Neurotic is a playful locative audio experience that creates a dynamic soundscape by simulating activation patterns in an artificial neural network. Each individual neuron is represented by a player moving through the city. As the distances between players are constantly changing, the firing rates of the neurons adapt, triggering different sounds and influencing audio parameters that reflect the distribution of the players' locations. Neurotic is inspired by the artwork “The Fragmented Orchestra”, “a distributed musical structure modelled on the firing of the human brain's neurons” (Grant, Matthias, and Ryan 2014). The neuron firing patterns are based on Izhikevich’s model of spiking neurons (Izhikevich 2003). 

Grant, Jane, John Matthias, and Nick Ryan. 2014. “The Fragmented Orchestra.”

Izhikevich, Eugene M. 2003. “Simple Model of Spiking Neurons.” IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks 14 (6): 1569–72.

A big “thank you” to everyone who gave Neurotic a try.

Michael Straeubig ( is a game designer/creative coder, exploring games and playful experiences with a focus on mixed reality and locative play. His games include “Secret City - Missing Max”, “(Speed) Gardening Guerrilla”, “Tidy City”, “Eine gegen Eine”, a number of event games and theatrical / experimental interactions. Contributor to numerous workshops, game jams and hackathons, former lecturer at Leuphana University Lueneburg, currently a Marie Curie Fellow at Plymouth University researching participative mixed reality gaming.

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You will entertain the neurons.

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