Daniel J. Levitin was born on December 27, 1957 in San Francisco, California. He studied electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and music at the Berklee College of Music before dropping out of college to become a record producer and professional musician. He returned to school in his thirties, where he studied cognitive psychology/cognitive science, receiving a B.A. from Stanford University in 1992 and a M.Sc. in 1993 and Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Oregon. He is a cognitive psychologist, neuroscientist, and author. He runs the Levitin Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition, and Expertise at McGill University. He has published extensively in scientific journals and music trade magazines such as Grammy and Billboard. He is also the author of several books including This Is Your Brain on Music, The World in Six Songs, and The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.