Innovative Musical Performance Lets Audience See Dancers’ Real-Time Brain Activity –

There is an abiding sense of fascination with what goes through the mind of a gifted performer. At Professor Anthony Brandt’s innovative “LiveWire” dance performance, attendees didn’t have to wonder.

Indeed, in this particular show, the performers wore EEG caps, which monitored their brainwaves throughout the performance and even incorporated their neural activity into the visuals of the show.

Presented by Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, the show, which the university called the first of its kind, took place during the 2022 International Workshop on the Neural and Social Basis of the Creative Movement. The performers danced to music written by Brandt as part of the “creative experience”.

Anthony Brandt’s LiveWire answers what exactly happens to a dancing brain.

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“This is a pioneering collaboration that is both a work of art and an experience,” Brandt explained. “On one side of the stage, the audience could see visualizations of EEG data displayed on a monitor, while music and dancing in the center of the stage illustrated the flexibility of the brain through sound and movement.”

The term “LiveWire” was developed by Rice University researcher and neuroscientist David Eagleman, who believed that our brains are in a constant state of reinvention over time. To that end, further research will be conducted following “LiveWire” to explore how performers’ brains changed between their training and rehearsals compared to their live performance, which will be analyzed in the coming months.