Adam Hewett, Controlling Your Brain with Music – Ep. 64

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About Adam Hewett:

Adam Hewett is quite literally revolutionizing music as we know it.

It turns out that music can interact with our brains in a way that is completely unique to humans—no other animal on the planet is impacted by music the way we are.

Adam Hewett has dedicated his life to using science and brain data to create brain-influencing audio—audio that can put the brain into states such as a “flow” state, deep sleep, productive spaces, and more. No, this isn’t snake oil. It’s extensively researched, and now scientifically accepted.

Adam co-founded Evoked Response, winning a National Science Foundation grant in the process. He was so far ahead of the curve, that he was laughed at 20 years ago. Now? His ideas have been validated time and again by the scientific community. Learn how he found his own, highly unique path in life, it’s a remarkable tale.

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6:36 – “No matter how much science we put into it, [music] still remains somewhat of an art form.”

8:10 – “I have a very physical reaction to music (and a lot of people do). It’s called “Frisson” generally, where you get chills… when Aretha Franklin was singing or something like that. …it’s a kind of synesthesia.”

12:31 – “[My first invention] was actually highly criticized by the scientific community, because at the time there was a lot of debate about whether even brainwaves meant anything, whether you could discern whether they were just random oscillations, random impulses, or if they actually represented thought processes. If you could detect things from them, if you could discern biomarkers. And so at the time, that was even a question. I didn’t question that part. I went straight towards, ‘Hey, what if we manipulate brain waves?’ What if we change them? Does that affect mental state? And that alone would have been very controversial. What I was doing… was trying to do it with sound. So 20 years later… I am very happy to say that it is supported by wide empirical evidence.”

14:32 – “And there’s so much more to do, we’ve just scratched surface. I’ve been doing it for 20 years. I’ve found so many different protocols and… gotten so much feedback from people. Actually I made some of the first BCIs for the PC. Brain Computer Interfaces for the PC and some of the first neuro-feedback games.”

17:22 – “Ever since Oliver Sacks came out with Musicophilia, people have looked at music a bit differently.”

20:12 – “[Music] has such a great power with humans, and what’s truly a fascinating mystery to me is that we’re the only species that has it. Primates don’t have it. They can’t keep a beat. They can’t recognize the the tones—the intervals of music. And not only do we have the ability to recognize music from birth, I call it our only instinct. Because it really is our only instinct. We come out being able to listen to Mozart. We come out being able to distinguish between 12 different forms… of rhythm. And that is absolutely incredible.”

23:49 – “You could say that we are literally designed for music. And it turned out that… I bought an EEG and like I said, I hired a neuroscientist and started researching this stuff in depth. And it it turned out that it was much more powerful than anybody had had yet thought.”

30:13 – “There have been some studies or rather frameworks. I should say one is called the dynamic tending framework, and it has to do with the synchronization of rhythm with events and stimuli. And the basic idea is that if you have to perform a task on a beat or to a rhythm, to something you can predict, it’s going to be much easier for you to do that. That kind of led to a lot of other different research.”

39:47 – “I’ve always told detractors throughout the years, ‘Just try it. Just try it. Just try it. Just try it. Why don’t you just try it?'”

44:29 – “What ends up happening with B2C companies (business-to-consumer companies) is that you start focusing so much on acquiring users that you lose track of your roots and your science.”

50:48 – “I get to program, I get to write music. I get to help people. And this has become my life’s work, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”

55:35 – “In the next decade, there’s going to have to be a a complete re-conceptualization of music.”

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