My name is Samuel Mehr.

I direct the Harvard Music Lab, where my students and I ask what music ishow music works, and why music exists using methods from across the cognitive sciences.

For instance, in the Natural History of Song project, we investigate regularities and variation in world music. In music perception experiments, we learn what people understand about the music they hear, even when that music is from foreign cultures. In longitudinal work with infants and parents, we study the impacts of music on health outcomes. We are especially interested in massive citizen science experiments, which you can try at

A bit about me: I began my career at the Eastman School of Music, where I studied music education and got my first experience working with infants, children, and their families. In my last semester, I took a wonderful course in cognitive development, taught by Richard Aslin and Elissa Newport, which led to a research assistantship at Harvard with Liz SpelkeI stuck around for grad school, working with Liz, Howard GardnerMax Krasnow, and Steve Pinker.
After finishing my doctorate I was lucky enough to start a lab at Harvard with funding from the NIH Director's Early Independence Award and the Harvard Data Science Initiative. If you're interested in joining us, please contact me or see our open positionsI'm always interested in hearing from new students!
This is a picture of me (by Jason Nemirow)
This is a picture of my brain (by Anna Leshinskaya & Alek Chakroff)