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The UK Beatbox Championship 2018


On a frosty October morning, I made my way to the Battersea Arts Centre for the UK Beatbox Championships! I was invited to talk about our recent paper on how beatboxing influences brain activity. I also had the chance to sit in on an Introduction to Beatboxing workshop, which means I can now demonstrate beatboxing in talks (maybe!).

One of the features of this years championships was demonstrating how beatboxing is being applied in different venues. I was really excited to hear about how beatboxing is being used with adolescents who have chronic pulmonary and cardiac problems.

Kudos to the organisers!

Results-free peer review

I just had my first pre-registered and results-free peer review paper published at BMC Psychology (Krishnan, Watkins, & Bishop, 2017, BMC Psychology).  There’s more about why the journal is trying this format here. It’s a brave new world of open science out there, and I thought it’s worth trying to have some discussion about how this process differs from a standard submission, and whether it’s worth trying. I’ve consequently summarised my experience of this format, and a few takeaways for future pre-registered studies. This is also my view, it’s possible my co-authors would take a completely different perspective. Continue reading “Results-free peer review”

NPJ Science of Learning covers TiCS paper

In their August 2016 round up, NPJ Science of Learning summarised our TiCS paper . They highlight our hypothesis that language learning deficits pattern with sequential procedural learning deficits, which likely load on to corticostriatal networks. They particularly focus on the value of this approach in education; it would be nice to see our other learning studies pick up on these issues!


Humble Bragg: Billy Bragg’s brain scan

Dr. César Lima and I recently did a project for the Guardian. This involved trying to examine whether there were differences in neural responses to a musician’s favourite song. Musician Billy Bragg was happy to volunteer! We played Billy bits of his favourite song interleaved with clips of a song he knew but didn’t like very much. For more on what we found, watch the video here, or read this post by César!

Brains and beatboxers

One of the nice things about working with artists is that they know how to create really cool things. And sometimes they involve us. When we were completing out project on guitarists and beatboxers, we met Gavin Tyte who made a video about what we were doing. He asked some intelligent questions during his interview and I hope I managed to answer them. See more here: Humanbeatbox.com

It’s generally a very nice website featuring some great beatboxing, so definitely worth a look if you’re into music!

The listening brain

p033hb53I recently scanned BBC Radio 3 presenter, Andrew McGregor, as he was interested in how his brain responded to music. While my study is set up to explore activity in beatboxers and guitarists, Andrew is a violinist – did his musical experience influence his brain scans the same way as beatboxers or guitarists? I discuss the study and Sophie is live on air to provide a first look at these results (with more to come after publication)!