Calling all cognitive neuroscientists: Some great music is coming to a conference near you. After delighting crowds in New York City at last year’s CNS conference, rock band Pavlov’s Dogz is back for CNS 2017 in San Francisco on Sunday, March 26.
Launched at an open-mic night at a small memory conference, Pavlov’s Dogz features cognitive neuroscientists based in several countries spread across eight time zones. The band’s concert circuit comprises science conferences its members are attending. The group has enjoyed strong support from colleagues, filling up to 400-person capacity venues in New York, San Diego, Princeton, and Cambridge. This year in San Francisco, the Dogz booked an even larger space in expectation of a large crowd.
“It’s essentially a big conference party, but with a band,” said Brad Postle, guitarist for Pavlov’s Dogz who studies memory at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “People go nuts!”
As Joel Voss, a drummer for Pavlov’s Dogz who researches memory at Northwestern University, explained last year: “For me, it is just about creating a fun environment for conference-goers so they can share enjoyable experiences and get to know one another better.”
Members of the band are:
- Tim Bussey, lead vocals, Western University Canada and Cambridge, U.K.
- Paula Croxson, flute/vocals, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York
- Jessica Grahn, keyboards/vocals, Western University Canada
- Andy Lee, keyboard, University of Toronto
- Earl Miller, bass, MIT
- Brad Postle, guitar, University of Wisconsin, Madison
- Charan Ranganath, guitar/vocals, University of California, Davis
- Mick Rugg, guitar, University of Texas Dallas
- Daniela Schiller, drums/vocals, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York
- Joel Voss, drums, Northwestern University
Many of the band members play in local groups in their hometowns. In addition to Pavlov’s Dogz, Ranganath plays guitar in the opening band, Here Knows When, which features fellow Davis behavioral scientists Danielle Stolzenberg and Jeff Sherman. “Each of us played in indie rock bands before we became profs and now we’re back at it,” Ranganath says.
The Dogz will be playing covers of party music ranging from punk to New Wave to 60s rock, while Here Knows When will be playing original music. The San Francisco show will also showcase the Maple Leaf Horns – featuring University of Western Ontario psycholinguist Marc Joanisse on trombone, Keck Graduate Institute neuroscientist-of-music Dan Levitin on saxophone, and San Francisco-based Lin Chase on saxophone; Chase is also producing the show.
So there you have it: 15 scientist-musicians, one night, lots of great music. Hope to see you there!
Check out the band’s Facebook page for more information.