Current Position

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

 Education

Boston University (Graduated May 2016), Cum Laude with Honors in Neuroscience      
Major: Neuroscience; Minor: Piano performance
Dean’s List 2014-2016          

 Research Experience

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

Publications

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

 Invited Talks

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

Conference Presentations

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

Skills

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

Professional Memberships

Society for Music Perception and Cognition                                                                         
Nu Rho Psi (Neuroscience Honors Society)

*** last updated 10/15/2018