Thomas Deuel

The Deueling Thumbs StudioLab at the University of Washington is not just a hybrid art studio and scientific lab, it’s a manifestation of our innate scientific curiosity and love for music—and it was founded by Dr. Thomas Deuel. The lab reflects his desire to combine an understanding of brain physiology with music composition and sound art to help those with motor disabilities create music again.

When Dr. Deuel isn’t hard at work as a practicing neurologist at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, he’s in his StudioLab making site-specific sound installations, interactive music devices, and sound sculptures. It’s here that he applies his research on complex sound and music processing in the human cortex to create installations for human interaction and research. He’s currently developing a brain-music interface that uses thought control of a subject to create music compositions without movement. 

Dr. Deuel received his B.A. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, after initially concentrating in Music Composition, and received both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Harvard University. He completed a residency in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and earned fellowships in Neurophysiology at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and the University of Washington. In addition to his medical accomplishments, he also studied jazz composition and performance at New England Conservatory in Boston.


Thomas Deuel 13:55

Making music with your mind

What’s the importance of music in your life? In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, Dr. Thomas Deuel argues music is much […]

Sign Up For TEDxSeattle News & Special Events!

What is TEDxSeattle?

Seattle, and all the upper left-hand corner, are known for trailblazing ideas put into action. We welcome and champion those who want to challenge the status quo and drive change. TEDxSeattle is a platform that amplifies the ideas of those change makers; a forum to foster new perspectives, and a community committed to challenging its members to be better.