Doctoral Student, Vanderbilt University August 2018-
Advisor: Dr. Reyna Gordon, Music Cognition Lab, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Recipient August 2018-2021
Boston University (Graduated May 2016), Cum Laude with Honors in Neuroscience
Major: Neuroscience; Minor: Piano performance
Dean’s List 2014-2016
Research Assistant, Poeppel Lab (David Poeppel), NYU August 2016-May 2018
· Engaged with several projects on music perception, music aesthetics, and auditory working memory in language and music using fMRI, MEG, portable EEG, and behavioral measures.
· Science mentor for high school students in an experimental neuroscience education program (“BrainWaves”), where students design and conduct EEG experiments in the classroom.
Researcher, Aphasia Research Lab (Swathi Kiran), BU June 2013-June 2016
· Honors Thesis
Title: Please don’t stop the music: Song completion in patients with aphasia
Thesis Committee: Swathi Kiran (adviser), Gerald Kidd, Lauryn Zipse
· Mentored one undergraduate student
Undergraduate Researcher, University of Iowa (Robert Cornell) May-July 2015
· Undergraduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology
· Conducted research on seizure behavior in zebrafish using the drug rapamycin
Rowland, J., Kasdan, A. & Poeppel, D. (2018). There’s music in repetition: Looped segments of speech and non-
speech induce the perception of music in a time-dependent manner. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 1-8.
Kasdan, A. & Kiran, S. (2018). Please don’t stop the music: Song completion in patients with aphasia. Journal of Communication Disorders. 75, 72-86.
Belfi, A.M., Kasdan, A., Rowland, J., Vessel, E.A., Starr, G.G. & Poeppel, D. (2018). Rapid timing of musical aesthetic judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
Belfi, A.M., Kasdan, A. & Tranel, D. (2017). Anomia for musical entities. Aphasiology.
Ripolles, P.*, Belfi, A.M.*, Kasdan, A., Vessel, E.A., Halpern, A., Rowland, J., Hopkins, R., Starr, G.G., Poeppel, D. Aesthetic judgments of music during naturalistic listening engage a valence network. (under review).
Awards and Honors
National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship August 2018-2021
SEMPRE Travel Award July 2016
· International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, San Francisco
College Prize in Neuroscience, BU May 2016
· awarded to one exemplar undergraduate student in the department, Boston University
Commencement Speaker, Department of Neuroscience, BU May 2016
UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) Travel Award October 2015
· Academy of Aphasia Conference, Tucson, AZ
TedXBU Speaker April 2015
Nu Rho Psi, Neuroscience Honors Society Inductee 2015-2016
UROP Researcher Award, BU Sept 2014- May 2015
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Summer Research Fellowship June-August 2013
· conducted research at the Aphasia Research Lab, BU in conjunction with health start-up Constant Therapy
NSF GRFP Panel and Workshop, Vanderbilt University September 2018
· spoke on a panel about my experience with the NSF GRFP application for students interested in applying for the current cycle
Guest Lecturer, Grace Church School High School (NYC) September 2017
· gave four guest lectures on brain anatomy, music perception, auditory perception, and face perception
Girl’s Prep Women in Science Panel, NYC March 2017
Guest Lecturer, Cognitive Neuroscience of Music, NYU January 2017
· “I Can Sing It But I Can’t Say It: Aphasia and the Influence of Music”
Hillel House, Boston University Feb 2016
· presentation on aphasia for Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month
Kasdan, A., Poeppel, D. & King, JR. Decoding of Auditory Sequences in Working Memory Using MEG. Poster at the Inaugural Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience, New York, New York, 2017.
Kasdan, A., Belfi, A.M., Rowland, J., Vessel, E.A., Starr, G.G. & Poeppel, D. Musical genre and familiarity influence the timing of aesthetic judgements. Poster at the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, San Diego, CA, 2017.
Rowland, J., Kasdan, A.* & Poeppel, D. Uncovering a Temporal Mechanism for Music Perception. Poster at the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, San Diego, CA, 2017. (*presenting author)
Belfi, A.M., Kasdan, A., Rowland, J., Vessel, E.A., Starr, G.G. & Poeppel, D. A musical self-reference effect. Talk at the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, San Diego, CA, 2017.
Kasdan, A. & Kiran, S. Please don’t stop the music: Song completion in patients with aphasia. Talk at Global Arts and Psychology Conference, Boston, MA, 2017. (first semi-virtual academic conference).
Kasdan, A. & Kiran, S. Please don’t stop the music: Song completion in patients with aphasia. Poster at the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, San Francisco, CA, 2016.
Kasdan, A. & Kiran, S. Please don’t stop the music: Song completion in patients with aphasia. Poster at the Academy of Aphasia, Tucson, AZ, 2015.
Kasdan, A.*, Saha, A.*, Sturgeon, M., Cornell, R. & Bassuk, A. Testing drugs e-fish-ently: does rapamycin protect zebrafish from seizures? Poster at the Interdisciplinary Summer Undergraduate Research Program, Iowa City, Iowa. (* co-first authors)
Teaching and Relevant Work Experience
Intern, Boston Museum of Science Feb-May 2016
· Led hands-on demonstrations in the Hall of Human Life and developed a presentation for museum visitors on the aging brain
Undergraduate Learning Assistant, Introduction to Neuroscience (NE101), BU Sept-Dec 2014
Science Teacher, grades K-3, Newton, MA June-August 2014
· Summer science teacher and curriculum planner at Kaleidoscope Creative Arts and Science Camp
Science and Math Tutor, Private Summer 2014
Church Organist, Union Congregational Church, E. Walpole, MA Summers 2011-2014
Outreach and Volunteer Experience
Neuroscience Night, American Museum of Natural History, NYC March 2018
BRAIN Day, NYU Langone April 2017, March 2018
Mind, Brain, and Education Collaboratory, NYC October 2017
· Helped day-of to run the collaboratory- interactive events with policy makers, teachers, neuroscientists
BraiNY Happy Hours, Caveat, NYC September 2017, Jan 2018
Biobus, NYC April 2017-present
· Science educator for kids K-8
Taste of Science Event Coordinator, NYC April 2017
· “Music on the Brain” event held as part on an international science festival
Neuroscience Outreach Group, NYU March 2017-present
PBAT Judge, New York City Public Schools Jan 2017-present
· judge and grade student neuroscience presentations as part of graduation requirements
Cognitively Based Music Informatics Research Conference, Organizing Committee August 2016
· CogMIR conference held at Columbia University, NYC
Mentor, Junior Science and Humanities Symposia March 2016
Educational Director, Piece of Mind BU 2015-2016
· organized and delivered guest presentations on neuroscience in the Boston Public Schools
BRAIN Day, Boston University 2015, 2016
Aphasia Access Conference, Boston, MA March 2015
Neurosurgery Medical Shadowing, Boston Medical Center (Dr. Emanuela Binello, MD) Sept-Dec 2014
N. Quincy High School Science Fair Judge 2014, 2015
Data Analysis: MNE, EEGLab, FSL, Freesurfer, spm12 MRIcron, SPSS, Excel
Programming: Python, Matlab, Eprime, OpenSesame
Relevant Coursework: Principles of Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience, Intro to Neural Computational Models, Intensive Cell Biology, Systems Physiology, Developmental Neuropsychology, Music Theory, Physics, Biology of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Computational Neural Modeling for Speech and Hearing
Society for Music Perception and Cognition
Nu Rho Psi (Neuroscience Honors Society)
*** last updated 10/15/2018