The Program for Music, Mind and Society

From the Summer 2018 edition of Vanderbilt Medicine Magazine

The Music Cognition Lab is a part of the Program for Music, Mind, and Society at Vanderbilt, a collaborative network of researchers, scientists, artists and students, working together to accelerate the understanding and impact of music on individuals and society.  This network harnesses the teaching and research resources of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Peabody College, College of Arts and Science, School of Engineering and the Blair School of Music.

The Program’s 2017-2018 Booster grant initiatives have fueled the rapid growth of research that cuts across many disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience, medicine, education and music performance. Recently-awarded Program Booster grants span topics from animal models of music-related behavior (bird song and mouse vocalizations) to new studies of expertise in musical notation. Other Vanderbilt seed projects funded by the program have provided new evidence for the role of musical engagement in enhancing interpersonal social interactions, in addition to new perspectives on how everyone’s musical traits relate to their ability to communicate. These new research directions are helping establish Vanderbilt as a cutting-edge international leader in research on the biological basis of music.

A series of strategic initiatives has been developed by the Program’s senior steering committee: Jay Clayton, PhD, director of the Curb Center at Vanderbilt; Elisabeth Dykens, PhD, co-director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities; Ron Eavey, MD, Guy M. Maness Professor and chair of Otolaryngology and director of the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center; Mark Wallace, PhD, dean of the Graduate School at Vanderbilt University and Louise B. McGavock Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences, and Reyna Gordon, PhD, director of the Music Cognition Lab.

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