Beardy Man (beatbox champion)
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'I'm beatboxing in an MRI scanner'

13 February 2013 Last updated at 08:43 GMT

A group of scientists in California have used a new approach to try to understand the complexities of human vocal ability.

How humans create different sounds has preoccupied linguists for a long time but now using Magnetic Resonance Imaging - an MRI scanner - to look inside the larynx of a beatboxer is providing intriguing results.

The Today programme's Tom Bateman examines how beatboxing - the art of using just one's mouth to make drum sounds - is furthering scientific understanding of linguistics.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme on Wednesday 13 February 2013.