Back in 2016, a Swedish neurologist – Thomas Deuel – teamed up with physicist Felix Darvas to develop an encephalophone, a musical instrument that you can play by thinking, creating sound using a person’s brain waves.
The instrument was first invented in the 1940s by Dr. E A Bevers, a physiologist who found how to use brain waves to generate sound. Meanwhile, Deuel and Darvas wanted to explore new music technologies and believed it could serve as a therapeutic tool for people who had suffered from strokes or other neurological problems.
Plus, Deuel added that it’s ‘totally non-invasive: no surgery, and it’s portable’. The instrument requires the musician to wear a special cap fitted with electrodes that can read brain waves and then transmits them to a synthesiser.
Basically, ‘The encephalophone is a musical instrument that you control with your thoughts, without movement,’ Deuel shared, ‘I’m a musician and neurologist, and I’ve seen many patients who played music prior to their stroke or other motor impairment, who can no longer play an instrument or sing,’.
The study was published in 2017, titled; The Encephalophone: A Novel Musical Biofeedback Device Using Conscious Control of Electroencephalogram, in which scientists trialed the instrument on 15 adults, and successfully, every member was able to correctly recreate musical notes without any training.