2013 in review

Boy am I happy that the blog stats aren’t the only measure for success… 5 posts! :D Well, in addition, I did manage to get married and finally (FINALLY) finished writing my PhD thesis. So it was a great, nay, extraordinary year!

On the other hand, I have been stressed out, tired at times, lazy at other times, so in other words a human being. I’ll try to keep being a human being next year and hopefully I’ll get around to writing a few blog posts in the process. :)

Thanks for this year, all you who stumbled upon this blog, (mostly by accident, given the odd search terms), and have a great 2014!

Continue reading

Communication in a string quartet

Casa Paganini, Uni of Genoa

As I mentioned in the earlier post from the International Symposium on Performance Science, string quartets seem to be fashionable in music psychology, and for good reasons. They are perhaps the prototype of a chamber music ensemble, with lots of great pieces written for them, they are of an optimal size for such studies, and of course there are many professional quartets that have worked together for years, making them extremely interesting topics for research on coordination and interaction. A new study from Genoa looks at communication in a string quartet, using a cool setup.

Continue reading

Synchronisation and schnitzels – International Symposium on Performance Science

MCW Courtyard

The fourth international symposium on performance science (ISPS for short) convened in Vienna at the University of Music and Performing Arts. The theme for this four day meeting was “Performing together”, which of course fits my research interests perfectly. So, I gave two talks but was mainly looking forward to hearing what the “state of the art” in ensemble research and joint action, entrainment etc. is. Continue reading

Eine Kleine Yachtmusic – some fishy research

Rainbow trout

You might remember the famous salmon study by Bennett et al. (2009) (pdf), the classic demonstration of why corrections for multiple comparisons are vital in fMRI research. Yes, the one where the researchers found significant activation in parts of a salmon’s brain. Dead salmon’s brain to be exact.

Well, the trouts are back in town. This time the rainbow variety, and the study is about the good old Mozart effect. Continue reading

Mapping the connections in the brain

DSI image of white matter tracts in the brain

White matter tracts seen from below – colour-coding shows the direction of fibre tracts. Figure from the Human Connectome Project gallery by LONI / UCLA & Martinos Center of Biomedical Imaging / MGH.

The BBC ran a story today on the Human Connectome Project. The story features a set of colorful pictures, which represent some of the first results of the massively ambitious, $40M endeavor to map the human connectome. The BBC article has the pretty pictures, while a recent advertorial* in Science has a bit more of the technical detail.

The Connectome Project attempts to map the neural connections in the human brain; the connectome (cf. genome) is unique for everyone, a result of genetic and environmental factors, as well as what we’ve learned and experienced in life.

Continue reading

Mosh pit dynamics

Picture by wetwebwork (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From The Met to Mardi Gras, Glastonbury to Concertgebouw, music syncs groups of people together. Getting people moving together and feeling e.g. joy, sublimity or nostalgia together is one of many virtues of music (of course, you can also see it as a vice if you look at how music is used in preparation for battle or as a propaganda tool). Continue reading

2012 in review

OK, here’s the year in numbers re Synchronised Minds. Thank you all for visiting. Shouldn’t be too hard to beat these stats next year… :)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.