Dr. Nori Jacoby

Main research areas

  • Cross-cultural auditory cognition
  • Computational audition
  • Internal representations in vision and audition
  • Timing and sensorimotor synchronization
  • Music cognition

Research Group Computational Auditory Perception


Academic Education

2007–2014PhD in Computational Neuroscience (Ahissar and Tishby Lab), The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
2001–2003MSc. in Mathematics, Magna cum Laude, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
1998–2000BSc in Mathematics and Physics, Magna cum Laude, Talpiot Military Academy, The Hebrew University Jerusalem


2016–2018Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience, Columbia University
2016Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, Berkeley (Griffiths Lab)
2014–2016Postdoctoral Research Fellow, MIT (McDermott Lab)


Selected Publications

Roeske*, Tina C., Ofer Tchernichovski,*  David Poeppel, and Nori Jacoby. "Categorical rhythms shared between songbirds and humans." Accepted, Current Biology.

McPherson, Malinda J., Sophia E. Dolan, Alex Durango, Tomas Ossandon, Joaquín Valdés, Eduardo A. Undurraga, Nori Jacoby, Ricardo A. Godoy & Josh H. McDermott. "Perceptual fusion of musical notes by native Amazonians suggests universal representations of musical intervals." Nature Communications 11: 2786 (2020) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16448-6

Jacoby, Nori, Eduardo A. Undurraga, Malinda J. McPherson, Joaquin Valdes, Tomas Ossandon, and Josh H. McDermott. "Universal and non-universal features of musical pitch perception revealed by singing." Current Biology 29 (2019): 3229–3243.  doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.08.020.

Mehr, Samuel A., Manvir Singh, Dean Knox, Daniel M. Ketter, Daniel Pickens-Jones, Stephanie Atwood, Christopher Lucas, Alena Egner, Nori Jacoby, Erin J. Hopkins, Rhea M. Howard, Steven Pinker, Timothy J. O’Donnell, Max M. Krasnow, and Luke Glowacki. "A natural history of song." Accepted, Science.

Shany, Ofir, Neomi Singer, Benjamin Paul Gold, Nori Jacoby, Ricardo Tarrasch, Talma Hendler, and Roni Granot. "Surprise-related activation in the nucleus accumbens interacts with music-induced pleasantness." Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (2019), doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsz019.

Polak, Rainer*, Nori Jacoby*, Timo Fischinger, Daniel Goldberg, Andre Holzapfel, and Justin London. “Rhythmic prototypes across cultures. A comparative study of tapping synchronization.” Music Perception, 36.1 (2018): 1–23. DOI: 10.1525/mp.2018.36.1.1.        *Equal Contribution

Mark T. Elliott, Dominic Ward, Ryan Stables, Dagmar Fraser, Nori Jacoby, and Alan M. Wing. “Analysing Multi-person Timing in Music and Movement: Event Based Methods.” Timing and Time Perception: Procedures, Measures, and Applications (Leiden, Brill: 2018), 177–215.

Jacoby, Nori, and Josh McDermott. “Integer ratio priors on musical rhythm revealed cross-culturally by iterated reproduction.” Current Biology 27.3 (2017): 359–370. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.12.031

Langlois,* Thomas A., Nori Jacoby* Jordan Suchow, and Thomas L. Griffiths. “Uncovering visual priors in spatial memory using serial reproduction.” Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (2017).       *Equal Contribution

Mehta, Anahita H., Nori Jacoby, Ifat Yasin, Andrew J. Oxenham, and Shihab Shamma. “An auditory illusion reveals the role of streaming in the temporal misallocation of perceptual objects.” Philosophical TransactionsB 372 (2017): 20160114. doi: 10.1098/rstb/372/1714. 

Murton, Olivia, Lauryn Zipse, Nori Jacoby, and Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel. “Repetition and a Beat-Based Timing Framework: What Determines the Duration of Intervals Between Repetitions of a Tapping Pattern?” Timing and Time Perception 5.3-4 (2017), 244–259.

Polak, Rainer, Nori Jacoby, and Justin London. “Afrikanistische Rhythmusforschung und die politische Dimension von Daten. Drei Analysen eines Mehrspur-Audio-Korpus von Percussion-Ensemblemusik aus Mali,” Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie 13.2 (2016), 195–235.

Polak, Rainer*, Nori Jacoby*, and Justin London*. “Both isochronous and non-isochronous metrical subdivision afford precise and stable ensemble entrainment: A corpus study of Malian jembe drumming.” Frontiers in Auditory Neuroscience (2016), doi: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00285.              *Equal Contribution

London, Justin, Rainer Polak, and Nori Jacoby. “Rhythm histograms and musical meter: A Corpus study of Malian percussion music.” Psychonomic Bulletin and Review (2016), doi: 10.3758/s13423-016-1093-7.

Singer, Neomi, Nori Jacoby, Tamar Lin, Gal Raz, Lavi Shpigelman, Gadi Gilam, Roni Y. Granot, Talma Hendler. “Common modulation of limbic network activation underlies the unfolding of musical emotions and its temporal attributes.” Neuroimage 141 (2016): 517–529.

Eloul, Shaltiel, Gil Zissu, Yehiel H. Amo, and Nori Jacoby. “Motion tracking as a novel way to control electronic music performance,” Leonardo 49.3 (2016): 203–210.

Honisch, Juliane J., Mark T. Elliott, Nori Jacoby, and Alan M. Wing. “Cue properties change timing strategies in group movement synchronisation.” Nature Scientific Reports 6 (2016): 19439.

Jacoby, Nori, and Merav Ahissar. “Assessing the applied benefits of perceptual training: lessons from studies of working-memory training.” The Journal of Vision 15.6 (2015) Doi: 10.1167/15.10.6.

Jaffe-Dax, Sagi, Ofri Raviv, Nori Jacoby, Yonatan Loewenstein and Merav Ahissar. “Towards a computational model of dyslexia.” The Journal of Neuroscience 35.35: (2015): 12116-12126.

Jacoby, Nori, Bruno H. Repp, Merav Ahissar, Naftali Tishby, and Peter Keller. “Parameter estimation of linear sensorimotor synchronization models: Phase correction, period correction and ensemble synchronization.” Timing & Time Perception (2015) Doi: 10.1163/22134468-00002048.

Jacoby, Nori, Naftali Tishby, and Dmitri Tymoczko. “An Information theoretic approach to chord categorization and functional harmony.” Journal of New Music Research (2015) Doi: 10.1080/09298215.2015.1036888.

Jacoby, Nori, Peter E. Keller, Bruno H. Repp, Merav Ahissar, and Naftali Tishby. “Lower bound on the accuracy of parameter estimation methods for linear sensorimotor synchronization models.” Timing & Time Perception (2015) Doi:10.1163/22134468-00002047. 

Van der Steen, Marieke, Nori Jacoby, Merle T. Fairhurst, and Peter E. Keller. ‘Sensorimotor synchronization with tempo changing auditory sequences: modeling temporal adaptation and anticipation.” Brain Research (2015) Doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.01.053.

Jacoby, Nori and Merav Ahissar. “What does it take to show that a cognitive training procedure is useful? a critical evaluation.” In Progress in Brain Research: Changing Brains - Applying Brain Plasticity to Advance and Recover Human Ability. Michael Merzenich, Mor Nahum and Tom Van Vleet, eds. Elsevier, 2013.

Lipkind, Dina, Gary Marcus, Douglas Bemis, Kazutoshi Sasahara, Nori Jacoby, Miki Takahashi, Kenta Suzuki, Olga Feher, Primoz Ravbar, Kazuo Okanoya and Ofer Tchernichovski. “Stepwise acquisition of vocal combinatorial capacity in songbirds and human infants.” Nature 498, 104–108 (06 June 2013).

Gurion, Tom and Nori Jacoby. “Audio-only augmented reality system for social interaction.” Proceedings, HCI International 373 (2013): 322–326.

Bohannon, Philip, Nilesh Dalvi, Yuval Filmus, Nori Jacoby, Sathiya Keerthi, and Alok Kirpal. “Automatic web-scale information extraction.” Proceedings of the 2012 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, 609–612.

Jacoby, Nori and Bruno H. Repp. “A General linear framework for the comparison and evaluation of models of sensorimotor synchronization.: Biological Cybernetics, 106.3 (2012): 135-154. Doi: 10.1007/s00422-012-0482-x. 

Repp, Bruno H., Peter E. Keller, and Nori Jacoby. “Quantifying phase correction in sensorimotor synchronization: Empirical comparison of three paradigms.” Acta Psychologica 139.2 (2011): 281–90. 

Granot, Roni Y., and Nori Jacoby. “Musically puzzling I: Sensitivity to overall structure in the sonata form?” Musicae Scientiae 15.3 (2011): 365-86. Doi: 10.1177/1029864911409508.

Granot, Roni Y., and Nori Jacoby. “Musically puzzling II: Sensitivity to overall structure in a Haydn e-minor sonata?” Musica Scientiae 16.1 (2011): 67-80.  Doi: 10.1177/1029864911423146. 

Lawrence, Ruth and Nori Jacoby. “Some computations of Ohtsuki series,” Advances in Topological Quantum Field Theory, eds J. Bryden, (Kluwer, 2004), 53–70.

Awards and Grants

Awards and Grants

2014ELSC Brain Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship for Training Abroad.
2012Daniel Amit Memorial Prize in Computational Neuroscience, the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
2008Margalit Prize for music for Ruti Kanner’s play Go’al
2004Israeli Defense Forces C4I Prize for Significant Creative Research
2003Israeli Defense Forces’ Prize for Algorithmic Development


  • Global Survey of Rhythm Representation

    Over the past few years, cross-cultural comparative work has made various claims about the universality of aspects of music, aesthetic preferences, and emotion (Fritz 2009, Brown & Jordania 2013, Savage et al. 2015). However, recent work ...

  • Cultural Foundations of Auditory Perception

    Over 90% of psychology experiments between 2003-2007 were conducted on WEIRD subjects, hailing from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic societies (Arnett 2008). Henrich et al. (2010) have argued that these populations ...

  • Categorical rhythm perception

    The perception of rhythmic figures relies upon the mechanism of categorical perception: the tendency for the human perceptual system to perceive the infinite variety of rhythmic nuances with reference to a small number of prototypical ...