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Post Publication Research   

Brain wave synchronization

One of the most important research fields underway that relates to theatre as a type of music is called "Collective neuroscience". In its current somewhat early development, researchers are currently investigating how brain waves synchronize in social groups-bats, mice and yes, humans. What they are finding is extraordinary: when humans share stories, music, or simply communicate with each other, there really is such a thing as "being on the same wavelength", typically the higher frequency wave lengths associated with more synchronization, such as the gamma bands between 30 and 150 Hz. Research is just developing, but it's not hard to imagine that the same sort of synchronization that takes place in small social groups also takes place in experiencing music and theatre. We've touched on it throughout the book, including dreaming in chapter 3, mirror neurons in chapter 5, the difference between sympathy and empathy in chapter 5, entrainment in chapters 5 and 6, brain processing (frequency, synchrony and temporal pattern) in chapter 7, neural oscillations in chapter 8, and the effect of music on psychological systems in chapter 9. But now, new research is shedding important light on how our brain waves synchronize with each other in social situations. Here's a roundup of current research in an article in Scientific American:

And another article cited that specifically addresses brain wave synchronization in music performances:, and the research:

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