My name is Samuel Mehr.

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 over 100 indigenous cultures. In studies of people with rare genetic conditions, we test music's relation to parent-offspring conflict.
My faculty advisors are Howard Gardner, Liz SpelkeMax Krasnow, and Steve Pinker. Our studies take place in the Laboratory for Developmental Studies and the Evolutionary Psychology Laboratory, both in 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 on one side of Cambridge (Riverside) and now live on the other side (Area 11). For more on my background, check out this profile.
This is a picture of me. Jason took it.
This is a picture of my brain. Anna and Alek took it.