Aniruddh D. Patel

Aniruddh D. Patel

Fellow: Awarded 2018
Field of Study: Neuroscience

Competition: US & Canada

Aniruddh (Ani) Patel is a cognitive neuroscientist at Tufts University, where he conducts research on music and the brain in the Department of Psychology. His primary work is with humans, and more recently he has also been studying how other animals process music as a window into the evolutionary foundations of music cognition.

The Guggenheim Fellowship will allow Patel to complete a book on the evolution of music cognition, synthesizing research on how animals process music and theories of human gene-culture coevolution. The book will provide a coherent framework and research program for evolutionary studies of human musical behavior.

Patel received a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University. He is past president of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, and in 2009 he received the Music Has Power Award from the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function in New York City. In 2016 he was appointed a Senior Fellow in the Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind and Consciousness at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).

Patel’s book Music Language and the Brain (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008) was called “an intellectual tour de force” by the journal Nature and “a major synthesis” by Oliver Sacks, and won an ASCAP Deems Taylor award. In addition to his scholarly work, Patel frequently communicates music cognition research to general audiences, including a set of 18 lectures titled Music and the Brain, produced by The Great Courses (released in 2015).

Profile photograph by Jennifer Burton

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