Press "Enter" to skip to content



Peter Vuust is a unique combination of a jazz musician and a world class scientist. As a researcher, he is Denmark’s leading expert in the field of music and the brain – a research field he has single-handedly built up as leader of the group Music In the Brain. He is internationally recognised, widely quoted and received in October 2014 the Danish National Research Foundation’s centre grant of DKK 52 million to found the Center for Music In the Brain. As a composer and bass player he has collaborated with a variety of artists, from Danish pop stars to some of the world’s major, international jazz artists, and in November 2014 he was nominated for a Danish Music Award for “Best Danish vocal jazz album” with his own quartet and Veronica Mortensen.

After graduating from AU in Mathematics, French and Music, he devoted ten years to playing music, before resuming the academic career in 2000. He wrote a book on polyrhythms in Miles Davis quintet, that laid out the music theoretical framework for his PhD in neuroscience in 2006 concerning the neural processing of polyrhythms. Using behavioral measures, magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography and functional MR imaging, he provided evidence of an overlap between the neural substrates underlying processing of music and language syntax and semantics especially in musicians. This led to research into the emotional impact of music studies of neuroplasticity in musicians, and research into general theories about brain organization.
The combination of an impressive musical carrier and a strong research profile with an entirely unconventional educational background gives him completely unique qualifications to reach a wide audience.
He is a very popular speaker with a gift to communicate to any audience – be it scientists, students or laymen – in an educative and entertaining manner.

Vuust collaborates and publishes with internationally renowned top-researchers such as Chris Frith, Risto Näätänen, Morten Kringelbach, Elvira Brattico, Mari Tervianemi, Lauren Stewart and Petri Toiviainen

Since 2007, Peter Vuust leads the multidisciplinary research group Music In the Brain, which aims at understanding the neural processing of music, by using a combination af advanced music theory, behavioral experience, and state-of-the-art brain scanning methods. This research has the potential to significantly influence the way we play, teach, and use music clinically, and impact on our understanding of human brain function in general. Owing to the Danish National Research Foundation’s centre grant, the group has now transformed into a Center for Music In the Brain, consisting of PhDs, post-docs and a wide international network of collaborators who engage through weekly meetings, workshops and international symposia.

Read more from the Aarhus University website here