Researchers at the Music Dynamics Laboratory are working to uncover the general principles of neural dynamics that underlie music perception and cognition. We are investigating the neural processes underlying pitch, rhythm and tonality, as well as the perception of song and the experience of emotion in music.

Music is a high-level cognitive capacity, a form of communication that relies on highly structured temporal sequences comparable in complexity to language. Music is found among all human cultures, and musical ‘languages’ vary across cultures with learning. Unlike language, however, music rarely refers to the external world. It consists of self contained patterns of sound, and certain aspects these patterns are found universally among musical cultures.

Our research is uncovering fundamental mechanisms of hearing, communication, and auditory system development. We are identifying innate constraints that shape musical communication, with potentially important implications for language learning. Our research has implications for understanding a wide range of hearing and communication disorders, and it has applicability to improving the design of neural prostheses, enhancing the perception of music and other sounds in cochlear implant patients.

The Music Dynamics Laboratory

Research in the Music Dynamics Laboratory has been supported by:

National Science Foundation

National Institutes of Health

Air Force Office of Scientific Research

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Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material posted on this site are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or the National Institutes of Health.

J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board

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Recent Press:

“To tug hearts, music first must tickle the neurons,” New York Times, Apr 19, 2011

Recent Research:

“Dynamic emotional and neural responses to music,” Animation

Recent News:

Ed Large was recently elected president of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition