Carson G. Miller Rigoli

Cognitive Scientist Rhythm Scientist Occasional Linguist History Enthusiast Yes, I have two last names

About me



Cognitive Scientist

I'm a doctoral candidate in Cognitive Science at UC San Diego. I use a mixture of methods from behavioral sciences, brain sciences, computational modeling and evolutionary theory to investigate the ways that culture and typically 'cognitive' processes -- learning, memory, goal-setting, and attention -- shape how we control our bodies in domains like music, handwriting and speech.


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Human Research Methods

In my research, I have used data collection methods that span much of the cognitive sciences and include approaches like electrophysiology, ethnography, linguistic elicitation, psychophysics, sensorimotor synchronization and motor control tasks. I was elected the 2019-2020 UC San Diego Cognitive Science Graduate Study Design Consultant to assist local researchers plan and implement new research paradigms.

Computational Methods

I use tools from machine learning, time series analysis and music information retrieval (MIR) to process and analyze both human behavior recorded in the lab and corpora of popular music. In the cognitive science tradition, I supplement my empirical work with simulation and have built dynamical, neural network and statistical models to better understand human motor timing behavior.

Science Studies

In addition to practicing science, I have long held an interest in empirical, critical and historical approaches to understanding how science as an institution works. I have been part of a team investigating the dynamics of cognitive science as an interdisciplinary academic and educational field, with some findings available here.


I have instructed university courses on topics such such as the nature of cognition (Cyborgs: Now and in the Future), interdisciplinary music science (Music and the Mind), and practical, theoretical, and social aspects of computing (Introduction to Computing). I have also served as a teaching assistant for 17 unique undergraduate cognitive science courses covering topics in computing and data analysis, human development, language, neuroscience, and more.

Academic Community

I have organized two 10-week talk series with internationally recognized speakers who came to La Jolla to discuss "Social Impacts of Cognitive and Information Sciences" and the "Past Present and Future of Mental Representation". I also served on the program committee and designed physical materials for the 2017 meeting of the Society for Music Perception and Cogntion -- check out the program here.

Other Interests Academic and Otherwise

Cultural and biocultural evolution (see my 2018 Cultural Evolution Society talk on the evolution of musical rhythm!). Neurodiversity and eugenics (I am tourretic and happily tic). Food production and ecology (I'm equally happy to talk local seafood or theory of argiculture/social complexity). California and Pacific history (including obscure and elaborate alternative histories).

Carson Miller Rigoli
San Diego, Calif.