UC neuroscientist helps light up Hart's shows

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart has a new piece of equipment accompanying him on his latest tour — a cap fitted with electrodes that capture his brain activity and direct the movements of a light show while he's jamming on stage.

The sensor-studded headwear is an outgrowth of collaboration between Hart, a Sonoma County resident who turns 70 on Wednesday, and a University of California, San Francisco neuroscientist who studies cognitive decline and prevention.

The musician has been interested in the subject since the late 1980s, when he saw his grandmother grappling with Alzheimer's disease. Hart has invested time and money exploring the therapeutic potential of rhythm.

He wore the electroencephalogram cap while making his new album, "Superorganism," and tried to capture the feedback it gave him in sound.

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