HiveMind at the Barbican

barbican garry 1j
Kitted out and ready to go

In February sixty HiveMind volunteers had their brains monitored while watching Theatre de Complicite’s hugely lauded new production, The Encounter .  As far as we know it’s the first time a group of people have undergone simultaneous brain imaging while sharing a “real-life” experience.  

We used lightweight EEG headsets to detect shifts in brainwaves in the frontal lobes. Such shifts are known to be an indicator of emotional changes, and our aim is to find out whether people who are sharing emotional experiences tend to synchronise with one another – that is, to shift emotions together rather than as individuals. 

We are looking for more volunteers to take part in further HiveMind events. If you would like to join us please click on the link below:

HiveMind’s researcher Aester (right) demonstrates EEG-controlled cat’s ears
That’s my brain!
Professors Chris and Uta Frith prepare to watch The Encounter. Beyond them are Clare Wilson from New Scientist and Chris Vallence from BBC Radio 4 . The audio headsets are part of the play, which uses binaural sound – a technique which places listeners “inside” the action