A scientific study of Sting's brain found he made some surprising musical connections, among them the deeper similarities between an Argentine tango and a Beatles song.

Sting recently met with cognitive psychologist Daniel Levitin after a Canadian concert, and entered a brain-imaging unit at McGill University's Montreal Neurological Institute. Levitin and colleague Scott Grafton then analyzed the results for a report, published in the journal Neurocase, on how Sting thinks about his day job.

"The state-of-the-art techniques really allowed us to make maps of how Sting's brain organizes music," Levitin said in a statement. "That's important because at the heart of great musicianship is the ability to manipulate in one's mind rich representation of the desired soundscape."

Sting is a fan of Levitin's book This Is Your Brain on Music, and contacted him about touring his lab at McGill. Levitin said yes, but with an added request. "I asked if he also wanted to have his brain scanned," Levitin noted. "He said yes."

The researchers noted unexpected connections that may not have been made by the average listener. For instance, Sting's reactions to Astor Piazzolla's "Libertango" and the Beatles' "Girl" were similar, while he also reacted similarly to his own "Moon Over Bourbon Street" and "Green Onions" by Booker T. and the MG's. "Sting’s brain scan pointed us to several connections between pieces of music that I know well but had never seen as related before," Levitin said.

The psychologist now intends to run similar scans on athletes, writers and artists to discover how they organize their thoughts across other disciplines.

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