Adam Harvey

Name: Adam Harvey

Research Area: Morphological brain changes in musicians

Department: Edinburgh Medical School

Project Supervisors: Dr Katie Overy & Prof Neil Roberts



Adam graduated with a BSc(Hons) in Neuroscience from Edinburgh in 2013, during which he first came across the world of music and neuroscience while writing his dissertation on the role of mirror neurons in shared musical experience.

He then embarked on the long and perilous road of a medical degree (MBChB), also at Edinburgh, and was granted funding to work on a collaboration between Music in Human and Social Development Research Group and CRIC, using structural MRI to look at how a life of music can alter the shape of the brain.

In 2016 he took a year out from medicine to complete his MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pompeu Fabra in sunny Barcelona, where he picked up some Spanish, Catalan and a profound interest in the neural basis for bilingualism under the mentorship of the late Dr Albert Costa.

He is now finishing up his medical degree, juggling life as a jazz musician with research into cognitive defects in brain tumour patients, while continuing to work with folk in the Music in Human and Social Development Research Group. He is planning to pursue a career in academia, looking at how music and language are affected in patients with brain lesions.

Research interests

Structural brain changes in musicians

EEG markers of language prediction in bilinguals

Verbal cognitive impairments in brain tumour patients

Amusia following brain lesions

Musical Interests

Adam grew up around a vibrant jazz scene in Paris, and regularly threatens to give up his studies to go busk around Montmartre. In the meantime, he is an active member of the Edinburgh music scene, as committee member and lead tenor sax in the Edinburgh University Jazz Orcherstra (EUJO) for four years, and in a number of jazz, funk and samba outfits including Lo Bird and Nipples of Venus.