Past Event

Contemplation as Question and Answer Featuring Helen Sung and Dr. Michael Shadlen

Bringing together jazz music and science as we celebrate the way that music affects our brains and bodies


Music on the Brain brings together jazz music and science in an exploration of how music affects our brains and bodies. April’s theme Contemplation and Interrogation (Question & Answer) — key elements of decision-making — are at the heart of guest scientist Dr. Michael Shadlen’s research on how cognition, or human thought, happens in our brains. Dr. Shadlen, who is also an avid jazz guitarist, will both dialogue and play musical selections with Steinway Artist and the Zuckerman Institute’s inaugural Jazz Artist-in-Residence, pianist Helen Sung, in a lively discussion about the role of decision-making in jazz improvisation, musical interaction, and artistry.

This event is presented on the Museum FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE page.

Dr. Michael Shadlen is a Professor of Neuroscience, Principal Investigator at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Shadlen investigates the neural mechanisms that guide decision making. His research explores aspects of higher brain function, such as reasoning, planning and strategizing.

Music on the Brain is a collaboration between the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute.