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Ph.D. opportunity: cross-species studies of auditory processing

Profs. Aniruddh Patel (music cognition) and Mimi Kao (neural basis of sensorimotor learning in songbirds) are seeking a Ph.D. student to bridge their labs at Tufts University, to investigate behavioral and neural aspects of rhythmic and melodic processing in birds and humans.

This work would be conducted in a dynamic research environment with opportunities to interact with researchers in cognitive science, neurobiology, and engineering/computer science.  Patel’s lab is in Psychology, and Kao’s is in Biology.


The Ph.D. position is in the Tufts Psychology Department (application deadline Dec 15th).  The candidate should have strong quantitative skills, an interest in auditory or auditory-motor processing, and prior research experience with animal cognitive or neurobiological research.  Prospective candidates are strongly encouraged to send a CV, short bio, and contact information for three references to Profs. Patel (a.patel@xxxxxxxxx ) and Kao (mimi.kao@xxxxxxxxx) prior to applying.


Some relevant papers: 


Bregman, M.R., Patel, A.D., & Gentner, T.Q. (2016).  Songbirds use spectral shape, not pitch, for sound pattern recognition. PNAS, 113: 1666-1671.


Patel, A.D., Iversen, J.R. Bregman, M.R. & Schulz, I. (2009). Experimental evidence for synchronization to a musical beat in a nonhuman animal. Current Biology, 19: 827–830.


Kojima, S., Kao, M.H., & Doupe, A. J. (2014). Task-related “cortical” bursting depends critically on basal ganglia input and is linked to vocal plasticity. PNAS, 110: 4756-4761.


Kao, M.H.,  Doupe, A. J., & Brainard, M.S.  (2005). Contributions of an avian basal ganglia-forebrain circuit to real-time modulation of song. Nature, 433: 638-43.


Application information:





Ani Patel


Aniruddh D. Patel


Dept. of Psychology
Tufts University

490 Boston Ave.

Medford, MA 02155


Senior Fellow

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)

Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind, & Consciousness