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Dr. Assal Habibi is a research scientist at the Brain and Creativity Institute at University of Southern California. Her research takes a broad perspective on understating child development. She is interested in how biological dispositions and environment interact and how early childhood learning experiences shape the development of cognitive, emotional and social abilities. She is an expert in the use of electrophysiologic and neuroimaging methods to investigate human brain function and her research have been published in several peer reviewed journals. Dr. Habibi completed her doctoral work at the UC Irvine Department of Cognitive Science, focusing on investigating the effects of long term musical training on pitch and rhythm processing by assessing brain activity during music listening in adult musicians, non-musicians and patients with auditory impairments. Currently, along with Drs. Antonio and Hanna Damasio, she is the lead investigator of a 5-year longitudinal study investigating the effects of early childhood music training on the development of brain function and structure as well as cognitive, emotional, and social development. Dr. Habibi is a classically trained pianist, and has many years of musical teaching experience with children which have always been a personal passion.


  • –present
    Research Associate, University of Southern California