LASER Talks in Boston

LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) is Leonardo/ISAST's international program of evening gatherings that brings artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations.

LASER Talks Logo

CHAIRS: Alexandra Mueller-Crepon and Julia Buntaine Hoel

How does multi-sensory perception function in the brain? What does synesthesia reveal about our perceptual realities? Can software-driven music change our perception of time, place, and space?

On February 7th, LASER Boston will explore these questions and more as we hear from three speakers across the arts and sciences. With the ultimate goal of fostering cross-disciplinary discovery and dialogue, this event will feature Neoperceptions co-founder Siranush Babkhanova, psychology and neuroscience researcher Psyche Loui, and musician and performance artist Marcel Zaes.

Presented by swissnex Boston and SciArt Initiative.

Event Program

6:00pm - Community Networking: Speakers and audience members are welcome to join in a pre-talks networking session.
6:30pm - Talks: Three 12 min segments followed by a Q&A
7:30pm - Networking Reception: Stick around to continue the discussion over drinks and snacks.


Siranush Babkhanova - "Neoperceptions"
Psyche Loui - "Music as a Window into Emotion and Creativity"
Marcel Zaes - "Music, Time, Place and Space"

Speaker Bios

Siranush Babakhanova is Co-Founder of Neoperception, and an Undergraduate Researcher in the Synthetic Neurobiology Group at MIT. “Neoperceptions” aims to explore the ways to augment human perception through live performance experiences. This art-meets-science project includes contributions from researchers at the MIT Physics Department, MIT Media Lab, as well as Arizona State University Sci Hub, The Boston Museum of Science, and the synesthesia-influenced composer Mary Bichner, and is advised by theoretical physicists Frank Wilczek (Nobel laureate and Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics), and Nathan Newman (Lamonte H. Lawrence Professor in Solid State Science). The prototype of Neoperception premiered during Bichner’s “Synesthesia Suite” concert at the Charles Hayden Planetarium last April, and has since been exhibited at MIT Design Week, MIT Media Lab, and other events.


Psyche Loui is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, with a focus in psychology and neuroscience, where she is also the Director of MIND Lab. Loui earned her PhD in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, after earning her BA in Psychology and Music, and certificate in Neuroscience from Duke University. She has since held faculty positions in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Integrative Sciences at Wesleyan University, and in Neurology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. When not doing research on how music can be used to understand the brain, Loui performs as a violinist in the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, a Boston-based orchestra that strives to heal the community through music, and in Folie a Quatre, a string quartet with mental health professionals. 


Marcel Zaes is an artist and artistic researcher, holding degrees from University of the Arts in Bern and Zurich University of the Arts, and has studied composition with Alvin Curran in Rome and with Peter Ablinger in Berlin. Zeas' artistic practice explores the ways in which rhythm forms the basis for community, that is, rhythm affords the sociality that is traditionally called “making music together,” or “dancing together,” even if no such action is involved at all. He investigates mechanical time, its politics and its socio-cultural contexts with an interdisciplinary framework that encompasses sound and media studies, new technologies, critical race studies, and performance and dance studies. HIs work has been showcased at the at ISEA Hong Kong, the Center for New Music San Francisco, Goethe Institute New Delhi, Biennial of Contemporary Arts Lisbon, Cabaret Voltaire Zurich, and at Columbia University in New York. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in Music & Multimedia Composition at Brown University.


LASER Boston is co-organized by swissnex Boston and SciArt Initiative. LASER is a program of Leonardo/the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology. LASER Boston meets four times per year, featuring local and visiting artists, scientists, technologists, and creative professionals.



LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Talks is Leonardo's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations. LASER Talks were founded in 2008 by Bay Area LASER Chair Piero Scaruffi and are in over 30 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website

The mission of the LASERs is to provide the general public with a snapshot of the cultural environment of a region and to foster interdisciplinary networking.

February 7th, 2020 6:30 PM   through   7:30 PM
Buffalo, NY
United States

Show large map