Invention of musical instruments that can be played in a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner

Avrum Hollinger, MA’08, PhD’14, a master’s and later doctoral student in Music Technology at McGill, invented musical instruments that could be safely played inside Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners without disrupting their operation.

By observing musicians playing Hollinger’s keyboard and cello inside the MRI, scientists were able to acquire new insights into the relationship between music and the brain. With implications that go beyond music, Hollinger’s inventions have helped expand our understanding of brain structure and function.