Welcome to the Vanderbilt Music Cognition Lab

About Us

The Music Cognition Lab employs a variety of behavioral and physiological methods in their research, including Electroencephalography, eye-tracking, speech analysis, neuroimaging, genetics, standardized and experimental assessment measures, and behavioral coding. Our Lab is a central hub for the Program for Music, Mind, and Society at Vanderbilt, a trans-institutional program that aims to understand the role of music from molecules to the brain to behavior to culture and society. 

The Music Cognition Lab facilitates the exchange of ideas between faculty members in neuroscience, psychology, and education, audiologists, speech language pathologists, physicians, musicians, engineers and students.  We promote the training of the next generation of researchers and clinicians capable of developing pragmatic solutions to complex interventional problems.

Lab Leadership

Dr. Reyna Gordon, PhD., is the Director of Vanderbilt's Music Cognition Lab. The Lab is comprised of an interdisciplinary team focused on exploring the role of rhythm skills in language development and language disorders. This includes research examining the relationship between rhythm and grammar skills in typical development and specific language impairment, neural mechanisms underlying rhythm and grammar skills, musical training to improve language skills, and the genetics of language disorders.

Dr. Miriam Lense, PhD, a Research Instructor in the Music Cognition Lab leads research on music and social communication and engagement in typical development and those with developmental disabilities. Themes of this research include the role of rhythm in social communication and engagement, parent-child musical engagement experiences, modulation of emotion and arousal levels via musical experiences, and atypical sensory processing and musical engagement in individuals with developmental disabilities, particularly autism and Williams syndrome. 

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