analysed the brain activity from the participants in the Neuromarketer and compared it to brain activity that had been recorded before and after the task.
As expected, brain activity showed that the participants with congenital deafness could learn much more than those with normal hearing.
However, the brain scans also revealed that those with acute hearing loss were not as able to learn as those with no hearing loss, and that this difference persisted for up to five hours after the tasks were completed.
Brain activity was also reduced in people with a variety of other conditions, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and people with Parkinson’s disease, but the differences were small.
To learn how these differences might be explained, Reeves and his colleagues are now working with neuroscientists at the National Institute for Health to develop a more accurate tool to measure and monitor brain activity to help scientists understand what happens in the brains of deaf and hearing people.
In future studies, Reeves says that he hopes to investigate the neural mechanisms that underlie the different abilities of the different groups of people with ACD.
One of the first questions he and his team are hoping to answer is how long deaf and hearing people can play music.
A brain scan of a deaf person shows no activity in brain regions associated with music, but this could change in a person with a hearing loss source NewScientist article