Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

AI and Consciousness

Posted: March 19, 2017 by noxprognatus in Illuminism, Science, videos

Roger Penrose discusses why a computer cannot be conscious. And goes on to explain why hes more of an idealist than materialist thinker.

Norbert Wiener discusses this topic in his book God and Golem. (worth a read) ..this post is directed mostly at our illuminist readers, that will have been reading the Pythagorean Illuminati’s various texts on consciousness, mind and matter. Enjoy the thoughts of Roger Penrose…


Sines and Cosines

Posted: June 23, 2015 by noxprognatus in Science, Uncategorized, videos


Learn how sines and cosines can show a lot about our universe works…getting down to the nitty gritty of light and waves.
 – Has modern science only re-discovered the many-worlds theory that was already discussed among medieval scientists?  If true, it is somewhat shocking and rather embarrassing.


Is our Universe surrounded by countless invisible worlds? According to a new study, this is a question that was debated a very long time ago.  In fact, these scientific discussions trace back to the 13th century, if not even earlier. Today, the intriguing multiverse theory occupies the minds of some of our best physicists and cosmologists.


However, it would seem that our modern scientists are contemplating a theory that was already discussed among medieval photospheres in the 13th century.


The multiverse is a theory in which our universe is not the only one, but states that many universes exist parallel to each other. These distinct universes within the multiverse theory are called parallel universes. It should be added that all physicists do not subscribe to the idea that several universes exist, but the multiverse theory is popular among many scientists.

Robert Grosseteste (c. 1175 – 1253) was an English philosopher, theologian, scientist.

Many consider him to be the real founder of the tradition of scientific thought in medieval Oxford, and in some ways, of the modern English intellectual tradition.

He was “one of the most dazzling minds of his generation, lauded by his successors as a mathematical genius, theologian, politician and church leader; he was the bishop of Lincoln from 1235-53,” medieval historian Giles Gasper of Durham University said.

Grosseteste re-discovered works of Aristotle and elaborated on theories that truly mind boggling at the time.

Among his scientific writings, his treatise on light (De luce) is the most famous and extensively quoted, with thought-provoking claims that he predicted the “Big Bang” theory of cosmological expansion eight centuries ahead of Lemaitre and Hubble.


Robert Grosseteste, detail of a window on the South transept Westernmost. St Paul’s Parish Church, Morton, Near Gainsborough.In a new study, physicist Richard Bower of Durham University, UK examines the connection between cosmology and history. The result and of conclusions of his study are very intriguing.

“The results give us a much deeper appreciation of science in the 13th century. From a scientist’s perspective, I find I had previously completely underestimated the depth of logical argument in the Middle Ages,” Bower said.

Bower and his team started with examining the ancient text De Luce, which means “On Ligh”.

The text written by Grosseteste describes how light interacts with matter in terms of modern mathematics and shows that it can indeed generate the philosopher’s claimed structure of the Universe.

“De luce was probably written about 1225, almost contemporaneously with De colore, although almost nothing is known of Grosseteste’s whereabouts at this time in his life. Grosseteste began De luce by immediately making the bold postulates that light (lux in the Latin) is the first corporeal form and that it multiplies itself infinitely, expanding instantaneously from a point into a sphere of any size.

He argued that neither the attribute of corporeal form nor matter has dimension but that, because form and matter are inseparable, by its expansion into all directions light introduces the three dimensions into matter.

In the beginning of time, light extended matter, drawing it out along with itself into a sphere the size of the material universe,” Bower and his team write in their study.

Has modern science just re-discovered the multiverse theory?

In De Luce, Grosseteste also assumed that the universe was born from an explosion that pushed everything, matter and light, out from a single point. Anyone with knowledge of astronomy will quickly understand this was an idea that is strikingly similar to the modern Big Bang theory. Grosseteste’s theory was based on the dominant cosmological model was developed mainly by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. He postulated that there were nine planets (called spheres), one inside the other, with planet Earth at the center. In an attempt to understand what Grosseteste was aiming to explain, scientists wrote down his ideas as if they were modern mathematical equations. The team then used a computer to solve these equations, and to see whether they explained the universe as Grosseteste imagined it.

The results were astonishing. The science team found that the universe imagined by Grosseteste indeed could have formed exactly the way he described it.

“Amazingly, the computer simulation shows that Grosseteste’s description is accurate,” Bower said.

However, Grosseteste’s reasoning only works if there is the right number of properly ordered celestial spheres – and this only happens in the simulations if there are very specific starting points.

“On their own, Grosseteste’s laws aren’t enough to produce the universe he thought he lived in,” Bower said.

The medieval philosopher realized this problem, too. In order to solve this dilemma, he added an extra reason to explain why there were “exactly nine celestial spheres plus one, an ‘imperfect’ Earth,” Bower said.

A closer examination of Grosseteste’s explanation reveals that his ideas were remarkably similar to the reasoning applied in modern cosmology.

Today, the laws of general relativity and quantum mechanics are used to explain the origin of the cosmos, but they do not tell us the amounts of normal matter, dark matter and dark energy in the universe.

“To explain this, cosmologists often appeal to some new theory, such as a super-symmetry theory, for example,” Bower said.

Therefore, according to some physicists, if we live in a multiverse, then there is an infinite number of universes surrounding our own

In the same way, if the parameters in Grosseteste’s model are modified, there will be a different number of spheres around the Earth.

And although De Luce never mentions the term “multiverse,” Bower said that Grosseteste “seems to realize that the model does not predict a unique solution, and that there are many possible outcomes. He needs to pick out one universe from all the possibilities.”

“Robert Grosseteste works in a very similar way to a modern cosmologist, suggesting physical laws based on observations of the world around him, and he then uses these laws to understand how the universe formed,” Bower said.

Seeing the universe through Medieval eyes.

Grosseteste’s description of the origin of the cosmos is not accurate and not based on modern physics, but his theory makes sense. When one accepts Grosseteste’s initial assertions, then it is “a logical argument that a modern physicist would be proud of,” Bower added.  “Personally, it reminds me that in future centuries, a new generation of physicists will look back at how we understand the universe today, and think, ‘How could they not see that?'” Bower said.

“Modern cosmology is a grasping towards a more complete understanding of creation, but we do not yet see the full picture.” Another intriguing aspect of this story deals with theological implications of multiple worlds during the Middle Age. According to the researchers “debate on the subject existed throughout the 13th century over whether there might be multiple actual universes.

Aristotle’s De caelo , which postulates an eternal and singular universe, had been available to western authors since the 12th century. Although the answer iGrosseteste’s day was negative, the notion of multiple universes became a subject closely bound up with the question of divine omnipotence. Article 34 of Bishop Stephen Tempier’s famous Condemnations of 1277, explicitly condemned the notion that God could not produce more than one world. We cannot know Grosseteste’s view, but the computer simulations have revealed a fascinating depth to his model of which he was certainly unaware.”

The multiverse theory will undoubtedly be debated for a long time. Perhaps until we can find solid proof confirm or disprove the theory once and for all.

© – There is a secret tomb in Egypt that contains the bodies of three priest kings – Heridor, Piankh and Menkheperre.

There are also several precious ancient untouched treasures inside the tomb.

The site has remained intact since 1085 B.C. and it is crucial to save the priceless relics that will outshine even that of Tutankhamun’s.

These are the words of British archaeologist John Romer, 72, believes he has discovered the site where three ancient Egyptian priest kings – Herihor, Piankh and Menkheperre – were buried in Luxor, Egypt, almost 3,000 years ago.


A scene from the joint Funerary papyrus, a Book of the Dead, of Herihor.
Image credit:

According to an interesting article published by Daily Mail “an archaeology race is on to secure the ancient burial site.”

The project is the culmination of 40 years’ work for Romer. But he may be beaten to the prize as he needs to secure a permit from Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities to continue his search.


Romer “claims the burial ground will yield such magnificent treasures that those discovered in the nearby tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings will seem like a ‘display in Woolworths’ in comparison.Like a plot out of an Indiana Jones movie, experts are now racing to secure the site called Wadi el-Gharbi, located in the cliffs on Luxor’s west bank, before the arrival of so-called treasure hunters and tomb-raiders.

It is feared that ancient rock inscriptions surrounding the site, which has remained largely untouched since 1085BC, could be damaged by their quad bikes, rope ladders and other equipment.

Romer told the Sunday Times: ‘Last week, three people were arrested by the army security services at Luxor for entering it.'”


Archaeologist John Romer Credit:

A very interesting aspect of the whole issue is that the site has remained intact for a very long time.


Temple of Karnak in Luzor, Egypt. How many more ancient secrets are hidden in this region? Image credit:

“The only person known to have excavated at the site was Howard Carter – the man who first scratched a hole through the sealed doorway of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber in 1922.

Carter had previously cut trenches across the valley floor at the Wadi el-Gharbi site over the course of two weeks in 1916.


The tomb of Tutankhamun, buried in 1325 B.C., was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922

He discovered huge mounds of limestone chippings on the wadi floor, identical to those found in the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings.


Inside the first tomb to be discovered in the Valley of the Kings since King Tut’s in 1922. The tomb discovered in 2006 in Luxor, Egypt, is thought to date from roughly the same period and contain six sarcophogi Credit: Daily Mail


But Carter gave up on his excavations, possibly because he had little idea of what may be buried at the site.

Romer has since focused on deciphering inscriptions left behind in the area by the royal workmen who laboured there.


If Romer is correct, the Egyptian site may contain treasure that rivals Tutankhamun’s.


Romer and his colleague, Alex Peden, have found the name of Herihor among 150 rock inscriptions.

Romer believes Carter was mistaken to restrict his search to the valley floor and claims the tomb is instead located higher up in the limestone cliffs which soar to around 1,000ft.”

Will Romer manage to secure the tomb on time? It’s a race against time as there is a rival expedition already excavating in the area.

“I still hope to explore it but the only important thing in my life now is that it is done properly,” Romer says. – Not everyone is aware of that the extraordinary stone circles of Senegambia are the largest group of megalithic complexes yet recorded in any region of the world.

Most people have heard of Stonehenge in UK, but far from all are familiar with a large concentration of stones that are sometimes referred to as the African Stonehenge.

The stone circles and other megaliths found in Senegal and Gambia are divided into four large sites.

These include Sine Ngayene and Wanar in Senegal, and Wassu and Kerbatch in the Central River Region in Gambia.

The four large groups of stone circles represent an astonishing concentration of over 1,000 monuments in a band 100 km wide along some 350 km of the River Gambia. It is a remarkable little known ancient site.


Stone Circles of Senegambia. Image credit: UNESCO

The four sites cover 93 stone circles and numerous burial mounds, some of which were recently excavated to reveal material that suggests dates between 3rd century BC and 16th century AD. Together the stone circles of laterite pillars and their associated burial mounds present a vast sacred landscape created over more than 1,500 years.

Each stone circle contains about 10 to 24 standing stones.

All the stones in any given circle are usually the same height, and size, varying between 60 cm and 245 cm high and weighing up to 10 tons.

The largest stones, located at N’Jai Kunda, may weigh at least 10 tons.

The purpose of the stone circles is not entirely clear.Although the stone circles have been the subject of research over the past 100 years, and several parts of the nominated site have been excavated, more could be elucidated about the megalithic zone as a whole.

According to UNESCO “material from excavations suggests that the burials took place mainly during the first and early second millennia AD.

However the relationship between the burial mounds and the stone circles has yet to be fully ascertained.

It is not clear whether the burials pre-date the circles, whether they are contemporary or whether perhaps the circles pre-date the burials.



Image credit: Les Cercles Megalithiques

Scientists do not know when monuments were built, but the generally accepted range is between the third century B.C. and the sixteenth century A.D. The true purpose of the stone circles and their builders are shrouded in mystery.


Image credit: Wassu Stone Cirles


The Manding people who currently live in much of the megalithic zone seemed to have moved into the area in the 16th century, after the construction of the megaliths, and so do not appear to be related to the megalith builders. Another option is that the Serer people are the builders, but that is only speculation.

The truth is – the builders of the Senegambia stone circles are unknown.


Twenty burials in Greece may be linked to Macedonian kings
15 MARCH, 2014 – 01:20 APRILHOLLOWAY

A Greek archaeologist has announced the discovery of 20 burials near Macedonia’s ancient capital in northern Greece.  Researchers are hoping that the graves are associated with the early Macedonian kings.

The tombs were found at Vergina, a town in Northern Greece identified as Aegae (Aigai) – the first capital of the Macedonians. The town became internationally famous in 1977, when the Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos unearthed the burial site of the kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. This view is challenged by some archaeologists who believe it may instead be the tomb of Alexander’s half-brother Philip III Arrhidaeus.

The unplundered tomb dating from 335 BC, displayed the golden larnax with the star symbol of the Macedonian kings, known from Macedonian shields and coins, decorating its cover: sixteen rays of different length around a central rosette. Inside the larnax were found human remains covered with a golden wreath of oak leaves. Other finds in the chamber included an iron breastplate, ceremonial shield, iron Macedonian helmet, the royal diadem, and weapons.

Archaeologists have been interested in the hills around Vergina since as early as the 1850s and the site still draws researchers and experts to this day. The latest discovery shows that there is still much that the town has to offer.

Excavator Angeliki Kottaridi said that the tombs had been looted and largely dismantled in antiquity. However, researchers did find vases and a sword and it is hoped that further study may reveal the owners of the tomb, which Kottaridi said “might perhaps be linked” with Alexander I and his son, Perdiccas II. Both reigned in the 5th century BC, a century before the most famous ancient Macedonian king, Alexander III the Great.

Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient Greek kingdom that flourished from 808 to 167 BC. The rise of Macedon, from a small kingdom at the periphery of Classical Greek affairs, to one which came to dominate the entire Hellenic world, occurred under Philip II’s reign. For a brief period, after the conquests of Alexander the Great, it became the most powerful state in the world, controlling a territory that included the former Persian Empire, stretching as far as the Indus River; at that time it inaugurated the Hellenistic period of Ancient Greek civilization.

Featured image: Facade of Philip II of Macedon tomb in Vergina, Greece, discovered in 1977. Photo credit: Wikipedia

By April Holloway

– See more at:

Ancient Scottish & Egyptian Connection

Posted: March 11, 2014 by phaedrap1 in News, Science, Uncategorized – DNA can be used as a telescope to look back into the past, and this is excatly what a group of scientists have done to cast more light on an ancient mystery.

New ground-breaking study suggests that Scots are descendants of long lost tribes from the Sahara.

In addition, the study also reveals that Scots are very closely related to Napoleon Bonaparte!

At ScotlandsDNA researchers combine science with history to create the full picture of Scots’ past. Genetics, phylogeography, archaeology and historical analysis, along with an understanding of human behaviour and response to major historical events are pulled together for the first time…

First results of Scotlands DNA project “reveal the Scots to be much more diverse than was thought.”

A number of interesting groups were found. After testing DNA samples from almost 1,000 scots, researchers found that 1 per cent of all Scots are descended from the Berber and Tuareg tribesmen of the Sahara.

Another 1% have a recent origin in Iberia, their ancestors having probably reached Britain via the trade in tin.

The study is based on research conducted by geneticist Dr Jim Wilson and his team at Edinburgh University.


One of the startling revelations, was the discovery of DNA linked to Napoleon Bonaparte.


The research team discovered that Tom Conti, who took part in the project has a a family link to Napoleon Bonaparte, the French dictator.


It was discovered that the actor’s DNA marker is Saracen in origin and that his ancestors settled in Italy around the 10th century before one of them, Giovanni Buonaparte, settled in Corsica and founded the family line that sired Napoleon.



“Some friends said they weren’t surprised to find out Napoleon and I were related, but it came as quite a shock to me.In fact, I didn’t believe it at first,” the actor said.The use of DNA allows scientists to use it as telescope to look back in time at where our ancestors once lived. it can be an amazing journey that can take you to a really surprising place.

When Dr. Wilson discovered that some of the participants had DNA hailed from the Sahara, he had to double-check.



“I didn’t believe it at first and checked it twice. But more than one, in fact quite a few of our participants had this marker that is only found in and around the Sahara and among the blue men of the Tuareg.


Scotland, a beautiful and mysterious country.


So what on earth is it doing in Scotland? I didn’t know. It took me a little while to work it out but what I learned was that it was spread to Spain by the Moorish conquest of Spain, and then it came up the Atlantic margins, along the coast and up to France and then up to Scotland,” Dr. Wilson said.



The Greek called them Libyans, Romans referred to them as Africans, Numidians and Moors and the Arabs would dub them Berbers.
For Mr Moffat, the author of The Scots: A Genetic Journey, the results have been fascinating.


He said: “When the great Roman emperor Septimius Severus invaded Scotland with the largest army ever seen north of the Tweed, 40,000 legionaries and auxiliaries and a supporting fleet, he fought the Maeatae. They were mentioned by Roman historians as a fierce people and much later, noted by Adomnan, the biographer of St Columba.


No-one knows the true origin of the Tuareg, where they came from or when they arrived in the Sahara.


“And then they disappeared from history,” Mr Moffat said. “Now they are found. DNA has uncovered a high concentration of a distinctive marker clustered around Stirling and the foothills of the Ochils – the homeland of the fierce Maeatae. These are stories only DNA can tell.”


“Scientists noticed occasional tiny errors of copying as our six billion letters were passed on down the generations.


Known as markers, they were found to originate in particular parts of the world and through a technique called the molecular clock, they could be dated. . New markers are being discovered all the time, some of which arose rather recently, and can be specific to a particular surname or very concentrated in one place.


Once a marker has been discovered the next stage is to try to understand what it means.


“First we work out how it relates to other markers and place it on the tree, then we study where it is found, estimate how old it is, and infer as best we can, where it originated and dispersed to.


The first step is to genotype the marker in large collections of known heritage – people who know where their ancestors come from.


Our R&D programme is therefore screening new markers we have discovered and those found in the 1000 Genomes project in a large sample of continental Europeans as well as British and Irish people,” scientists at ScotlandDna say.


The DNA results revealing Scots are descendents of a long-lost race of Shara are fascinating and yet, this is not the end to this incredible story. Dr. Wilson promises more surprises.


“We are sequencing the whole genome of seven Scots whose DNA is central to our history and we are looking at the role of Neanderthal DNA in Scotland,” Dr. Wilson said.


We can expect to hear more from Dr. Wilson and his team in the near future.


A photo of bones and skulls scattered in a cemetery, taken in October. (AFP)


Some 4,000 years ago people carried a young woman’s cremated bones – charred scraps of her shroud and the wood from her funeral pyre still clinging to them – carefully wrapped in a fur, along with her most valuable possessions packed into a basket, up to one of the highest and most exposed spots on Dartmoor, and buried them in a small stone box covered by a mound of peat.

The discovery of her remains is rewriting the history of the Bronze Age moor. The bundle contained a treasury of unique objects, including a tin bead and 34 tin studs which are the earliest evidence of metal-working in the south-west, textiles including a unique nettle fibre belt with a leather fringe, jewellery including amber from the Baltic and shale from Whitby, and wooden ear studs which are the earliest examples of wood turning ever found in Britain.

The site chosen for her grave was no accident. At 600 metres above sea level, White Horse hill is still so remote that getting there today is a 45-minute walk across heather and bog, after a half-hour drive up a military track from the nearest road. The closest known prehistoric habitation site is far down in the valley below, near the grave of the former poet laureate Ted Hughes.

Analysing and interpreting one of the most intriguing burials ever found in Britain is now occupying scientists across several continents. A BBC documentary, Mystery of the Moor, was first intended only for local broadcast, but as the scale of the find became clear, it will now be shown nationally on BBC2 on 9 March.

Scientists in Britain, Denmark and the Smithsonian in the US have been working on the fur. It is not dog, wolf, deer, horse or sheep, but may be a bear skin, from a species that became extinct in Britain at least 1,000 years ago.

“I am consumed with excitement about this find. I never expected to see anything like it in my lifetime,” Jane Marchand, chief archaeologist at the Dartmoor National Park Authority said.

“The last Dartmoor burial with grave goods was back in the days of the Victorian gentleman antiquarians. This is the first scientifically excavated burial on the moor, and the most significant ever.”

It has not yet been possible definitively to identify the sex of the fragmented charred bones, though they suggest a slight individual aged between 15 and 25 years.

“I shouldn’t really say her – but given the nature of the objects, and the fact that there is no dagger or other weapon of any kind, such as we know were found in other burials from the period, I personally have no doubt that this was a young woman,” Marchand said. “Any one of the artefacts would make the find remarkable. ”

Although Dartmoor is speckled with prehistoric monuments, including standing stones, stone rows, and hundreds of circular hut sites, very few prehistoric burials of any kind have been found. What gives the White Horse hill international importance is the survival of so much organic material, which usually disintegrates without trace in the acid soil. Apart from the basket, this burial had the belt; the ear studs – identical to those on sale in many goth shops – made from spindle wood, a hard fine-grained wood often used for knitting needles, from trees which still grow on the lower slopes of Dartmoor; and the unique arm band, plaited from cowhair and originally studded with 34 tin beads which would have shone like silver. There were even charred scraps of textile which may be the remains of a shroud, and fragments of charcoal from the funeral pyre.

Although tin – essential for making bronze – from Cornwall and Devon became famous across the ancient world, there was no previous evidence of smelting from such an early date. The necklace, which included amber from the Baltic, had a large tin bead made from part of an ingot beaten flat and then rolled. Although research continues, the archaeologists are convinced it was made locally.

The cist, a stone box, was first spotted more than a decade ago by a walker on Duchy of Cornwall land, when an end slab collapsed as the peat mound which had sheltered it for 4,000 years was gradually washed away. However, it was only excavated three years ago when archaeologists realised the site was eroding so fast any possible contents would inevitably soon be lost. It was only when they lifted the top slab that the scale of the discovery became apparent. The fur and the basket were a wet blackened sludgy mess, but through it they could see beads and other objects. “As we carefully lifted the bundle a bead fell out – and I knew immediately we had something extraordinary,” Marchand said. “Previously we had eight beads from Dartmoor; now we have 200.”

The contents were taken to the Wiltshire conservation laboratory, where the basket alone took a year’s work to clean, freeze dry, and have its contents removed. The empty cist was reconstructed on the site. However, this winter’s storms have done so much damage the archaeologists are now debating whether they will have to move the stones or leave them to inevitable disintegration.

The jewellery and other conserved artefacts will feature in an exhibition later this year at Plymouth city museum, but although work continues on her bones, it is unlikely to answer the mystery of who she was, how she died, and why at such a young age she merited a burial fit for a queen.

By Maev Kennedy, The Guardian


There’s a deceptively still body of water in Tanzania with a deadly secret—it turns any animal it touches to stone. The rare phenomenon is caused by the chemical makeup of the lake, but the petrified creatures it leaves behind are straight out of a horror film.

Photographed by Nick Brandt in his new book, Across the Ravaged Land, petrified creatures pepper the area around the lake due to its constant pH of 9 to 10.5—an extremely basic alkalinity that preserves these creatures for eternity. According to Brandt:

I unexpectedly found the creatures – all manner of birds and bats – washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. No-one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake. The water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry.

I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in ‘living’ positions, bringing them back to ‘life’, as it were. Reanimated, alive again in death.

The rest of the haunting images follow and they feature in Brandt’s book, available here. Or, you could go and visit for yourself—but keep a safe distance from the water, please. [New Scientist]

Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to Stone2Expand

Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to Stone3Expand

Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to StoneExpand

Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to Stone4Expand

Any Animal That Touches This Lethal Lake Turns to StoneExpand

All images via © Nick Brandt 2013 Courtesy of Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NY

GIZMOTO – More than 100 high school students give proof to the surprising link between music, rhythmic abilities and language skills, in a new study conducted by researchers of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory.

There is an important link between music, rhythmic abilities and language skills. Music training helps you learn to read.

“We know that moving to a steady beat is a fundamental skill not only for music performance but one that has been linked to language skills,” said Nina Kraus, director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University in Illinois.


Each student was tested by being asked to tap their fingers along to the beat of a metronome.

Subsequently, the researchers measured the participants’ brainwaves with electrodes to observe the brains’ electrical activity in response to the sound.


This research – the first to provide biological evidence linking the ability to keep a beat to the neural encoding of speech sounds – demonstrates that accurate beat-keeping involves synchronization between the parts of the brain responsible for hearing as well as movement.

A “brainwave test” showed that the recorded brainwaves matched the sound waves almost perfectly.

However, the responses were weaker in participants with poor reading skills and who didn’t have musical training.

“This is supported biologically,” Kraus says.



“The brainwaves we measured originate from a biological hub of auditory processing with reciprocal connections with the motor-movement centers. An activity that requires coordination of hearing and movement is likely to rely on solid and accurate communication across brain regions.”

“Rhythm is an integral part of both music and language,” Kraus says. “And the rhythm of spoken language is a crucial cue to understanding.”

“Musicians have highly consistent auditory-neural responses,” says Kraus. “It may be that musical training — with its emphasis on rhythmic skills — can exercise the auditory-system, leading to less neural jitter and stronger sound-to-meaning associations that are so essential to learning to read.”

Paper is published in the Journal of Neuroscience, September 18, 2013 33(38).