My research is primarily about music in the brain. I seek a multifold approach in understanding how the building blocks of music (at the neurophysiological, perceptual, and music-theoretical level) get to be integrated within individuals into the seamless process we call music; and how this process acquires new properties when one takes a step back and examines music's transformation across evolutionary time and across human cultures.
I am an interdisciplinary academic, having completed degrees in Experimental Psychology (PhD, Oxford Univ.), Psychophysics (MSc, Durham Univ.), and Electronic Engineering and Information Technology (BSc, 'Politehnica' Bucharest). I am currently a postdoc in the Department of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna. My current work focuses on the music/language interface, specifically on the neuronal resources recruited by the processing of musical and linguistic syntax, and the long-standing question of their domain-specificity and/or -generality.
Within (and adjacent to) music cognition, I am further interested in: musical imagery; music-poetry parallels; musically-induced emotion; the social function, cultural transmission, and evolutionary origin of music; and in how musical structure – both vertical (consonance and harmony) and horizontal (tonality and musical form) – is encoded in the brain.
I have a strong interest in statistics and methodology, and for my neuroimaging research I employ, among others: MRI (functional, structural, diffusion, and classification-based), near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), and non-invasive brain-stimulation (mainly TMS and tDCS).