Dave Rosen

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I am a second-year PhD student in the Applied Cognitive Brain Sciences program at Drexel University. My work is interdisciplinary in nature, bridging psychology, neuroscience, music, education, and engineering/technology. My time is spent working on various research studies in the Music and Entertainment Technology lab and the Creativity Research Laboratory under the advisement of Dr. Youngmoo Kim and Dr. John Kounios. Currently I am running two studies seeking to examine, enhance, and better understand the neural correlates, cognitive mechanisms, and individual differences underlying creativity in music improvisation. In addition, I have contributed to several other research projects related to creativity, insight, music information retrieval, and education reform.

Before pursuing my PhD, I spent three years as a 6th grade teacher in the Philadelphia School District. I also have extensive music training which includes music theory, bass guitar, piano, composition, and electronic music production.


  • B.A. Psychology - Emory University, Atlanta, GA - 2005
  • M.S. Teaching and Instruction - Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA - 2009

Research Interests:

  • Neural Network Connectivity of Music Improvisation
  • Music and Emotion
  • Creative Development in the Classroom
  • Flow-state and Autotelic Behaviors
  • Neuroimaging (fMRI, fNIR, EEG), Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (tDCS, TMS)
  • Neuro-Cognitive Effects of Music Training Models (traditional vs. non-traditional)
  • Technology's Impact on the Modern Musician and Composer
  • Creativity and Cognitive Style

Research Projects:

  • Research Initiation Grant in Engineering Education- Establishing a research collaboration between cognitive scientists, engineering and education faculty to integrate creativity theory into undergraduate engineering coursework and projects.
  • The Effects of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation (tDCS) on Jazz Improvisation (in progress)


  • Rosen, D., Schmidt, E., & Kim, Y. (2013). Utilizing Music Technology as a Model for Creativity Development in K-12 Education. Proceedings of the 9th ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition: Interactions & Intersections. University of Technology. Sydney, Australia [PDF]

  • Research Grants:

    • ExCITe Seed Research Grant (2013) - Received $5,000 seed research grant to examine the effects of noninvasive brain stimulation on creative musical improvisation.

    Outside Interests:

    Music is my passion. I enjoy composing electronic music as well as writing on piano and bass guitar. I also am in Philadelphia based rock band Chronicles of Sound. We create a science fiction musical world-scape through music, video, graphic novels and various media.