This week we had the chance to hear about everyone’s research through chalk talks. I really enjoyed finally hearing about what each of us were working on. It’s always fun to listen to people talk about what they are interested in, and it was impressive how varied our research focuses were.
One that I found particularly interesting was Wilson’s research in the Groh lab (hey Wilson, apparently our PI’s are married). His research is to study motor learning and the neuroscience behind music. Using an Xbox Kinect camera, they are tracking the movements of people’s fingers as they play the piano and press keys. Using test subjects of varying musical background and piano ability, they are studying how the patterns change as you learn how to play. It is really cool that you could write scripts to use an Xbox Kinect to measure movements of the hand so precisely.
Finding a way of empirically measuring something that is so abstract and not quantifiable like music seems like a daunting task, yet one that could yield really fascinating results. I am looking forward to hearing how it all turns out!