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Indre Viskontas is a Lithuanian-Canadian neuroscientist and operatic soprano. She holds a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience and a M.M. in opera and now serves on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Viskontas's parents emigrated from Lithuania to Canada just after World War II, and Viskontas herself grew up in Toronto. She is an atheist.
Viskontas's research has explored the neurological basis of memory, reasoning and self-identity, and most recently she has studied creativity in people with neurodegeneration. This is an appealing area to study, according to Viskontas, because it allows her to "marvel at what's magnificent about the brain rather than just bemoan what's been lost when things go awry." Techniques used in her research include single-unit recording in patients with epilepsy, high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging, eye-movement tracking, voxel-based morphometry, and various behavioral tasks in healthy adults, patients with epilepsy, and patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia and Alzheimer's disease. She has published over 30 research articles and book chapters.
Viskontas is affiliated with the Memory and Aging Program at the University of California at San Francisco and is an editor of the journal Neurocase.
Viskontas has studied opera since she was a young child and performed for the Canadian Opera Company when she was only 11 years old. She continued to study music throughout her life even while working towards her Ph.D. in neuroscience. Upon receiving her Ph.D., she began working on her Master of Music degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She earned that degree in 2008, once again graduating as her class valedictorian.