Paul Colombo is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, program in neuroscience, and program in aging studies at Tulane.
Given New Orleans’ unique and vibrant musical culture, members of the Colombo laboratory use musical training as model system to study brain plasticity. Members of the lab study effects of musical training on executive functions, and on neural activity measured by electroencephalography (EEG). In another line of research, Colombo studies effects of musical training on stress reactivity measured behaviorally and biochemically. Most recently, results of studies in young subjects have been used to formulate and test music-related interventions for preventing and ameliorating age-associated cognitive decline. The lab also studies the effects of music-based mentoring on neural, cognitive, and social development. Studies conducted in collaboration with community partners The Roots of Music, and Make Music NOLA, examine the effects of music-based mentoring on executive functions, self-efficacy, and the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the impact of music training on behavior and cognitive functions
Colombo is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a former member of the Board of Directors of The Roots of Music, and a member of the Advisory Board of Harmony Project National Division, a music-based mentoring program serving over 3,000 students at 15 different sites across Los Angeles County, and in eight cities nationally. He is the recipient of a CAREER award by the National Science Foundation, and has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and The National Institute on Drug Abuse
Colombo holds a doctorate from University of California, Berkeley.
Colombo holds the Louise and Leonard Riggio Professorship of Social Entrepreneurship from 2019-2022.