Diana Deutsch

Diana Deutsch

Diana Deutsch (born February 15, 1938, London, England) is a British-American perceptual and cognitive psychologist, born in London, England. She is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, and is one of the most prominent researchers on the psychology of music. She is probably most famous for the musical and auditory illusions that she has discovered, which include the octave illusion, the scale illusion, the glissando illusion, the tritone paradox, and the cambiata illusion, among others. She also studies the cognitive foundation of musical grammars, the ways in which we hold musical pitches in memory, and the ways in which we relate the sounds of music and speech to each other. In addition, she is highly acclaimed for her work on absolute pitch, or perfect pitch, which she has shown is far more prevalent among speakers of tone language.

Deutsch obtained a First Class Honors B.A. in Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology from the University of Oxford in 1959, and a Ph. D. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego in 1970. She is Editor of the book The Psychology of Music, Academic Press, 1982, 2nd Edition 1999, and author of the compact discs Musical Illusions and Paradoxes (1995) and Phantom Words and Other Curiosities (2003).

Deutsch has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Acoustical Society of America, the Audio Engineering Society, the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the American Psychological Society, and the American Psychological Association. She has served as Governor of the Audio Engineering Society, as Chair of the Section on Psychology of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as President of Division 10 of the American Psychological Association, and as Chair of the Society of Experimental Psychologists. In 2004 she was awarded the Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement in Psychology and the Arts by the American Psychological Association. In 2008 she was awarded the Gustav Theodor Fechner Award for Outstanding Contributions to Empirical Aesthetics by the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics.


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