My name is Samuel Mehr.

I study the origins and functions of music: in my research I ask what music is, how music works, and where music comes from.
With support from an NIH Director's Early Independence Award and from the Harvard Data Science Initiative, I direct the Harvard Music Lab, where we address these questions with a variety of approaches from across the cognitive sciences. 

For instance, in behavioral experiments, we study music's impacts on listeners of all ages. In the Natural History of Song project, we investigate the universality of music in over 100 human societies. In studies of people with rare genetic conditions, we test music's relation to parent-offspring conflict.
In graduate school I was mentored by Liz Spelke, Howard Gardner, and Steve Pinker. During that time, my research took place in the Laboratory for Developmental Studies and, with Max Krasnow, in the Evolutionary Psychology Laboratory.
I am an alumnus of the Eastman School of Music, grew up in Cambridge and now split my time between there and New Zealand, where I collaborate with researchers at the University of Auckland and Victoria University of Wellington.

This is a picture of me. Jason took it.
This is a picture of my brain. Anna and Alek took it.