Minna Huotilainen

Erik Allardt Fellow, SCAS.
Docent of Cognitive Science, University of Helsinki.
Research Leader, University of Turku

Minna Huotilainen holds an MSc and Ph.D. from Aalto University in Espoo, where she studied
engineering, acoustics, signal processing, brain research, and medical physics. She worked as
a Poste Verte Fellow at the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM) in
Lyon, studying intracranial and oscillatory brain activity. She has also held a fellowship at the
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki. Her major experimental
findings have been made at the University of Helsinki’s Cognitive Brain Research Unit. Her
research interests include memory, learning and attention in fetuses, infants, children and
adults, the effects of music and other cultural hobbies on brain development and cognitive
skills, the effects of stress on cognition and the use of neuroscientific methods in natural
working and learning situations.

Huotilainen is best known for her work on human fetuses showing that both melodies and
words can be learned prior to birth and the brain responses related to this learning can be
observed after birth (2013, 2005). She has also demonstrated the effects of musical hobbies
on toddlers’ and children’s brains (2012, 2013, 2014). Her work on job burnout shows changes
in cognitive functioning due to stress (2014, 2016).

At SCAS, Huotilainen will be continuing her work on fetal and neonatal cognition and the
effects of music on infant development.

This information is accurate as of the academic year 2016-17.