The Checkup: Crazy New Headphones Scan Brain to Match Songs to Mood

The in-development technology uses an EEG sensor to detect brain activity.

• Well, geez, I thought Songza was cool. Mashable reports on new brain-scanning headphones that debuted at South by Southwest this week, which measure brain activity to create a custom playlist that matches your mood. Named Mico and developed by a company called Neurowear, they feature an electroencephalograph (EEG) sensor that rests on your forehead and scans brain patterns. When used with a corresponding iPhone app, the system selects a “neuro-tagged,” mood-fitting song from Neurowear’s database—one, in theory, that will match exactly how you’re feeling at that moment. Crazy, right? The headphones are still in prototype phase—and are apparently pretty bulky as a result—but the company says they’ll head for market in the near future. Check out a video showing how they work here.

• Johns Hopkins researchers are putting fat to good use. In a new lab study, they discovered that stem cells in a person’s body fat show promise as mechanism for delivering new treatments to battle brain cancer. The cells have an “unexplained ability to seek out damaged cells, such as those involved in cancer, and may provide clinicians a new tool for accessing difficult-to-reach parts of the brain where cancer cells can hide and proliferate anew,” according to ScienceDaily. Read more here.

• Nope, it’s not just you—listening to someone talk on a cell phone is as annoying as you think it is. New research found that listening to one-sided cell phone conversations is more distracting (and, yes, annoying) than listening to two-sided, in-person conversations. Meaning? If you have a coworker who gabs on her cell phone all day long, you’re totally within your rights to smack her. Read more here.