New NSERC Discovery Grant for Amplitude Envelope research

NSERCSounds such as those produced by musical instruments or natural events exhibit rapid temporal changes in amplitude.  These changes afford an understanding of the materials and movements involved in sound producing events.  Our research actively explores the importance of this property to a variety of perceptual processes – including many novel tasks not previously thought to be affected by this cue.

In recognition of this issues’ importance, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada awarded Dr. Schutz a 5 year Discovery Grant to support this research.  Although unusual for researchers in the Faculty of Humanities Faculty to receive NSERC funding, this award illustrates the scientific importance of  using musical sounds to inform our understanding of listening.  This research will inform  neuroscientists interested in the biological basis of auditory perception as well as composers curious about our responses to different types of sounds. Additionally, this work holds implications for the health care, where medical professionals use auditory alarms to monitor patient health and well being. We are excited about the range future discoveries that will be possible as a result of this support, and appreciate this support for our work.  Read the Daily news story here.


Historical snapshot: Strong growth in music cognition research

This figure illustrates the striking increase in the size of the SMPC (Society for Music Perception and Cognition) meetings over the past decade.  Many important findings related to music cognition, neuroscience of music, musical performance, and music technology debuted these conferences, growing scientific and artistic interest.  Research into core topics related to music cognition continues to inform broader theoretical frameworks surrounding brain structure and function, as well as theoretical models of auditory processing.

Music cognition music perception research SMPC brain neuroscience psychology Dr. Schutz first presented this figure in his introductory remarks for the 2013 conference, when he served as Programming Chair. Society President Dr. Ed Large requested a copy to show during his keynote at SMPC 2015 (Nashville, TN), and others expressed similar interest.  We are now sharing this figure, generated using official proceedings documents from past SMPC conferences, to illustrate ever-increasing interest in this fascinating field.  

The MAPLE Lab has along history of association with SMPC.  In addition to coordinating programming for the 2013 meeting in Toronto, lab members have presented research at SMPC 2015 in Nashville TN, SMPC 2011 in Rochester, NY and SMPC 2009 in Indianapolis, IN.