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Dr. R. Furth, a mathematical physicist, and Dr. E.A. Bevers, a physiologist, invented the encephalophone in the early 1940s at the University of Edinburgh. The cross between an electroencephalograph (EEG) and sonar technology, it was meant to be a way for ordinary physicians to diagnose neuropathologies.
One was designed by Erkki Kurenniemi, a Finnish electronic musician and artificial intelligence researcher, in the 1973. In the summer of 1968 Kurenniemi visited an electroacoustic music conference organized by Teatro Comunale in Florence, Italy. During the conference Kurenniemi was introduced to Manford L. Eaton’s ideas of biofeedback as a source of musical or composition material. Two of Kurenniemi’s instruments - Dimi-S and Dimi-T - are loosely based on these ideas.
Eduardo Reck Miranda is currently (~2004) involved in research which uses neural networks and brain interfaces to create music.
The electroencephalophone is a quintephone in the sense that it creates sound from the "5th classical element" (i.e. from beyond the world of matter).
In addition to sound-production, regenerative brainwave musical performances use brainwave interfaces to modify or manipulate or play along with sounds of other instruments in a live performance context.
- Thomas K. Henry, "Invention locates hurt brain cells," New York Times (2 March 1943), p. 21.
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