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Oct 8, 2020

Hosts Enbani and Mark interview Olivia Podolak Lewandowska, PhD, Assistant Professor with the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough, delving into the interdisciplinary field of music cognition, which combines music, psychology, neuroscience, music theory, musicology, music therapy, computer science and linguistics.
Olivia discusses her life-long passion for music as a pianist, how it led her to study the science of music more intensely, and her research, which investigates how the structural elements of music can guide performance and listening. She also compares musical processing between musicians versus non-musicians, both at the behavioural level and the neural level using EEG.  Olivia lets Mark and Enbani pick her brain on topics such as the relationship between music and performance, how popular music has changed over time, what the research says about what sounds good to our ears and the role of music in a society.
You'll learn about atonal music (check out Olivia's YPS Atonal Bangers playlist here), how people with perfect pitch process music differently, and get her recommendations about the best soundtrack to listen to when you're writing a thesis (Interstellar by Hans Zimmer). 
Olivia received her B.Sc. in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, with a specialization in Music Cognition at McMaster University in 2012.  She recently completed her doctorate at the University of Toronto Scarborough in 2019, where she works as an Assistant Professor (Teaching Stream), primarily teaching statistics, but also music cognition when the opportunity arises.