Dr. Tudor Popescu

Cross-disciplinary researcher
University of Padova & University of Vienna



I am a cross-disciplinary researcher whose primary aim is to understand the psychological and cultural foundations of music. 

I am fascinated by the relationship between internal representations underlying individual-level cognition (operating as e.g. melodic/harmonic syntax), and population-level features such as the different "formulas" that emerge in different traditions (e.g. cadences in Western music), as perhaps attractors each specialising to express a limited universal set of emotions.

Ultimately, I am interested in the evolutionary processes that operate on culture, and how these shape the way in which transmitted forms of communication and meaning-making (language and music prime illustrations thereof) differentiate and give rise to the cross-cultural diversity we observe across the world.

I approach such interdisciplinary questions with complementary methodologies, for instance:

My work has been published in journals such as Science, Cortex, Neuropsychologia, Scientific Reports, and Behavioural and Brain Sciences; as well as featured in media outlets such as the BBC and the ÖRF. 

Academic degrees

Research experience