HomeInside the Head of a Beatboxer

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Meet Reeps One, the UK's champion beatboxer. Last month he took some time out from his regular schedule of dubstep gigs to perform inside an MRI machine. The video above reveals the muscle movements involved in beatboxing.

Carolyn McGettigan, a neuroscientist at University College London, UK, tracked down Reeps One and persuaded him to beatbox while she scanned his brain. A second volunteer, who wasn't an expert beatboxer, did the same thing.

You can see the results in the pictures below. When beatboxing Reeps One (top, activity highlighted in red) mostly used his primary motor cortex and cerebellum, while the novice beatboxer (below, activity highlighted in green) used several other areas on top of that. It might be the control's lack of expertise showing through: they had to plan each articulation, while Reeps One had already learned how to do it and could perform more-or-less automatically.

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cool beatboxing

Awesome! I saw Reeps One live at the end of last year and he was incredible, recordings didn't sound to great though... recordings never do it justice. Also the horrible alarm-type noise detracts from the cool beatboxing!

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