Don’t scan so close to me

What does the 1960s Beatles hit “Girl” have in common with Astor Piazolla’s evocative tango composition “Libertango”? Probably not much, to the casual listener. But in the mind of one famously eclectic singer-songwriter, the two songs are highly similar. That’s one of the surprising findings of an unusual neuroscience study based on brain scans of the musician Sting. The paper, published in the journal Neurocase, uses recently developed imaging-analysis techniques to provide a window into the mind of a masterful musician. It also represents an approach that could offer insights into how gifted individuals find connections between seemingly disparate thoughts or sounds, in fields ranging from arts to politics or science. “These state-of the-art techniques really allowed us to make maps of how Sting’s brain organizes music,” says lead author…


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