A friend referred a video to me. It shows what is reported to be a real time magnetic resonance image of a singer, singing. And it’s amazing.
Here’s the link to the posted video.
The images were recorded using a GE scanner, imaging from the side, pretty much down the middle of the head. The images were recorded at 9 frames per second and then reconstructed into video at 20.8 frames per second, then the video was synchronized with the audio. At least, that’s how the data for the study were collected. It’s a far cry from the static head shots we’re used to seeing. I think I’d feel the same way if I were standing on a street corner, looking at Lincoln’s portrait on a five dollar bill - then up walks Abe Lincoln.
Now, the achievement itself is 50 shades of awesome. And the movement of the vocal apparatus seems to be the thrust of the research upon which this is based. But I couldn’t help noticing something else: the brain is moving.
When we see a preserved brain, it usually looks a bit dull, and rubbery. But fresh, living brains are more like the consistency of tofu, or gelatin that has been allowed to set up. The idea of that moving around, and flexing (see especially the relative motion of the spinal cord and the brain stem) even a little, inside the bony structures that protect it is just thrilling.
And it makes me wonder: if we can see these small motions in this controlled situation, might we also be able to turn the technology to a better understanding of how the brain is smushed around inside the skull during impacts sustained during sports or wartime? (Yes, we’d need to move the head a bit more than is the case in the video!)
What are your impressions of the video? Fluffy fun, or seriously cool?