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Boston Symphony Orchestra Project: McGill Concert

In a first-of-its-kind experiment, a team of scientists led by Daniel Levitin, Steve McAdams, Teresa Marrin Nakra attached electrophysiological sensors to conductor Keith Lockhart, 5 members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and 15 audience members, to measure their brain activity and emotional reactions during a live concert in Boston's Symphony Hall on August 8, 2006.


In a first-of-its-kind experiment, a team of scientists led by Daniel Levitin, Steve McAdams, Teresa Marrin Nakra attached electrophysiological sensors to conductor Keith Lockhart, 5 members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and 15 audience members, to measure their brain activity and emotional reactions during a live concert in Boston's Symphony Hall on August 8, 2006. 35 additional audience members adjusted a slider box in real time to indicate their experience of emotion during the concert, which featured four pieces by Mozart and two by Robert Kapilow.

The second half of the experiment involves replaying HD Video to a local audience in Tanna Schulich Hall at McGill University, in the hopes that the researchers can characterize and quantify some of the differences in electrophysiological responses between live and taped performance. The concert will take place on Tuesday, June 6 at 12 noon. Around 50 audience members will participate: 16 subjects will wear sensors, and 32 will move a slider on an input device in real-time to indicate their ongoing emotional experience. If you would like to be one of the participants, you will need to be at Tanna Schulich Hall by 11:15 am to fill out consent forms and be given instructions.

Attendance is free, you simply need to send an email to expt@cirmmt.mcgill.ca so that we can keep an accurate count. If you would like to be a subject, please put "Participate" in the subject line. An auto reply will give you directions and further information.

For further information on the project, please visit http://www.psych.mcgill.ca/levitin.html/boston_symphony.html
The project is generously supported by Thought Technologies, Body Media, and by grants from VRQ, CFI and SSHRC.