Vanderbilt Music and Mind Kickoff to SMPC

Blair School of Music

Blair School of Music

Saturday, August 1, 2015, 1-7pm
Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University
On the corner of 24th Ave S and Children’s Way
Nashville TN

Parking is available in West Garage and limited shuttle service will be offered during the Kickoff. For more information about shuttle click here.
 Space is limited so Register today!

Registration is required to attend the Kickoff (for non-full-conference SMPC attendees). Those already registered for SMPC do not need a separate ticket for the kickoff. Click here to register (to avoid delays at the venue, please choose the “pay now” option):

Inquiries about this event should be sent to


Ingram Inside

2014 Music and Mind Expo

Vanderbilt Music and Mind will kick off the 2015 Biennial Conference of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition with an afternoon and evening full of musical enthusiasm. Music researchers will mingle with music industry professionals, performers, and music-lovers. In addition to the Keynote Address by TED speaker Dr. Charles Limb and live musical performances, there will be dedicated networking time for attendees to enjoy refreshments while connecting at research-themed stations. Join us for this exciting overview of the state of the art in music research!

Click here to download Vanderbilt Music & Mind Kickoff program booklet.

Schedule of Events:

1:00 – “Heavy MeNtal: Explorations of Mind and Brain through Song,” featuring So We Are, with guests Pete Finney and Dr. Nicole Baganz

1:45 – Spotlight on Vanderbilt Research: Lightning Talks

3:00 – Break

3:15 – Musical Interlude

3:30 – Keynote Address: “The Neuroscience of Musical Creativity,” by Dr. Charles Limb

4:30 – Welcome Reception & Networking event


Dr. Charles Limb

Public Keynote Address: The Neuroscience of Musical Creativity

Musical creativity has existed since the earliest days of human civilization. Until recently, how the brain actually produces musical ideas was poorly understood. Recent advances in brain imaging have allowed us to address questions of artistic significance that were previously felt to be inaccessible to scientific inquiry. Of the multiple creative processes that take place in music, improvisation—the spontaneous generation of musical material—provides an inspiring tool to study these processes. This presentation will highlight several functional neuroimaging studies that have examined the process of musical improvisation in expert musicians, as a window into the complex neural processes that give rise to creativity.

Dr. Charles Limb is the Francis A. Sooy Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the Chief of the Division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery at UC San Francisco. He is also the Director of the Douglas Grant Cochlear Implant Center at UCSF and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Neurosurgery.

Throughout his career, Limb has combined his interests in auditory science, clinical treatment of hearing loss, and complex sound perception, especially music.

More about Dr. Limb

Links to Dr. Limb’s Work with TED

Dr. Charles Limb’s profile on TED


“Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds.”


“Charles Limb performs cochlear implantation, a surgery that treats hearing loss and can restore the ability to hear speech. But as a musician too, Limb thinks about what the implants lack: They don’t let you fully experience music yet. (There’s a hair-raising example.) At TEDMED, Limb reviews the state of the art and the way forward.”


So We Are

Heavy MeNtal: Explorations of Mind and Brain through Song.

The musical duo “So We Are,” made up of revered Neuroscientist Dr. Joe LeDoux and Irish singer-songwriter Colin Dempsey, will liven up the atmosphere with a neuroscience-themed musical performance accompanying a thought-provoking exploration of music and the mind with Vanderbilt Brain Institute Research Fellow Dr. Nicole Baganz!

The duo are members of The Amygdaloids, a New York City band made up of scientists who shed their scientific garb at night and take to the stage with songs about love and life peppered with insights drawn from research about mind and brain and mental disorders. They play acoustic versions of the band’s songs, as well as other material from the heavy meNtal songbook. LeDoux’s musical roots are in rockabilly, country, British Invasion, and contemporary Americana, while Dempsey is steeped in Irish folk and indie rock. Rosanne Cash described “So We Are” as a kind of “post-modern Everly Brothers.”

For more information, check out their website!

LeDoux is a professor of neuroscience and psychology at New York University as well as the director for the Center for the Neuroscience of Fear and Anxiety. His research focuses on understanding the biological mechanisms of emotional memory – learn more here

Colin Dempsey is an Irish singer-songwriter, writer, and storyteller based in New York. He also performs in the original folk-rock band Supersmall and the neuroscience rock band The Amygdaloids. learn more here

Spotlight on Vanderbilt Research – Lightning Talks

Take a whirlwind tour of the music research going on right in Music City’s own backyard at Vanderbilt University. Scholars from across Vanderbilt’s campus will present topic overviews of recent and ongoing music-related research and clinical treatment of musicians.

Introductory RemarksRoland D. Eavey, MD, SM
Understanding the vocal instrument in health and diseaseC. Gaelyn Garrett, MD
When musicians acquire hearing loss: Optimizing interventionsTodd Ricketts, PhD
Music perception for cochlear implant recipientsRené H. Gifford, PhD
The sound of fury: Music and pain in the emergency departmentClifford O'Sullivan, RN
I can’t hear myself think! … Alarms and noise in the intensive care unitJoe Schlesinger, MD
Musicality and Williams syndromeMiriam Lense, PhD
Making SENSE of autism with musical theatreBlythe A. Corbett, PhD
Music, Reward and DopamineDavid H. Zald, PhD
Music and the Mind: Using Ideas As My MapsNicole L. Baganz, PhD
Not just hearing – Music as a multisensory experienceMark T. Wallace, PhD
The power of di-chords to hear and healMarianne Ploger
Seeing in tune: Hearing influences awareness of visual melodyRandolph Blake
Seeing musicHelena Simonett
How do we map conducting gestures onto the sound we make?Aysu Erdemir
Emelyne Bingham
Joint music making and cooperationSara Lynn Beck
Rhythm and language in childrenReyna L. Gordon, PhD

Interested in learning more about new frontiers in music cognition research and how they affect you as a music industry professional, performer, or music-lover? Visit to explore the impact of music research on society, from understanding why we like listening to music therapy to issues of childhood development.