Schutz-MIMM-headshot-LQ Michael Schutz, Ph.D. is the lab’s founding director and a core member of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind. Drawing upon his unique background as a professional percussionist (BMA, MM), as well as his training in experimental psychology (MA, PhD), and computer science (BS), he explores core issues of music cognition from new points of view. He enjoys helping students acquire research skills by actively exploring novel topics relevant to psychologists, musicians, and neuroscientists alike. For additional information read his biography or view recent TV and radio appearances. For more information on percussion activities (including performing and teaching), visit
Aimee Battcock
Aimee Battcock (Graduate student) is a third year PhD student in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour researching music’s ability to convey and evoke emotion. Her research explores the relationship between acoustic cues for musical emotions and listeners’ perceptual responses. She completed her B.Sc (Hons) in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience, at Bishop’s University. As an avid singer, she has prevoiusly researched individual differences and evoked emotion in choral singing. After graduation, Aimee also attended McGill University (2012-2013) as a non-degree seeking student. She has received the Governor General’s Award, the International Grenfell Scholarship, and the Dean’s Scholarship.
Noah Little Noah Little (Graduate student) is a second year Ph.D. student, with interests in exploring the social benefits of attending musical events, and music with movement synchronicity. He completed his Master’s in Music, Mind, and Technology at Jyväskylä University, in Finland. During his MA, he was employed at the Finnish Center of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music Research exploring the relationship of empathy, musical preference, and human interaction. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Sharmila Sreetharan (Graduate student) is a first year student working towards a M.Sc. in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour with interests in using basic principles of music perception to improve efficacy of auditory alarms in medical devices. Previously, she completed her B.Sc (Hons) in Neuroscience at Brock University. Music has always been a part of Sharmila’s life. She has years of classical Indian (Carnatic) music training, in both vocal and veena, and played the viola during her time in high school.  Sharmila is excited to join the MAPLE Lab to expand her knowledge in music cognition.

Joyce Chan (Undergraduate thesis student) is a fourth year student in the Music Cognition specialization. She completed her ARCT (Associate of the Royal Conservatory) diploma in Piano Performance and continues to explore other instruments including the violin. She is excited to pursue her passion for music in projects related to music’s ability to evoke emotion.
img_20160910_104403 Carmen Dang (Undergraduate thesis student) is a fourth year student who began in the MAPLE Lab as a research assistant exploring pro-social behaviour during shared musical experiences (i.e., concerts, music festivals). She is now completing her thesis with Dr. Schutz on an exploratory data analysis focused on amplitude envelope. Concurrently, she is a research assistant in the Voice Research Lab. In her spare time, Carmen has been teaching herself programming.
Marsha Natadiria (Lab Manager) graduated from McMaster in 2017. She started out as a research assistant in the lab, working on various projects such as the amplitude envelope study, the lab’s Tempo Visualizer for JS Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, and an exploration of the influence of shared musical experiences on social behaviours. Marsha has also completed RCM Piano Grade 10 and she played bassoon for several years in a concert band. 
Andrea Alves (Undergraduate) is a fourth year student who loves discovering music of all genres and jamming out to old faves (particularly from the 60s and 90s). She played tenor sax for over 5 years, currently sings in a choir, and is actively working on her guitar skills. She is interested in the aging brain, neuroplasticity, and brain injuries. Andrea is excited to be a part of the Emotional Piano Project as it combines her diverse interests in psychology and music.
  Cam Anderson (Undergraduate) is a third-year music student specializing in music cognition. After spending an exciting summer in the Peruvian rain forest volunteering in English classrooms and performing professionally in a reggae band, Cam is eager to begin his research focusing on ways to improve the alarm systems used in medical devices. Cam hopes to learn more about how different musical parameters in electronic devices can affect an individual’s responses in a real-world environment.
Nic Ballarin (Undergraduate) is a third year student in the Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour program specializing in Music Cognition. In the lab, he will be examining the social benefits of music and live musical performances. Nic has played percussion from a young age and has a passion for electronic music. He is extremely interested in music’s incredible ability to evoke emotions, and hopes to explore this more in the future.
  Rebecca Benjamin (Undergraduate) is a third year Honours B.Sc. Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour student. She is also completing a minor in music, and currently plays alto saxophone in the McMaster University Concert Band. Rebecca is thrilled to be able to combine her love of science and music through working in the MAPLE Lab. She will be joining the auditory alarms project, and is excited to examine how music cognition principles can be applied to help improve medical devices.
Isabella LaMantia (Undergraduate) is currently in her third year at McMaster. She has been playing the piano since she was very young with the Ontario Conservatory of Music and she has a passion for music and reading. She is looking forward to learning about music and emotion and getting experience in the field of music cognition this year in the lab. 
Laura Noble (Undergraduate) is a fourth year student. She has played piano for the past 15 years and also played the trumpet during mid and high school. After her undergraduate degree, Laura hopes to pursue further education and a career in clinical health psychology. She is excited to have the opportunity to work in the MAPLE Lab looking at music and emotion.
  Akshat Pai (Undergraduate) is a third year student. Since moving to Canada, he has developed a love for various aspects of music, from the intense beats and rhythms of Bollywood music to the tones that make up the Western music. He also learned to play the cello during his time in high school, while performing in strings concert. In the MAPLE Lab, he will be investigating the influence of musical experiences on social behaviours.
Neerjah Skantharajah (Undergraduate) is a third year student in the Music Cognition specialization. Her many years of South Indian Classical music training, both in vocal and violin, have contributed to her passion for music. As a vocalist for Megatuners, one of the leading Indian light music bands established in the GTA, she has had the pleasure of performing with many Indian playback singers across Canada. She has also completed Grade 7 piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Alisha Song (Undergraduate) is in her third year of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour, minoring in Music. She loves listening to music and spent her summer investigating the effects of movement synchrony and music on prosocial behaviour in infants. She is very excited to be working on the Emotional Piano Project in the MAPLE Lab. In her free time, she plays the piano for McMaster Pops Orchestra and likes to do yo-yo tricks. 
Katarina Tatomir (Undergraduate) is completing her fourth year student. She has played the alto saxophone throughout grade school and into high school. After undergrad, Katarina plans to pursue a career in law. She is excited to join the Emotional Piano Project to further understand how emotion is evoked in music.
  Alex Wong (Undergraduate) is a 3rd year Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour student specializing in Music Cognition, working with on the emotional piano project. She has experience with piano, percussion and saxophone, and has played in various bands. A love for a wide range of musical genres motivates her to always seek new and exciting music.

Please visit our Lab Alumni page for information on the next steps of past team members!