Alexandra Rieger broaches questions and problems facing humanity through science, technology and art. She’s this generations Hedy Lamarr! Her innovation and cross-disciplinary skills have far reaching applications. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
-Sheldon Reynolds (Earth, Wind and Fire & Astronomy Magazine Editor)
Alexandra is a cognitive neuroscientist, engineer, cross-modal researcher, multi-instrumentalist musician, doctoral student, instrument inventor, multimedia creator, and instructor at the MIT Media Lab. She has published over 15 peer-reviewed journal articles and publishings across these fields and has an expansive portfolio with over 100 projects and collaborations. Before her Ph.D. placement and second MS at MIT, she received another MS in Neuroscience, Engineering, and Cross-Modal Studies at Dartmouth College received her Bachelor’s at Stanford University and is an Oxford University (Corpus Christi) Alumna (Bing Grant Recipient).
As an honorary United Nations youth ambassador, her social service work throughout the world (ranging from poverty alleviation and sustainability to wellbeing), international sound-healing folk performances, and myriad academic experiences, have informed some of the larger questions in her work. She is passionate about promoting neurodiversity, ecologically holistic rehabilitation, and improving upon our global experience by creating pathways between the fields of neuroscience, technology, music, accessible design, symbiotic rehabilitation, and multisensory studies. She is the inventor of the world’s first series of medical-musical instruments: non-invasive devices to heal the brain, engage the senses, and support novel musical creativity. She is also the designer of new devices providing external representations of combined human health and environmental footprint through transforming noninvasive data.
Currently, she is working on the collaborative Aging Brain Initiative to research the effects of specific frequencies in the treatment of Alzheimer's while launching an exploration (in conjunction with MGH) to provide victims of strokes and other traumatic injuries with experimental electronic rehabilitation devices. Her background in the neurosciences and her multi-instrumental skills allow her to design and conceptualize a positive sensory experience around stimuli and mechanisms to support efficacy while encouraging patient agency with dignity. At Dartmouth’s Geisel Medical School, she began shaping new pedagogical methods for medical students by including sensory practitioners from other fields — a study she is currently launching in coordination with her Ph.D.
As part of this research she is carving out a new field of inquiry, engaging Human Omnisensory Cognition - a term she coined to describe a direction in research beyond the ‘five senses’ to include the vast human experience (from proprioception to synaesthesia). Broadly, she seeks to develop and deploy sustainable solutions, assistive technologies, and innovations for cognitive pathologies and other challenges facing our communities and world. As of 2016, she was appointed as a MindHandHeart MIT Fellow and as of 2019, a CAST (Center for Art, Science & Technology) committee member; she is co-founder of MIT’s Songs for the Earth and the Pediatric Star Program. Since 2014 she has worked with over 20 NPO’s and charity organizations globally from the King Institute (Stanford) to the Environmental Media Association and Shriner’s Hospital Paediatric Burn Unit. Her international lectures on stages across Harvard University, Oxford University, University of Cape Town and MIT, connect general and expert audiences to cutting-edge, cross-field scientific innovation and dynamic performance.
"The first speaker was a doctoral candidate and well respected neuroscientist, Alexandra Rieger of MIT Media Lab who walked us through newly published research underlying the multi sensory learning process and how educators and students alike may improve upon the teaching and learning experience."
I lead, taught and created the Digital Leaders summer workshops in East Palo Alto. The program gave low equity high school students from a subsidized housing unit scholarships to undertake their first “internships” in the Digital Leaders Summer Club. The program gave students the opportunity to learn skills needed to be leaders in a tech world.