John Iversen

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Center for Human Development, Institute for Neural Computation, University of California San Diego
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John R. Iversen received the B.A. degree from Harvard University, the M.Phil. degree in history and philosophy of science from Cambridge university, and the Ph.D. degree in speech and hearing science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is currently an Associate Project Scientist at the University of California, San Diego. From 2001 to 2012 he was a Research Scientist at The Neurosciences Institute.

I'm a cognitive neuroscientist studying music and the brain, and in particular the the cooperation between perceptual and motor systems of the human brain in shaping our perception of the world. Much of my work focuses on the perception and production of temporal rhythms in music and language and potential therapeutic and educational applications of music. I have addressed questions such as the role of culture in rhythm perception, whether rhythm perception is specially tied to the auditory sense, and brain mechanisms involved in generating the perceived beat in music. I approach these questions using behavior, EEG/MEG, and cross-species studies.

Recently I began thinking about bridges between the arts, neuroscience and education, and I'm very excited to attend this workshop. I am directing the SIMPHONY project at UCSD, a five-year longitudinal study of the impact of music training on child brain and cognitive development. The goals are very broad, but some specific questions of interest relate to the impact of music and rhythm training on a wide range of cognitive processes, and how training might alter trajectories of brain development.

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