Nori Jacoby studies how different cultures use music and sound to make sense of the world around them. He earned a PhD in computational neuroscience from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before accepting a postdoctoral position in computational audition at MIT. He then traveled the world to explore musical perception across cultures. Neuroscience has often struggled to quantify the non-verbal experience, but Nori is able to explore these complex representations by creating new paradigms for scientific analysis that incorporate techniques from anthropology and ethnomusicology. For example, after discovering that students from Bolivia to South Korea seem to hear music in various similar ways, presumably because many of them listen to the same Western artists and genres, Nori was surprised to find that residents of the same city often have different interpretations of rhythm that correspond to the styles of music they regularly practice.
Project Title: The Cultural Foundations of Auditory Processing