I am a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. I run the Music & Cognition Lab at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus.
My primary research area focuses on cognitive developmental issues in the auditory domain. I am especially interested in music perception and cognition, particularly in reciprocal influences between basic psychological processes and musical structures. I am also interested in the cognitive (nonmusical) consequences of formal music lessons and music listening. Basic research questions examine memory for music, typically melodies, and how mental representations of melodies contain both abstract/relational information that defines the melodies, as well as information about specific renditions, such as their key, tempo, and timbre.
Other research focuses on associations between musical expertise and nonmusical abilities, particularly speech perception and linguistic ability. We consider musical expertise as a consequence of formal training in music and/or natural musical ability (music aptitude). We are also interested in emotional responding to music, in terms of the specific emotions music evokes as well as listeners’ preferences for certain pieces or genres.