Red Raspus Music

Home of Musician and Educator David Marriott, Jr.

David Marriott, Jr. is a jazz trombonist, composer/arranger, educator, and blogger. A two-time Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award recipient and winner of the 1999 National Jazz Trombone Competition, David is active in a variety of Seattle jazz groups, including the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Zubatto Syndicate and his own critically-acclaimed groups Septology and Triskaidekaband.

Your Brain on Jazz: MRI Research into Jazz Musicians' Brains at John Hopkins

brain4.jpgA good friend recently e-mailed me this press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine, discussing new MRI research into the brain activity of jazz musicians during the act of improvisation. Here are a few snipets from the article:

A pair of Johns Hopkins and government scientists have discovered that when jazz musicians improvise, their brains turn off areas linked to self-censoring and inhibition, and turn on those that let self-expression flow.

The joint research, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, and musician volunteers from the Johns Hopkins University's Peabody Institute sheds light on the creative improvisation that artists and non-artists use in everyday life, the investigators say.

It appears, they conclude, that jazz musicians create their unique improvised riffs by turning off inhibition and turning up creativity.

This is quite fascinating research, so be sure to read the entire article. After you've finished that, start to think about that research in terms of this new technology, where they are now able to do real-time scanning of your brain.  I would love to see the brain changing in real time as the data from the first article would suggest.  Enjoy this video from TED regarding real-time brain scanning: