07 March 2007

Cognitive dissonance?

The Amygdaloids are described by a Nobel laureate as "the only rock band that is made up of neuroscientists."  I guess he's not counting Crüe.

The band recently scored a writeup in The New York Times.  An excerpt:
Joseph E. LeDoux, 57, and Tyler Volk, 56, the guitarists and lead singers of the Amygdaloids, met three years ago while writing books on science for laypeople. Mr. LeDoux, a neuroscientist at New York University, specialized in fear in the brain, and Mr. Volk, a professor of biology at N.Y.U., was writing about death.

They soon discovered that they shared interests beyond the brain. They both played the guitar.

They performed at a neural science department Christmas party in 2005, where they discovered that Daniela Schiller, 34, a postdoctoral student in neuroscience, had been a drummer in a band in Israel. She soon introduced them to a graduate student, Nina Curley, 24, who played bass guitar, and the Amygdaloids were born. The name comes from Mr. LeDoux, a leading authority in neural science, who believes that fear is registered in the amygdala, an almond-shaped part of the brain.
Fans of cerebral gods of quirk rock such as XTC, Robyn Hitchcock and They Might Be Giants shouldn't expect too much too soon from the eggheads in the Amygdaloids, though.  Rather than lofty, complicated lyrical exercises, the band prefers to keep it simple.  To wit: "Why, why do we feel so afraid? / Don't have to look very hard, it's all in a nut, in your brain."

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