Assal Habibi is an Assistant Research Professor of Psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute at University of Southern California. Her research takes a broad perspective on understating child development. She is interested in how biological dispositions and childhood learning experiences such as music training shape the development of cognitive, emotional and social abilities. She is an expert in the use of electrophysiologic and neuroimaging methods to investigate human brain function and her research have been published in peer reviewed journals including Cerebral Cortex, Music Perception, Neuroimage and PLoS ONE.
Dr. Habibi completed her doctoral work at the UC Irvine Department of Cognitive Science, focusing on investigating the effects of long term musical training on pitch and rhythm processing by assessing brain activity during music listening in adult musicians, non-musicians and patients with auditory impairments. Currently, she is the lead investigator of a 5 -year longitudinal study, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and their Youth Orchestra program (YOLA), investigating the effects of early childhood music training on the development of brain function and structure as well as cognitive, emotional, and social development. Dr. Habibi is a classically trained pianist and has many years of musical teaching experience with children which have always been a personal passion.