Beau Sievers

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.





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

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

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

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 consonance).