Alexandra Rieger

Research Assistant
  • Opera of the Future

Alexandra, a MIT doctoral student and Harvard MGH Fellow, is a cognitive neuroscientist, multimedia designer, cross-modal researcher, multi-instrumentalist folk musician,  instrument inventor and instructor at the MIT Media Lab. She has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and publishings across these fields. Before her PhD placement and second MS at MIT, she received a master’s degree in Neuroscience, Engineering and Cross-Modal Studies at Dartmouth College, received her Bachelor’s at Stanford University and is an Oxford University Alumna (Bing Programme). As a honorary United Nations youth ambassador, her social service work throughout the world (ranging from poverty alleviation to youth wellbeing), international music-healing performances and myriad academic experiences, have informed some of the larger questions in her work. She is passionate about promoting neurodiversity and improving upon the human experience by creating pathways between the fields of neuroscience, technology, music, accessible design and multisensory studies. She is the inventor of the worlds first series of medical-musical instruments: non-invasive devices to heal the brain, engage the senses and support novel musical creativity. Currently she is working on the collaborative Aging Brain Initiative to research the effects of specific frequencies in the treatment of Alzheimer's. Her background in the neurosciences and multi-instrumental skills allow her to design and conceptualise a positive sensory experience around this stimuli to support efficacy and encourage patient compliance. Her research in this area furthermore contributes aspects of cross-modal gamma stimulation for human-centred applications. She is also carving out a new field of inquiry, engaging multimodal sensory and hyper sensory research. Broadly, she seeks to develop and deploy sustainable solutions, assistive technologies and innovations for cognitive pathologies like Alzheimer’s and other challenges facing our communities and world. As of 2016 she was appointed as a MindHandHeart MIT Fellow and a CAST committee member. Her international lectures on stages across Harvard University, Oxford University and MIT connect general and expert audiences to cutting-edge, cross-field scientific innovation and dynamic performance.