If you are reading this message, you are probably doing so on a device that plays music. You are probably able to hear and perceive that music and you probably can also produce music of your own, even if you’ve never had music lessons. You are probably motivated to engage with music on a regular basis, regardless of your cultural background, location in the world, or socioeconomic status. You have probably been this way your whole life.
In the Music Lab, we’re figuring out why the human mind is designed in such a way that all of the above is true. We do basic science, running experiments with typically developing people of all ages and in populations with genetic conditions. We focus in particular on infancy and on people who live in isolated small-scale societies around the world. We also work on large corpus studies of ethnographies and field recordings from the Natural History of Song project and use those data in large-scale online experiments.