Dr. Michael Schutz Named a 2019 University Scholar

Maple Lab director, Dr. Michael Schutz, is one of six McMaster University professors named 2019 University Scholars!

This award recognizes the achievements of mid-career researchers. Recipients have distinguished themselves as international scholars and have demonstrated a commitment to the discovery, communication and preservation of knowledge, excellence in education and pedagogy, and to serving local and global communities.

Read the Daily News article about this achievement here

@Percussion Podcast special episode featuring marimba gesture research


The @Percussion podcast hosted by Casey Cangelosi along with Megan Arns, Ben Charles, Laurel Black, and Tracy Wiggins featured discussion of our percussion-focused research. The weekly podcast invites a wide range of musicians to discuss topics related to percussion, music, and the arts in general.   This program focused on the marimba illusion research, talking about its psychological basis as well as its practical applications.  

The episode is now available as either a video broadcast below or as an audio podcast on iTunes and their blogspot page.

Dr. Schutz Featured on CBC’s The Nature of Things

portal_tnot_gen-headerOn December 1st the CBC debuted an episode of The Nature of Things with David Suzuki titled “I Got Rhythm: The Science of Song.”  The episode explored the science behind how music affects the body and the brain and also looked at the fascinating relationship humans have with music.  One segment featured an interview with Dr. Schutz discussing how pitch, modality, and timing cues contribute to the expression of emotion in music.  Dr. Trainor, another researcher from McMaster University, was also featured on the broadcast.  

For more information and to watch the full episode, click here.

Quirks Question Roadshow features Dr. Schutz discussing why major scales sound “right”

Perimeter Institute (Waterloo, Ontario)

CBC’s Bob McDonald talks with researchers to answer questions from the show’s listeners.  The taping took place at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario on June 4th, and air on  June 6th.

Popular with audiences since 1975, Quirks & Quarks is an award-winning Canadian weekly news program, attracting over 500,000 listeners for its Saturday broadcasts.  For more information visit the Quirks Question Roadshow page.

Listen to the full episode here.

University Affairs features MAPLE Lab in discussion of Canadian research on music cognition

universityaffairs An article covering “How music affects the brain” reports on our work exploring sensorimotor integration and audio-visual integration in music perception. The story highlights Canada’s leadership role in the rapidly growing field of music cognition by discussing findings from several of the country’s top research groups.  For more information or to read the article click here!


Meet lab members playing in the McMaster University Percussion Ensemble

We complement music research with music performance.

Humanities Media Computing visited the McMaster University Percussion Ensemble to talk with students about the group’s incredible musical growth.

The result is this engaging “info-mercial” featuring excerpts from recent performances, explanation about the group’s role in offering an artistic outlet for students from a variety of Faculties, and discussion of the ensemble’s role in community engagement.

The clip features interviews with several students who both play in the ensemble and work the Lab: Raven Hebert-Lee (Humanities), Monique Tardif (Science), Zach Louch (Humanities), Shawn Kerr (Humanities), as well as ensemble members Christine Chung (Health Sciences) and Stewart Crocker (Humanities).



“What the beep? Why Digital Sounds Are So Annoying” features lab work on amplitude envelope

Life’s Little Mysteries writer Anthony McGovern wrote a story exploring why the sounds frequently used in electronic devices (i.e. alarm clocks, microwave ovens, etc) are so annoying, and ways to improve their use in the future.  The article featured some of our research (done in conjunction with collaborator Dr. Jeanine Stefanucci) demonstrating that products using percussive tones are more desirable than similar products using the traditional artificial-sounding “beeps” frequently employed.  For a quick overview of amplitude envelope, see here


Hearing Lab featured MAPLE Lab audio-visual research as “Top Story” in February debut issue.

Our audio-visual integration research was the “top story” on Nedra Floyd-Pautler’s Hearing Lab.  The article highlighted projects with international collaborators pursuing clinical applications and implications of our findings.  The article drew on research covered in several of our papers to give a plain-language accessible overview, representing the most in-depth coverage to date on clinical implications of our work.  The article also included supplemental information on Asperger’s and autism spectrum disorder.  Additionally, it featured screen shots and discussion of our “virtual marimbist” animation software. Read an archived PDF of the article here.

MAPLE Lab research featured on Rita Celli’s popular Ontario Today program

During the 40 minute segment, Dr. Schutz discussed some of his music cognition research, played Bach’s Prelude in C minor from the Well Tempered Clavier, and answered questions from callers about music and the mind. You can listen to the program using the player below, or download it for off-line listening by “right clicking” the mouse on this link and choosing “save target as”.