Talk on auditory stimuli and their implication on audio-visual integration at IMRF

Toronto, ON

We will present the latest results of our ongoing survey of sounds project at the 19th Annual International Multisensory Research Forum (IMRF) in downtown Toronto. Dr. Schutz’s talk is titled “Generalizing audio-visual integration: What kinds of stimuli have we been using?” and it will focus in particular on the relationship of the survey project to audio-visual integration research.  The conference also features keynote talks by Dr. Charles Spence (Oxford) and Dr. Ladan Shams (UCLA).     

Discussion of interpersonal synchronization by expert percussionists at NEST 2018

Storrs, CT

  On April 21st, 2018, Dr. Schutz gave a presentation at the New England Sequence and Timing (NEST) Conference at the University of Connecticut. NEST is a rhythm conference hosted by Edward Large and the Music Dynamics Lab. The title of the talk is “Can professional musicians intentionally desynchronize?  A natural case study of expert percussionists in a natural performance context” and it highlights an important naturalistic drumming study our lab conducted here at McMaster. To see the visualizations used in the study, take a look at our demo by clicking the button on the right.    

Dr. Marc Thompson visits the MAPLE Lab

Dr. Marc Thompson will be a special guest speaker in lab meeting.  He is visiting from the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music Research (University of Jyväskylä), where his research interests include entrainment in music performance, gesture-controlled musical interfaces, and university pedagogy.  His talk will focus on issues of embodied cognition and music listening, based on his extensive research on this topic.   

Talk at University of Toronto Music and Health Research Colloquium Series




Dr. Schutz will be speaking on the colloquium series at the University of Toronto (Faculty of Music). This colloquium series is run by Dr. Michael Thaut as part of the new graduate program in Music and Health Studies.  

The talk will discuss a range of the lab’s percussion-focused research, touching on practical applications for performing musicians, implications for psychological theory, connections with clinical treatments, and future studies applying our basic research to improving auditory alarms in medical devices.

Where:  Edward Johnson Music Building, room 217

When:  Thur, Oct 19th (3.15-4.45pm)

Who: The talk is free and open to the public

Seeing Music: Translating research on music perception to clinical contexts

Why do we buy concert tickets when the same sounds can be heard more cheaply and comfortably within our own homes? Why do popular music concerts include elaborate lighting and staging effects for what is ostensibly an auditory event? Why can’t orchestral musicians wear t-shirts and flip-flops? Clearly, visual information can play a significant role in the experience of music, but how and why does this happen? My talk will explore this issue through the context of a musical illusion in which musicians use visible gestures to change the way music “sounds.” Some expert performers capitalize on the fact that although these gestures have no acoustic consequences, they are crucial in shaping the way in which audiences perceive performances. This illusion raises interesting philosophical questions about what music “is” and how it is best experienced. It has also led to a surprising range of recent discoveries raising new questions about issues ranging from refining our understanding of sensory integration dysfunction in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to improving the design of auditory alarms in medical devices – an industry valuated by Industry Canada at $6 billion annually.

Dr. Schutz talks at the 16th Rhythm Production and Perception Workshop

Birmingham, UK


Dr. Schutz presented a talk titled “Exploring unintentional coordination in Steve Reich’s Drumming: A case study of expert musicians attempting joint desynchronization” at RPPW 2017 in Birmingham UK. The conference brought together researchers from a range of disciplines to engage in discussions about the scientific study of rhythm, and took place on Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus.

Note: Interactive visualization presented during talk now available online at

Talk image to left courtesy of tweet from Dawn Rose (@dawnidrums)


Talks for the University of British Columbia School of Music

Vancouver, British Columbia

It is no secret that music has the power to make us feel a vast array of emotions. Researchers have shown that by altering pitch height, timing and, modality (major/minor) they can change the emotional message of a melody.  But do these changes capture the full richness of musical emotions as they occur naturally in concert halls and coffee shops?  

Dr. Schutz overviewed recent developments in the MAPLE Lab’s work on musical emotions in a talk titled “Music’s emotion power: Exploring the use of cues for emotion through the music of JS Bach.”  The talk took place at the University of British Columbia School of Music Graduate Colloquium series (room 400B in the School of Music) at 3:30 on Friday, Sept 23rd.

See our music and emotion page for more information about this project.


Dr. Schutz also gave an additional talk titled “Movement and Timing: Exploring the relationship between musical training, rhythm perception, and sensorimotor integration” in a rhythm perception seminar  hosted by Dr. Ève Poudrier.  When listening to music we often tap our feet or bob our head to the beat.  Performers also tend to make gestures more excessive than necessary for sound production.  In his talk he discussed if these actions provide any benefits to listeners and performers.   This talk took place at 2pm on Tue Sept 20th at the School of Music (room 400B).

For more information about this project see our sensorimotor integration page.

Music Cognition lectures at the Honors Music Institute

State College, PA

Honors Music InstituteCome learn about music cognition at the Penn State Honors Music Institute! These plain language summaries of hot areas within music cognition will take place from 2:40-3:20 in Esber Hall on July 18, 19th, & 20th.  Oriented towards our exceptional high school musicians, they are also open to the Penn State Community at large and are titled:


  • Monday July 18th: Seeing Music?  What performing musicians need to know about vision and perception
  • Tuesday July 19th: Communicating emotion in music: A complex dialogue between composers, performers, and audiences
  • Wednesday July 20th: How “feeling the beat” can help improve musical rhythm

Series of talks at Vanderbilt University for Music, Mind and Society program as well as Medical Center

Nashville, TN

Music’s emotional power has long fascinated great thinkers ranging from Plato to Darwin.  One of the lab’s ongoing research projects explores the degree to which music’s ability to convey and induce emotion stems from parallels with the communication of emotion in speech.  Dr. Schutz summarized this work in a talk titled “Exploring the communication of emotion in music” as part of Vanderbilt’s new Program for Music, Mind, and Society, hosted by Dr. Reyna Gordon. For more information, click here for a video recording of the talk.

Vanderbilt_logoHe also gave two additional talks at the Vanderbilt Medical Center, discussing his research on amplitude envelope, as well as an overview of his multi-disciplinary career path as a professional percussionist with additional formal training in experimental psychology and computer science, hosted by Dr. Joseph Schlesinger.  An Interdisciplinary Jaunt from Concert Hall to Research Lab (and back!) took place at in 2301-A Vanderbilt University Hospital (VUH) from 3:30-4:30 Thursday March 31st. Dynamic Sounds and Perceptual Processes: How Music Perception and Cognition Research Influences Medical Auditory Alarms will be in 214 Rudolph Light Hall from 6:30-7:30 am on Friday April 1st.

Lecture recital – Multi-modal music: A percussionists’ perspective

Davis, California

The University of California MERCI (Music Experience Research Community Initiative) program sponsored a special lecture/recital at UC Davis.  Dr. Schutz performed a variety of solo literature for percussion illustrating the musical basis for our team’s research including pieces  for marimba, vibraphone, and snare drum.  These solos illustrate the musical principles guiding the  lab’s ongoing work on multi-sensory integration in musical performance and perception.  It also served as an opportunity for the audience to learn about solo percussion literature, and discuss future research opportunities at the intersection of music performance and cognitive science.

This talk was being co-hosed Dr. Petr Janata (UC Davis) and Dr. Ramesh Balasubramaniam (UC Merced).  An archived video of the performance is now available courtesy of MERCI, and can be found at or by clicking the image below. 

UC Davis lecture recital screen shot

Visit to Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University


Stanford, California

Dr. Schutz discussed the lab’s latest research on amplitude envelope for a lecture series at Stanford University. Given CCRMA’s important role in laying the foundation for research on acoustics, perception, and music cognition, this opportunity to discuss ongoing lab projects with researchers will be insightful. He also visited Dr. Takako Fujioka’s new lab to learn about her team’s ongoing projects. Learn more about the talk and/or watch an archival recording below to see an overview of the lab’s recent discoveries.