Stanford University researchers are developing a new biofeedback tool to help differentiate epileptic seizures from normal brain activity.

Josef Parvizi, a neurologist at Stanford Medical Center, was listening to a musical group perform a piece that was based on radio signals from outer space when he was struck with the idea of setting the brain’s electrical activity to music. He then teamed up with Chris Chafe, a professor of music research at Stanford and one of the world’s experts at ‘musification’ or converting natural signals to music.

Parvizi gave Chafe the electroencephalogram or EEG recording of a consenting patient and Chafe converted the data to music by using a tone that was close to a human’s voice. When they listened to the resulting musical piece, they realized that they can easily differentiate the seizure activity from the non-seizure state.

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