Elise A. Piazza


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Hi! I'm an Assistant Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester. I was previously a C. V. Starr postdoctoral fellow at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, working with Uri Hasson and Casey Lew-Williams. I received my Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015 and my B.A. from Williams College in 2009.

I take an integrative, naturalistic approach to studying human communication by simultaneously measuring the behaviors and brain activity of multiple people during real-life interactions. I use neural coupling as a measure of interpersonal alignment to predict communicative success and learning, in the context of speech and music.

My research also aims to understand the natural statistics of the building blocks of communication: perception and production. From the perspective of perception, I have investigated how listeners transform complex sounds into concise, efficient representations. From the perspective of production, I study how speakers adapt their vocal "fingerprints" to the demands of different audiences and how expert musicians' brains organize the statistics of music during naturalistic learning and performance.

The Piazza Lab website is now live!

Last updated 11/2020