Blair Kaneshiro

CCRMA, Stanford University

My research focuses on using brain and behavioral responses to better understand how we perceive and engage with music, sound, and images. Other research interests include music information retrieval and interactions with music services; development and application of novel EEG analysis techniques; and promotion of reproducible and cross-disciplinary research through open-source software and datasets.

At Stanford University I am currently Director of Research & Development with the Stanford Educational Neuroscience Initiative (SENSI) in the Graduate School of Education and an Adjunct Professor at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), where I conduct research as part of the Music Engagement Research Initiative (MERI). I am also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the College of Engineering and Senior Scientific Consultant with soundBrilliance, LLC.

I was previously a Research Scientist in the Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine, and before that a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford's Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI) and CCRMA. I completed the PhD at CCRMA in 2016 under the supervision of Jonathan Berger and Anthony Norcia, and was affiliated with the Suppes Brain Lab at CSLI from 2007 to 2017. I worked at Shazam from 2012 to 2016 and at Smule in 2018.

As a first-gen college student, woman in STEM, and Native Hawaiian, I have experienced both the challenges of feeling underrepresented in my environments and the benefits of mentorship and positive role models. I make an effort to help others through direct mentorship and community initiatives. I am actively involved with Women in Music Information Retrieval (WiMIR), where I co-founded the WiMIR Mentoring Program (now in its sixth year) and am a founding co-organizer of the WiMIR Workshop (now in its fourth year). I am a Board Member-at-Large for the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR). At Stanford I am the founding program advisor for the Peer Mentoring in Music (PMM) program, and from 2015 to 2019 I was active with the First-Gen/Low-Income program at Stanford University, including as co-organizer of their mentoring program for two years.


March 30, 2023 | Bay Area ISMIR 2024

I'm excited to be a General Chair of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) 2024 conference, along with Gautham Mysore and Oriol Nieto from Adobe Research. The conference will be held in a hybrid format, in the SF Bay Area and online. Stay tuned for more updates!

April 26, 2021 | Diversity & Inclusion at ISMIR2021

I'm honored to be co-chairing Diversity & Inclusion efforts (along with Jordan B. L. Smith) for the ISMIR2021 conference, which will take place as a virtual conference in November! We'll be working cross-functionally with the other organizers on a series of initiatives to support new and returning authors and attendees.

May 6, 2020 | Neural correlation study published

Our study "Natural Music Evokes Correlated EEG Responses Reflecting Temporal Structure and Beat" is now available (open access) in NeuroImage! The paper is part of a special issue on Naturalistic Imaging. We computed inter-subject and stimulus-response EEG correlation in the time and frequency domains to investigate how listeners process intact and scrambled real-world music. Our findings suggest interesting insights into the role of novelty, surprise, and music's temporal framework in engaged listening!

May 6, 2020 | Joining EdNeuro

As of the end of March, I am now a Research and Development Associate with the Educational Neuroscience Initiative in the Graduate School of Education! I'm excited to continue working in the realm of EEG as both a researcher and mentor.

August 2, 2019 | Research updates

It's been a very productive year so far being focused back on (academic) research!

Some long-term music/auditory neuroscience projects are moving forward:

In other music research, I'm happy to be supervising various student projects:

Finally, in vision research:

September 17, 2018 | Moving to Smule

I have made a career change from academia to industry! I am now Music Research Lead at Smule.

September 1, 2017 | Moving to Otolaryngology

I have joined the Department of Otolaryngology in the Stanford School of Medicine as a Research Scientist.

August 7, 2017 | See you at ISMIR

I'll be attending the 18th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR2017) in Suzhou, China from October 23–27. The MERI group produced three accepted full papers for the conference, with some late-breaking submissions likely to follow!

June 22, 2017 | See you at SMPC

I'll be attending the SMPC conference at UC San Diego at the end of July, along with several members of the MERI group. We'll be presenting various talks and posters, which are listed on the MERI Publications page.

Stanford Music and the Brain symposium, Saturday July 15

CCRMA is hosting a Music and the Brain symposium on Saturday, July 15. I'll be speaking about some current research projects of the Music Engagement Research Initiative (MERI). The event is currently at capacity, but waitlist registration is available here.

March 22, 2017 | Shazam paper published

Our Frontiers paper "Characterizing Listener Engagement with Popular Songs Using Large-Scale Music Discovery Data" looks at when during a song people tend to perform Shazam queries. It's published as part of the Research Topic titled Bridging Music Informatics with Music Cognition. Accompanying the paper is a dataset containing the query dates and offsets (time in song that a query was performed) for the over 188 million Shazam queries analyzed in the study, available for download from the Stanford Digital Repository.

March 1, 2017 | See you at OHBM

I'll be presenting the poster "Factors Determining Temporal Reliability of Ongoing EEG Responses to Naturalistic Music" at the OHBM Conference coming up in Vancouver in June.