Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead explores the therapeutic potential of rhythm.

Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead explores the therapeutic potential of rhythm.

This was a great article. Mickey Hart, the drummer from the Grateful Dead is helping science understand the benefits of rhythm. Armed with an Electroencephalogram loaded hat, that he is wearing during jams, he is developing data that can give us clues as to what music does to the brain and how it can be used therapeutically. Check this out

Grateful Dead drummer displays brain activity, sees therapeutic potential of rhythm

By Associated Press, Published: September 16

Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart has a new piece of equipment accompanying him on his latest tour: a cap fitted with electrodes that capture his brain activity and direct the movements of a light show while he’s jamming on stage.

The sensor-studded headgear is an outgrowth of collaboration between Hart, 70, and Adam Gazzaley, a University of California at San Francisco neuroscientist who studies cognitive decline.

The subject has been an interest of the musician’s since the late 1980s, as he watched his grandmother deal with Alzheimer’s disease. When he played the drums for her, he says, she became more responsive.

Since then, Hart has invested time and money exploring the therapeutic potential of rhythm. Thirteen years ago, he founded Rhythm for Life, a nonprofit promoting drum circles for the elderly.

Hart first publicly wore his electroencephalogram cap last year at an AARP convention where he and Gazzaley discussed their joint pursuit of research on the link between brain waves and memory.

He wore it again while making his new album, “Superorganism,” translating the rhythms of his brain waves into music. Hart’s bandmates, with input from other researchers in Gazzaley’s lab, paired different waves with specific musical sequences that were then inserted into songs.

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