Cindy Zhang (’24 BHSc) graduated from the Health Sciences program after completing her thesis on the perceived duration of flat and percussive tones.  She enjoyed playing in the McMaster Percussion Ensemble and Marching Band. One day, she hopes to use her passion for music to make a difference in the medical community.

Fadi Mansour (’24 BSc) graduated with a B.Sc in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour after working in the lab for many years. He first fell in love with music when picking up a guitar 12 years ago. Since then, Fadi has fallen in love with music more and more each day, especially when he played a variety of instruments in high school and guest conducted at school concerts. Fadi loved working with the amazing team at the MAPLE Lab on the Auditory Alarms project in hopes to further improve the quality of healthcare in Canada (and hopefully internationally)!

Julie Park (’23 BSc) recently completed her B.Sc in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, specializing in Music Cognition. According to her parents, ever since she could speak Julie has loved to sing and dance. Julie started playing violin at the age of 5 and enjoys playing in intimate chamber groups as well as large ensembles. In her spare time, Julie likes to arrange K-pop songs for string ensembles. Julie is very curious about the cognitive processes that occur during music perception and music making. She is excited to continue her studies at Western in Audiology program!
Max Delle Grazie (’23 MSc) completed his M.Sc. in Psychology working in the MAPLE Lab on the Emotional Piano Project. Max recently completed his B.A (’21) in Music at McMaster with a Performance diploma in Trombone. His main research interests are exploring the perceptual consequences of music’s acoustic features, as well as how composers varied their use across history. By combining knowledge from the fields of music theory and psychology, he hopes to elucidate the connections between expressive patterns in music and speech, and how that affects listener’s emotional responses. Max spends most of his free time both playing and listening to music, but also loves travel, golf, skiing, fitness, and rock climbing.
William Zhang (’23 BSc) graduated with a B.Sc in Arts & Science combining in Computer Science. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Finance and Berkeley. William is an avid musician with experience in piano, vocals, percussion, and composition. He was a member of the McMaster Percussion Ensemble and has volunteered with the Hamilton’s Parkinson Chorus. He has a great interest in music cognition, AI and machine learning as well as the interdisciplinary connections between Music Cognition and other disciplines. Outside of music, he really likes bell peppers and penguins.
Jamie Ling (’22 BSc) graduated with a B.Sc. in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, specializing in Music Cognition. Jamie completed her senior honours thesis in the MAPLE Lab on the effect of performance expression on musical emotion perception. She enjoys playing the guitar, attending live shows, and has always been fascinated by how music affects our emotions. Her lab manager role in 2022-2023 helped spark an interest in design, and she is excited to continue exploring this new career path!
J.J. Magee (’22 BSc) completed her B.Sc. in Psychology, Neuroscience, & Behaviour. She completed her senior honours thesis in the MAPLE Lab looking at a survey of real-world sounds. Her musically immersed upbringing has fuelled her current interest in music cognition. Growing up, she sang in different choirs and played trumpet throughout her high school career. As she broadened her horizons through psychology and neuroscience, she was intrigued to learn about music from this new cognitive perspective which drew J.J. towards the MAPLE lab.
Liam Foley (21′ MSc) completed his M.Sc. in Psychology, Neuroscience, & Behaviour investigating how psychoacoustic and music cognition research can help design more ergonomic and informative auditory alarms. Liam completed a B.Sc (Hons) in Psychology at Memorial University. His honours thesis investigated differences in auditory working memory between musicians and non-musicians. He was also involved in various projects across numerous areas including, brain plasticity and musical training, tonal hierarchy, auditory segregation, and generalized anxiety disorder and directed forgetting. Outside of academia, he is an avid drummer playing in numerous groups.
Julia Bissessar (’21 BA) completed her B.A in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, specializing in Music Cognition. She completed her senior honours thesis in the MAPLE Lab identifying the best methods of providing post-secondary music psychology education online. Julia taught piano to students of various ages and skill levels at the Tabone Academy of Music. Julia served as our lab manager from 2021-2022. Julia has went on to achieve her MMus. in Applied Music and Health at the University of Toronto (‘24) and is finalizing her accreditation as a Neurologic Music Therapist (NMT).
Jessica LaMantia
Jessica LaMantia (’21 B.Sc) graduated with a B.Sc in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour specializing in Music Cognition. Jessica completed her senior honours thesis building on Schutz and Lipscomb’s 2007 paper on the temporal structure of sounds. Jessica has always had a passion for music which started at the age of 4 when she took her first piano lesson. Jessica is currently pursuing teacher’s college at the University of Toronto.
Subeetsha Uthayakumar (’22 B.Sc) completed her honours thesis in MAPLE Lab as part of her  Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour Music Cognition degree. Her thesis work explored the effects of temporal variability in auditory alarms. Subeetsha appreciates various genres of both instrumental and vocal music. She has had experience playing several instruments in concert band, marching band, and small ensembles, as well as vocal experience as a soloist, in choir, and in acapella groups. Suby is hoping to apply to medical school in upon completing her degree.

Aimee Battcock

Aimee Battcock (’20 PhD) completed her dissertation in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour researching music’s ability to convey and evoke emotion. Her research explored 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 previously 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.


Laura Schachtler (’20 BSc) graduated with a B.Sc. Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour student specializing in Music Cognition. She is an avid participant in community Theatre where she is able to practice and perform her favourite genre of music, Musical Theatre and Show Tunes. As of graduating she had performed in her 15th Musical Production. Laura completed her senior thesis under the Auditory Alarms project entitled “The Effects of Stimulus Dynamism on The Unity Assumption”. She is particularly interested in the educational applications of music therapy and is currently attending Niagra University, Ontario campus for Teachers College.

 alt= Benjamin Kelly (’20 BSc) graduated as an Honours Biology & Psychology, Neuroscience, & Behaviour student. He has experience with piano, vocals, and primarily the trumpet; practicing and performing with various choirs, concert bands, and jazz bands over his musical career. He completed his senior thesis with the Emotional Piano Project entitled “Exploring Musical Emotion Perception Across Eras”. Ben is now attending the University of Toronto to complete a M.Sc. in Information specializing in Human-Centered Data Science.
Sharmila Sreetharan (’19 MSc) completed her 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.
Isabella LaMantia (’19 BSc) 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 worked in the MAPLE Lab as a thesis student on “The Role of Personality and Musical Expertise on Perceiving Musical Emotions.” Since then, she completed her teaching degree at the intermediate senior level and have been working for the past five years as a teacher. Isabella recently completed her Master of Sciences in Education with hopes of becoming a principal or school board member to make province wide changes to our education system. Isabella owes a lot to the MAPLE lab in where she is today. “My passion for music and science is something I carry with me throughout my career, and more importantly, having worked under some amazing PhD students and Dr. Schutz, it allowed me to intentionally become the teacher I am today. The passion, commitment, professionalism and overall compassion I felt during my time in the MAPLE lab is something that I put into my own personal pedagogical practices with my students everyday.  When my grade 12 students ask how I liked my undergraduate experience at McMaster University, I always advise them two things; 1) McMaster is an amazing school and 2) if you have a passion for music and a good work ethic, the MAPLE lab is where you need to be. “
Rebecca Benjamin (’19 BSc) holds an Honours B.Sc. in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour. She also completed a minor in music, and played alto saxophone in the McMaster University Concert Band. Rebecca completed her thesis under the medical alarms project, entitled “Examining the Effects of Amplitude Envelope on Alarm Recognition During Tasks of Varying Cognitive Loads.” Rebecca has been accepted into a Master’s program at the Institute of Medical Science at University of Toronto.
Cameron Anderson (’19 BMus) holds a bachelor’s of music with a specialization in music cognition. He completed his thesis with Dr. Schutz entitled, “Making Musical Medical Alarms: Examining Melodic Alarm Recognition Accuracy Across Contrasting Timbres”. Cam looks forward to continuing his studies in the MAPLE Lab as a Master’s student working on the Emotional Piano project. Outside of the lab, Cam spends his free time practicing trombone, composing music, and learning Spanish.
Nic Ballarin (’19 BA) holds an Honours (B.A) in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour (Music Cognition Specialization). He started in the MAPLE Lab in his second year of undergrad as a 2QQ3 student working on a project focussing on the pro-social benefits of music. He then continued to complete a 3QQ3 in the lab, working on a variety of projects during his third year. Nic then completed his thesis, “The effects of music listening on implicit racial attitudes” with Dr. Schutz in his fourth year. Outside of the lab, Nic plays on the McMaster Ultimate Frisbee team, and enjoys listening to, and producing, electronic dance music.
img_20160910_104403 Carmen Dang (’18 BSc) graduated with an Honours B.Sc. in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour specializing in Mental Health. She began in the MAPLE Lab in her third year as a research assistant exploring pro-social behaviour during shared musical experiences (i.e., concerts, music festivals). She then completed her senior thesis with Dr. Schutz on an exploratory data analysis focused on amplitude envelope. Having developed a strong passion for music cognition, Carmen is now pursuing a Masters in the SMART Lab at Ryerson University.
Joyce Chan (’18 BSc) graduated with an Honours B.Sc. in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour specializing in Music Cognition. She completed her ARCT (Associate of the Royal Conservatory) diploma in Piano Performance and continues to explore other instruments including the violin. For her thesis, she explored the impact of timing on perception of musical emotion in Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.
Anna Siminoski (’17 MSc) completed her M.Sc. thesis through the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour. She studied the use of ancillary movements (i.e. gestures that don’t directly affect sound production) in joint music performance (more than one performer). She has also explored motor effector training and how it affects rhythmic synchronization abilities, and examined the relationship between rhythmic structure of music and tempi chosen by performers.
Marsha Natadiria (’17 BSc) served as lab manager in the MAPLE Lab from 2017-18. She graduated from McMaster in 2017 with an Honours B. Sc. in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour. She has completed Grade 10 in piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music and she played bassoon for several years for her high school concert band. Marsha started out as a research assistant in the MAPLE Lab working on various projects. She began working on the amplitude envelope study in her third year, assisted with the lab’s Tempo Visualizer for JS Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, and finally, explored the impact of shared musical experiences on social behaviours in her final year.  
Maxwell Ng (’17) was enrolled in the Health Sciences program at McMaster. He investigated the relationship between performance interpretation and emotional responses as part of the lab’s exploration of the communication of emotion in music. Having a strong background in both music and software programming, he secured an NSERC-USRA and created MAESTRO, a tool that gives students and educators an opportunity to create and manipulate sounds. Maxwell received an early acceptance to McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in only his third year of undergraduate studies and is now pursuing a Doctor of Medicine.
Erica Huynh (’17 BSc) graduated from the Honours B.Sc. Psychology, Neuroscience, & Behaviour program with a specialization in Music Cognition. She completed her thesis on the performance gestures project. In her senior year she played clarinet for McMaster Marching Band and also served as section leader for the high winds. Currently, Erica is pursuing a Masters in Music Technology at McGill University in the Music Perception & Cognition Lab.
Fiona Portrait Fiona Manning (’16 PhD) completed her dissertation on timing perception and sensorimotor integration through the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour. Her research was supported by numerous awards, including the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship (2014-16), The Stephen and Tina Wilson Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2013-14), and the Queen Elizabeth Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (2012-2013). Prior to graduate school, Fiona completed her B.Sc. with a specialization in Music Cognition from McMaster in 2011, during which time she was the founding President of McMaster’s Undergraduate Music Cognition Society. She is currently working as a postdoc at Concordia University with Virginia Penhune, further exploring the role of movement in auditory perception. For more information on her research visit her online at
headshot Dominique Cazabon Beauregard (’16 MSc) was interested in the role of amplitude envelope in auditory perception. One of her projects explored the shortest durations at which participants can reliably distinguish between sounds of different amplitude envelopes. This served as the basis for a second project exploring interactions between spatial ventriloquism and amplitude envelope. After completing her MSc at McMaster she enrolled in a PhD program at UC Davis to pursue additional research in auditory neuroscience.
Annilee Baron Annilee Baron (’16 BSc) completed a thesis exploring the role of timbre in the communication of emotion. Her project compared emotional responses to the same music when performed on the harpsichord vs. piano – instruments with different timbres playing the same repertoire. She spent several years in the lab with data collection, stimulus preparation, and general lab organization. She is now a practicing music therapist and a Sessional Instructor for Introduction to Music Therapy Research at McMaster.
Kimberly-Germann Kimberly Germann (’16 BSc) completed a thesis on the role of amplitude envelope in auditory perception – an ongoing area of interest for our team. Her work demonstrated that sounds with natural percussive envelopes are processed differently than sounds with artificial envelopes. She found that after completing a duration discrimination experiment, participants described tones synthesized with percussive vs. flat or reverse percussive envelopes using qualitatively different language. This provides some useful background and context, informing our ongoing work on amplitude envelope. Kimberly served as the MAPLE Lab’s Lab Manager in 2016-2017.
Kyle Gauder (’16 BSc) served as the lab technical assistant for 2015-2016, in addition to his duties as a research assistant working on audio-visual integration. Interested in knowledge mobilization, he secured two NSERC-USRA positions to develop interactive tools communicating lab findings to the public. One visualizes different tempi interpretations from Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier. Another offers an engaging way of exploring phasing in Steve Reich’s Drumming. After completing his undergraduate degree, Kyle returned to McMaster as a graduate student in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, where he is working with Dr. Daniel Goldriech.
Loraine Chuen Lorraine Chuen (’15 MSc) completed her M.Sc. thesis through the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, investigating the role of amplitude envelope in triggering the “unity assumption” in audio-visual integration. Lorraine also earned a B.A. (Hons) in Psychology at McGill University, where she completed an undergraduate thesis with Dr. Stephen McAdams on a cross-cultural study of emotions induced by music. After graduation she received a Studio Y Fellowship through the MaRS Discovery District. This competitive program is designed to produce the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs by offering networking and training opportunities.
Monique Monique Tardif (’15) completed a thesis exploring the use of different effectors in rhythm perception and sensorimotor integration. This project grew naturally out of her dual identity as a research assistant and performer in the McMaster University Percussion Ensemble. Monique was co-president of the McMaster Music Cognition Society and the public relations officer for the McMaster Philosophy Society. After graduation Monique began a job as lab manager at Ryerson University’s SMART Lab directed by Dr. Frank Russo, where she assists facilitating a variety of new music cognition projects.
Emily Gula Emily Gula (’15 BSc) graduated with a Honours BSc. in Biology and Psychology. Her thesis explored the role of amplitude envelope in audio-visual Temporal Order Judgment (TOJ) experiments. She completed her grade 9 piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music and has a strong background in musical theory. Emily also plays voice and clarinet, and has interests in sewing, audio recording, and sound editing. After graduation Emily enrolled in a Master’s of Audiology program at University of Ottawa, where she will make use of her fluency in French to assist multilingual communities with their audiological needs.
Jess 2013
Jess Gillard (’14 MSc) completed both her Undergraduate and Master’s Thesis in the MAPLE Lab where she studied the role of amplitude envelope in a variety of tasks such as audio-visual integration and associative memory. As a graduate student she completed a large-scale project surveying the temporal structure of sounds used in a variety of research journals, which greatly influenced her career path. Currently, Jess is working as a Research Assistant at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, where she is evaluating the redevelopment of the West 5th campus using mixed methods to collect quantitative, biometric, and qualitative data.
Diana Martinez Diana Martinez (’14 BA) graduated with a B.A. in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour (Music Cognition Specialization). She completed an independent study examining the role of amplitude envelope in recalling medical alarms. Enthusiastic about drawing upon her background in piano, she also completed a thesis examining emotional responses to classical music, which served as pilot data for subsequent lab explorations of emotional communication. After graduation Diana continued aiding the lab as an administrative assistant for a year, before enrolling in a program at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California, which she anticipates will lead to a career specializing in entertainment law. She is also working towards her Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 10 certificate.
Jen Jennifer Harris (’14 BSc) graduated with a B.Sc. in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, completing a senior thesis exploring the effect of limb movement on rhythm perception. Hooked on auditory perception after two years working in the lab, she plans on pursuing graduate study in Audiology and/or Speech Pathology. After traveling and working various jobs for a year, Jen enrolled in a Master of Clinical Science (MClSc) program program at Western, joining fellow lab alumni Jonny Vaisberg (’13) and Janet Kim (’11).
Raven Raven Hébert-Lee (’14 BA) completed a B.A. in Music with a specialization in music cognition. she contributed to multiple projects during her years in the lab. One explored the large-scale trends in instrumental music regarding non-piano corpi. Another uncovered an intriguing relationship between certain aspects of Bach’s rhythmic structure, and the range of tempi used in performing this work. Raven is an avid performer of music, and is involved with the McMaster Percussion Ensemble, as well as a Toronto-based metal band. She now lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Music Cognition thesis Student Peter Bamikole (’14 BSc) completed his Honours BSc in PNB (Music Cognition specialization), completing a senior thesis exploring the role of amplitude envelope in audio-visual integration. He is currently a medical student at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is working with Dr. Reyna Gordon (Vanderbilt University) to study the relationship between musical rhythm and speech rhythm skills in children with language impairment and their typically developing peers. He is also leading a new outreach initiative to bring music activities to an East Nashville school that primarily serves children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Monika Kaminski (’14 BSc) graduated from the Honours Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour program at McMaster University, and served as a research assistant in the lab during Fall of 2013. She assisted with projects related to the role of amplitude envelope in audio-visual integration, and also on the role of melodic confusions in associative memory tasks. After graduation she enrolled in The University of Windsor’s Faculty of Education to begin applying her knowledge of music cognition to classroom settings.
Jonny Vaisberg Jonathan Vaisberg (’13 BSc) was one of the first members of the lab when it was founded. He completed a BSc with a specialization in Music Cognition as well as an honours thesis exploring audio-visual integration. He also completed the lab’s inaugural survey of sounds, exploring the temporal structure of tones used in the journal Music Perception (see our publications page for the article). Johnny is currently enrolled in a combined MClSc/PhD in audiology at Western University, where he is investigating how multisensory integration is used to establish an auditory spatial map.
Miranda Miranda Nasato (’13 BMus) completed an Honours Bachelor of Music with a specialization in Music Cognition. Her research explored the cues used to communicate emotion in music for children. She is currently attending teacher’s college at the University of Toronto and hopes to use her knowledge of Music and Cognition to help students with mental disabilities.
Olivia Olivia Podolak (’12 BSc) after completing her honours thesis in the lab, began her graduate studies with Dr. Mark Schmuckler at the University of Toronto Scarborough where she is now researching cognitive processes involved in musical sight-reading. Additionally, Olivia is the director for the University of Toronto site of Science Rendezvous, a Canada-wide science outreach festival meant to get children interested in science, technology, and engineering.
Matthew Poon (’12 BMus) earned his bachelor’s degree in piano performance at McMaster. He also researched cues used for communicating emotion in piano literature. His research in the lab received support from two Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRAs). His work was recognized with a student award at the 2011 meeting of the Society of Music Perception and Cognition. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the Wisconsin-Eau Claire, researching issues of musical corm and the analysis of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western music; however, he also pursues secondary interests in music perception and harmony in Japanese anime music. He is also active as a conductor of multiple ensembles.
Janet Kim Janet Kim (’11) completed her undergraduate studies at McMaster University in Honours Life Sciences. Afterwards, she earned a master’s degree in Hearing Science from Western University, where she explored multimodal integration in the interpretation of dynamic sound localization cues. During this time, Janet received awards from the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, the Faculty of Health Sciences, the GTA Union Academic Achievement Scholarship, and the Western Graduate Research Scholarship. She is an avid player of the piano, cello, and guitar.
Glenn Paul Glenn Paul worked on the first lab project exploring the use of auditory alarms in medical devices while at McMaster in 2010 (when he also performed with the McMaster University Percussion Ensemble). Glenn is currently working as an orchestra musician on cruise ships, based mostly out of L.A, New York, New Orleans, and most recently, Copenhagen.