Rhythm on the Brain

A large blue and red cube frame that has purple and green information banners hanging between top and bottom bars of the cube. There are also square orange and white shapes hanging from the frame.

Different hemisphere of the brain controls your sense of rhythm and melody.

How it works

Tap a familiar tune and rhythm with each hand, then swap to check whether one configuration is easier than the other.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • Which part of your brain controls your left hand?
  • Which part of your brain controls your right hand?
  • Was it easier to tap the rhythm using your left hand or your right hand?

Background

This activity doesn’t test left or right-handedness. Instead, it shows how your left and right brain hemispheres control regular and complex rhythms.

Finding the science in your world

When listening to, and playing music, separate hemispheres of your brain are processing and combining pitch, words and rhythm.