13 November 2017

Professor Alan Harvey speaks at TEDxPerth

Neuroscientist and musician Professor Alan Harvey, Perron Institute Board Director and Chair of the Research Advisory Committee, made an entertaining presentation with the Perth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and neuroscientist Andrew Price to show what happens to the brain when listening to music, at TEDxPerth 2017 which took place November 11 at Perth Concert Hall.

TEDx events are independently organised events under TED – ideas worth spreading – at TED.com.

In this special presentation, Professor Harvey talks of the evolution of music and language in humans and showed the powerful effects of music by hooking up Andrew Price with an electroencephalograph (EEG) which records electric activity in the brain.

When listening to music that Andrew likes, his brain waves are alpha and symmetrical. When Andrew listened to music that was out of tune his brain waves were erratic and messy.

Professor Harvey also provided an opportunity for audience participation and to experience the notion that singing creates bonding, managing to get the auditorium of 1600 people, singing Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

Professor Harvey also spoke at a breakout session afterwards with Andrew Price, and curator Carmen Smith, Inspiring Australia Manager for WA based at SciTech.

No doubt a highlight of the day, other inspiring talks took place from various innovators such as a futurist, law reform campaigner, musician, architect and visual artists.

Last year, Perron Institute Director Professor Steve Wilton presented “Can a drug cure a genetic disease?” and you can view the talk here or view the story here.

The event was live streamed, and edited videos will be made available via the TEDxPerth.org website.