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Interested in certain topics?  Browse content from specific categories and tags by simply clicking on the pertinent word below each post. 

For example, clicking on the “Percussion” category will open a new page that shows all the posts that have been sorted under “Percussion” category.  


Talk at CSBBCS 2018

St John’s, Newfoundland

  Working in conjunction with the Ryerson SMART Lab, we will be giving a presentation titled “Hearing (and seeing) the beat of a different drummer: Event-related desynchronization in the action observation network” at the 2018 meeting of the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science (CSBBCS). This is focused on the latest outcomes of our ongoing work with Dr. Frank Russo and the SMART Lab, and explores the idea that musical understanding is based in part on the brain’s simulation of the movements required to produce musical sounds.  It involved testing dozens of highly trained percussionists and comparing their neural responses to a well known excerpt performed by TSO Principle Percussionist John Rudolph.  

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).     

Sharmila and Aimee receive travel grants from SEMPRE

    Aimee and Sharmila each received travel grants valued at €245 (CAD $370) from the Society for Education and Music Psychology Research (SEMPRE). This grant will go towards their travel and accommodation at the 15th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC) in Montreal. The conference will take place this July and both students will be presenting their research findings. Congratulations, Aimee and Sharmila!  


Poster presented at International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) 2018

  The latest findings of a collaboration with Dr. Laura Silverman of the University of Rochester were presented at the 2018 meeting of INSAR (International Society for Autism Research). This poster, titled “Audiovisual integration abilities in ASD using music-based stimuli”, features a study in which adolescents with ASD were tested on the marimba illusion. Learn more about the stimuli we used here!

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.    

The MAPLE Lab is proud to sponsor DOP 2018

London, ON

Percussive Arts Society   On Sunday, April 8th, 2018, Dr. Schutz attended the 2018 Day of Percussion (DOP) hosted by the University of Western Ontario. This year the lineup featured performances by DUO PercussionLarnell Lewis, Rick Lazar of Samba Squad, and more. In previous DOP festivals, Dr. Schutz has also given invited performances and clinics.  This year we are happy to once again support the DOP with our ad (pictured on the right)! Thanks to the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) for yet another fun and educational day!  

MAPLE Lab end-of-year potluck


Last week our lab had a potluck and games night to celebrate the end of the year. Among the many delicious dishes at the potluck was a MAPLE Lab apple pie baked by our QQ student Nic Ballarin… or should we say Chef Nic! (Click the picture to see it in full size.)

To all of our grad students, thesis students, and QQs, thank you for another fun and fruitful year of research and learning! 

Undergraduate thesis poster session 2018

Hamilton, ON

Our thesis students did an amazing job showcasing their research at McMaster’s Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour undergraduate thesis poster session on Tuesday, March 27th! Great work, Carmen and Joyce.

Carmen Dang – Surveying amplitude envelope: A novel data visualization
Joyce Chan – Bach into exploring timing in musical emotion



Carmen is accepted into Ryerson University’s SMART Lab

  Congratulations to our talented and accomplished thesis student, Carmen Dang, for getting accepted into Ryerson University’s SMART Lab. The SMART Lab is directed by a close collaborator of our lab, Dr. Frank Russo, under whose supervision Carmen will be completing a Master of Arts in Psychology with a project focused on facial mimicry. Best wishes for a new chapter ahead, Carmen!    

Students present their findings at LOVE Conference 2018

Niagara Falls, ON

On February 8th and 9th, the MAPLE Lab attended the 47th annual Lake Ontario Visionary Establishment (LOVE) Conference. Two members of our lab presented posters showcasing their work:

  • Joyce Chan presented a poster on the impact of timing on subjective ratings of musical emotion
  • Sharmila Sreetharan presented a poster on her recent findings regarding the use of amplitude envelope on auditory alarms

End-of-term Holiday Celebration

  The MAPLE Lab’s last meeting of the term was a holiday get-together complete with a Secret Santa gift exchange! The celebration was much needed after a productive term full of experiments, conferences, and presentations. To get regular updates on what goes on in our lab, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! We wish everyone a safe and relaxing holiday season.

Dr. Schutz publishes an article in Frontiers in Psychology

  Pitch and timing are cues used to convey emotion in both music and speech. This focused review explores how these cues interact with a third musical cue, modality, and what the implications are for creating music that sounds happy or sad. The review is titled “Acoustic constraints and musical consequences: Exploring composers’ use of cues for musical emotion”, and it features a previous paper by Dr. Schutz that was selected as one of the top 100 articles of 2015 (out of 12,000 total submissions)!  

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.   

Maxwell and Joyce present at NeuroMusic

Hamilton, ON


On November 18th, Maxwell and Joyce will be presenting their posters at the NeuroMusic Conference held at McMaster University. 

Maxwell’s poster is titled “MAESTRO: A new tool for sound synthesis and observation” based on the auditory software he worked on over the summer.  Joyce is presenting “The impact of timing on musical emotion”. Her study investigates how performer manipulations of tempo affect listener perception of conveyed emotion. 

Maxwell Ng debuts MAESTRO software at NSERC student conference

Hamilton, ON

On October 25th, Maxwell Ng presented a poster titled “MAESTRO: A new tool for sound synthesis and observation” at McMaster University based on his work as an NSERC USRA student over the summer of 2017. MAESTRO stands for MAPLE Lab Auditory Exploration Suite for Teaching, Research, and Observation and it aims to provide students and researchers with an opportunity to create and manipulate sounds. 

If you are interested in using this software, simply visit our pedagogy page for instructions on installing and using this valuable tool.

  Maxwell with his NSERC poster



Acoustics Week in Canada 2017

Guelph, ON

  Maxwell co-authored a presentation titled “Seeing Sound: A New Tool for Teaching Music Perception Principles.”  Lab alumna Jess co-authored a presentation titled “Surveying the sounds used in auditory perception research: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.” Both presentations happened in Guelph, ON for Acoustics Week in Canada on October 11th to 13th. For more information on the lab’s recent publications and presentations, visit our Publications page!  

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.

The MAPLE Lab presents latest findings at SMPC 2017

San Diego, CA

From July 30th to August 3rd, several members of the MAPLE Lab went to San Diego, California to present talks and posters at the 2017 Society for Music Perception and Cognition Meeting.

  • Aimee Battcock presented a talk titled, “The importance of musical structure in listener perception of emotion.”

  • Anna Siminoski presented a talk titled, “Ancillary gestures as tools for inter-performer communication.”

  • Noah Little presented two posters which are titled, “Shared musical experiences and altruistic behaviour: An exploratory study” and, “Exploring the positive benefits of festival attendance for adolescent development.”

  • Dr. Schutz presented a talk titled, “A comprehensive survey of auditory perception stimuli.”

Aimee Battcock

Anna Siminoski

Noah Little

Dr. Schutz