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October 8, 2008: Daniel Levitin

Daniel Levitin

Daniel Levitin is a session musician, commercial recording engineer, live sound engineer, record producer, bestselling author and psychologist. He earned his B.A. in cognitive psychology and cognitive science at Stanford University, and went on to earn his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Oregon. Currently, he is an associate professor of psychology, behavioral neuroscience and music at McGill University.

Levitin's talk, "How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature," explores themes from his recently published second book, "The World in Six Songs," in which he presents six categories that he believes all songs with lyrics fit into: songs of friendship, songs of joy, songs of comfort, songs of knowledge, religious songs and love songs. Music, Levitin says, is the soundtrack of civilization. He feels it is a force that shaped us as a species and prepared us for the higher-order task of sharing complex communications with one another.

Public Affairs article: Multi-talented psychologist and musician at Assembly Series