David Jangraw

Sound Health Paper in Neuron

The results of last year’s scientific workshop on music and the brain, a part of the NIH/Kennedy Center Sound Health Initiative, are now published in Neuron. The open access article can be accessed below.

Cheever, Thomas, et al. “NIH/Kennedy Center Workshop on Music and the Brain: Finding Harmony.” Neuron 97.6 (2018): 1214-1218.

A summary of the workshop findings can be seen below.



AP Article on Singing Scan with Renée Fleming

Our fMRI scan with renowned operatic soprano Renée Fleming has been featured in an Associated Press article on the brain activation and potential health benefits of music!, The scan was part of the Sound Health Initiative, a partnership between the NIH and the Kennedy Center focused on the potential health benefits of music. The article includes an interactive graphic of our scan’s results. Thanks to the AP’s Lauran Neergard for writing the article, to the AP’s Nicky Forster for producing the graphic, and to the NIH’s Daniel Glen and Paul Taylor for their help analyzing and visualizing the data.

SfN 2017 Conference

This week, I presented my work in a talk at the Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington, DC. The talk showcased our recent work using functional connectivity to predict individual differences in reading comprehension. A few representative slides are below, but for more information, feel free to email me at david{dot}jangraw{at}nih{dot}gov.

Presentation with Operatic Soprano Renée Fleming at UMW

Last month, I gave a joint presentation and Q&A with renowned operatic soprano Renée Fleming on the neuroscience of music. I had the opportunity to work with Ms. Fleming earlier this year on the NIH/Kennedy Center Sound Health initiative (the subject of an NIH scientific workshop and Kennedy Center event), and we worked closely together on an fMRI scan of her brain as she sang. Our presentation, at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, covered topics including the parts of the brain involved in music, the effects of musical training on the brain, and attempts to use music therapy to improve outcomes in cases of chronic pain, autism, and Parkinson’s disease. We also discussed the results of Ms. Fleming’s brain scan, and we took questions from the audience of students and community members. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience – thank you to everyone who joined us!

Here are some photos of the event:


Seoul Neural Cartography

This July, I joined Mark Collins and Toru Hasegawa, adjunct professors of Architecture at Columbia University, creators of the Morpholio apps Trace and Board, and founders of the NYC-based Proxy Design Studio, in a project to create “Neural Cartography” maps of Seoul, South Korea for its Arts Biennale. This project, titled “Brainwave Flaneur,” used mobile EEG headsets from startup OpenBCI (previously) to collect EEG data from participants as they sat in various locations around Seoul. I performed the EEG data analysis and produced EEG band-power estimates for each participant in each location. The results are a proof-of-concept example of how EEG’s portability allows neural data to be mapped onto physical locations and real-life experiences.


Kennedy Center Event on Music and the Mind

As part of its Sound Health partnership with the NIH, the Kennedy Center held an event this month called “Sound Health: Music and the Mind.” This two-day public event included musical performances, scientific lectures, and fascinating conversations between musicians, neuroscientists, and music therapists. Highlights included a conversation between NIH Director Francis Collins and former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, a song improvised and performed in 10 minutes by Ben Folds and the National Symphony Orchestra, and a live performance by operatic soprano Renée Fleming in which the background was a video of the fMRI activity recorded from her brain as she sang the same song in the scanner – this was data that I collected and analyzed as part of our scan earlier this year.

Below are some photos from the event and a link to the video of Ben Folds’ composition, which is really worth a watch.


HBM 2017 Conference

I am delighted to be attending this year’s Organization for Human Brain Mapping Conference in Vancouver, Canada. I’ll be presenting a poster on Monday and speaking in Wednesday morning’s nanosymposium on Relating Connectivity to Inter- and Intra-Individual Differences in Attention and Cognition. Click here or on the image below for a PDF version of my poster.


Update: Here are some pictures from the conference! Thanks to Roselyne Chauvin (@RoselyneChauvin) for this sketch and her others during OHBM!