Lucine Oganesian

Low-level Feature Representation of Music in the Human Brain

Music is often considered a universal language, an important component of every culture. It is a complex natural stimulus, composed of a hierarchy of basic acoustic components. However, not much is known about how the human brain represents these components. This summer I will investigate the cortical representation of low-level acoustic features, such as pitch, tonality, and spectral (frequency) components. I will analyze functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data and map computational models of music to brain activity to understand the hierarchical organization of basic acoustic features in the human cortex. This summer project will hopefully be the first step towards a future in-depth study of the cortical relationship between music and other natural structural sounds, such as speech.

Message to Sponsor

I am really grateful for this opportunity to fully immerse myself in academic research. I have been eagerly searching for an opportunity to practically apply what I have learned in class, such that I can contribute to the general pool of knowledge and to satiate my own innate curiosity. Because of this fellowship and the support of the Rose Hills Foundation, I will get more experience conducting and presenting research, which will allow me to grow as an individual and as a scientist.
  • Major: Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills
  • Mentor: Jack Gallant, Psychology