19 July 2018

Professor Alan Harvey’s ‘music and the brain’ TEDxPerth talk now online

Emeritus Professor Alan Harvey, Chair of the Perron Institute Research Advisory Committee, stimulating presentation at TEDxPerth towards the end of last year and the edited version is now available online.

During one of the most popular presentations of the day, Professor Harvey, a neuroscientist and musician, took everyone in the Perth Concert Hall on an interactive journey to demonstrate what happens to the brain when listening to music. To do this, Professor Harvey was joined by fellow neuroscientist Dr Andrew Price, hooked up to an electroencephalograph (EEG), which records electric activity in the brain, while musicians from Perth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) led by Bourby Webster played different pieces of music and explained the effects these on Dr Price’s brain in real time.

In order to ensure everyone had the opportunity of experiencing the power of music in a social setting, thereby demonstrating the notion that singing creates bonding, Professor Harvey and PSO managed to get the auditorium of 1600 people singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

Professor Harvey also cleverly connected his two passions for music and neuroscience together in his book released in the middle of last year “Music, Evolution, and the Harmony of Souls” published by Oxford University Press. In his book, which makes for an excellent study resource, Professor Harvey explores music throughout human evolution and emphasises the powerful effect it has on our interactions with each other.

View the talk here