I study how people represent ideas so they can share them.
I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University advised by Professor Joshua Greene. I completed my PhD in Cognitive
Neuroscience at the Dartmouth Social Systems Lab advised by Professor Thalia Wheatley. My research
focuses on how ideas are represented in the mind, made sensible in the world, and then internalized by other
minds. This sharing of representations allows groups of agents to act in concert, producing mutually
supportive, coordinated behavior. I can be found on Twitter and
I am (very occasionally) writing a blog about my research.
I am a composer, and was a founding member of Indexical.
Please feel free to email me.
- Sievers, B., Welker, C., Hasson, U., Kleinbaum, A. M., Wheatley, T. (2020). How consensus-building
conversation changes our minds and aligns our brains. Open access
- Sievers, B., Momennejad, I. (2019). SAMPL: The Spreading Activation and Memory PLasticity Model. Open source implementation of SAMPL. Open access preprint.
- Sievers, B., Lee, C., Haslett, W., & Wheatley, T. (2019). A multi-sensory code for
emotional arousal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 286. Data, code, and materials. Open access preprint.
- Levari, D. E., Gilbert, D.T., Wilson, T.D., Sievers, B., Amodio, D.M. & Wheatley, T. (2018). Prevalence-induced concept change in human
- Sievers, B., Parkinson, C., Kohler, P.J., Hughes, J., Fogelson, S.V., & Wheatley, T. (2018).
Visual and auditory brain areas share a neural code for perceived emotion. Stimuli. Software. Open access preprint.
- Sievers, B., Parkinson, C., Walker, T., Haslett, W., & Wheatley, T. (2017). Low-level percepts
predict emotion concepts across modalities and cultures. Open access
- Wheatley, T. & Sievers, B. (2015). Toward a neuroscience of social resonance. In Greene,
Morrison & Seligman (Eds.) Positive
Neuroscience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Sievers, B., Polansky, L., Casey, M., & Wheatley, T. (2013). Music and movement share a dynamic
structure that supports universal expressions of emotion. Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences, 110(1) 70–75. Software. Open access PDF.
- Parkinson, C., Kohler, P., Sievers, B., & Wheatley, T. (2012). Associations between auditory
pitch and visual elevation do not depend on language: Evidence from a remote population. Perception,
41, 854–861. PDF.
fmri_go is open source software for presenting
timelocked stimuli in an fMRI scanner and recording participant responses using PsychoPy. This software is in active development—use at your own risk.
Bouncing Ball is open source software for comparing
the dynamics of music and movement as described in Sievers, B., Polansky, L., Casey, M., & Wheatley, T.
(2013). Music and movement share a dynamic structure that supports universal expressions of emotion.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(1), 70-75.
Morphological Metrics is a Ruby
implementation of metrics described in Larry
Polansky's article Morphological Metrics. Larry's work on Morphological Metrics is of interest
for anybody who wants to quantitatively compare contours; I came to it as a composer and continue to return
regularly as a scientist.
Ruby PCSet is a simple Ruby library for performing
musical pitch-class set theory operations. It has a few nice things which similar tools lack, including
evaluation of some properties described by Balzano (coherence, uniqueness) and Huron (aggregate dyadic