Petr Janata, Ph.D.

 Petr  Janata, Ph.D.


  • Professor
  • Psychology

Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroethology

Research Summary

Dr. Janata is interested in how basic neural systems that underlie perception, attention, memory, action, and emotion interact in the context of natural behaviors, with an emphasis on music.

Current projects use musical stimuli and tasks to:

  • understand the structure of autobiographical memory and associated emotions
  • map the cortical representation of musical structures that implicitly guide our perception of music
  • examine how people spontaneously move to music
  • examine the degree to which mental processes underlying expectancy and imagery are functionally homologous
  • examine selective attention processes underlying auditory scene analysis

His lab uses behavioral, functional neuroimaging (EEG/ERP, fMRI), and computational modeling techniques as needed.

Interests: psychology of music, cognitive neuroscience, neuroethology

Courses Taught:
PSC 136 Psychology of Music
PSC 209A Introduction to Programming: Matlab
PSC 135 Cognitive Neuroscience

Select Publications

Collins, T., B. Tillmann, F. S. Barrett, C. Delbé and P. Janata (2014). "A combined model of sensory and cognitive representations underlying tonal expectations in music: From audio signals to behavior." Psychological Review 121(1): 33-65.

Fairhurst, M. T., P. Janata and P. E. Keller (2013). "Being and Feeling in Sync with an Adaptive Virtual Partner: Brain Mechanisms Underlying Dynamic Cooperativity." Cerebral Cortex 23(11): 2592-2600.

Golubock, J. L. and P. Janata (2013). "Keeping timbre in mind: Working memory for complex sounds that can't be verbalized." Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 39(2): 399-412.

Janata, P., S. T. Tomic and J. M. Haberman (2012). "Sensorimotor coupling in music and the psychology of the groove." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 141(1): 54-75.

Barrett, F. S., K. J. Grimm, R. W. Robins, T. Wildschut, C. Sedikides and P. Janata (2010). "Music-Evoked Nostalgia: Affect, Memory, and Personality." Emotion 10(3): 390-403.

Navarro Cebrian, A. and P. Janata (2010). "Influences of multiple memory systems on auditory mental image acuity." Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 127(5): 3189-3202.

Janata, P. (2009). "The neural architecture of music-evoked autobiographical memories." Cerebral Cortex 19: 2579-2594.

Janata, P. and S. T. Grafton (2003). "Swinging in the brain: shared neural substrates for behaviors related to sequencing and music." Nature Neuroscience 6(7): 682-687.

Janata, P., J. L. Birk, J. D. Van Horn, M. Leman, B. Tillmann and J. J. Bharucha (2002). "The cortical topography of tonal structures underlying Western music." Science 298(5601): 2167-2170.

Janata, P. (2001). "Brain electrical activity evoked by mental formation of auditory expectations and images." Brain Topography 13(3): 169-193.