Brown Bag Talk by Dr. Kathleen Rose Agres on “Music Cognition, Aging, and Health: From Auditory Learning Mechanisms to Music-Driven Emotion Regulation in Listeners” | 29 Mar 2022, 4pm

Dr. Kathleen Rose Agres

Music Cognition, Aging, and Health: From Auditory Learning Mechanisms to Music-Driven Emotion Regulation in Listeners

29 March 2022 (Tuesday), 4pm



In this talk I will present an overview of some of my recent research spanning music cognition and music interventions for healthcare. The first set of studies explores auditory statistical learning (SL, the ability to extract meaningful statistical regularities from the environment), an ability of fundamental importance for forming expectations and accurate predictions about the world. These studies examine possible connections between SL and cognition, and explore the role of aging by assessing SL performance in younger and older adults. Younger adults are shown to apply a different learning strategy than older adults for the task, and preliminary evidence is found for the association between SL performance and cognition. The second half of the talk will be devoted to new research at the intersection of music, computing, and health. After a brief introduction about the affordances of music for health and wellbeing, I will present recent research in which we develop and test a music-based Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) system to help promote emotion self-regulation in listeners.


Dr. Kat Agres is an Assistant Professor at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, at the National University of Singapore, where she leads the Music Cognition Lab. Kat received her PhD in Psychology (with a graduate minor in Cognitive Science) from Cornell University in 2013, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Psychology and Cello Performance from Carnegie Mellon University. She has received numerous grants to support her research, including Fellowships from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in the US, postdoctoral funding from the European Commission’s Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) program, and grants from various funding agencies in Singapore. Kat’s research explores a wide range of topics, including music perception and cognition, music technology for healthcare and well-being, computational modeling of learning and memory, AI-driven music generation, and computational creativity. She has presented her work in over fifteen countries across four continents, and remains an active cellist in Singapore.

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