I'm a graduate student at Harvard, where 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 my collaborators, I address these questions with a variety of methods from cognitive science and evolutionary psychology. For instance, in behavioral experiments, we study how babies react to the songs they hear and to the people who sing them. In the Natural History of Song project, we investigate the universality of music in 100 human societies. In studies of people with rare genetic conditions, we test music's relation to parent-offspring conflict.
Steve Pinker. My studies take place in the Laboratory for Developmental Studies and, with Max Krasnow, in the Evolutionary Psychology Laboratory. Both are part of Harvard's Department of Psychology.
Outside of academia you can hear me perform on reeds at a variety of venues, including Boston’s Wang Theatre and Maine's Ogunquit Playhouse. I am an alumnus of the Eastman School of Music, grew up in Cambridge and now split my time between there and Wellington, New Zealand. For more on my background, check out this profile.