Aniruddh D. Patel, Ph.D.

Nobel Conference 47

Esther J. Burnham Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology, The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, Calif.

Ani Patel has been a leader in the use of new concepts and technology to investigate the neural correlates of music. His research explores how the brain processes music and language, and in what the similarities and differences between the two reveal about each other and about the brain itself. He has approached his research with a variety of techniques, including neuroimaging, theoretical analyses, acoustic research, and comparative studies of non-human animals. He also studies rhythm and the process by which humans extract rhythmic information from auditory signals and conducts research on how the auditory cortex processes sound sequences, using magnetoencephalography (MEG) to explore brain dynamics during the perception of musical sequences. He actively promotes graduate study involvement in the field of music cognition.

Patel received a B.A. in biology from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, in 1987 and went on to complete a Ph.D. in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University in 1996. In 1997 he joined The Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, Calif., where he is now a senior fellow.

Patel is the author of more than 40 research articles and the first comprehensive study of the relationship between music and language from the standpoint of cognitive neuroscience, Music, Language, and the Brain (Oxford, 2008), which won the 2008 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award and challenges the widespread belief that music and language are processed independently. He received the Music Has Power Award from the Institute for Music and Neurological Function in New York City in 2009. Patel is currently president of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition (2009–2011).