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Current Research

I play what I love

Why do we enjoy music and how does our enjoyment of music affect our relationship with it? Is music we like easier to learn to play?  Alexander Albury, along with collaborator and Penhune Lab alumna Roberta Bianco investigates whether melodies that are more musically predictable are better liked and better learned. 

Get into the groove

Why does music want to make us move and why does moving to music give us pleasure?  What are the brain networks involved in the perception of rhythm and groove?  PhD student Tomas Matthews is answering these questions using fMRI in collaboration with Dr. Maria Witek (University of Birmingham, UK) and Dr. Peter Vuust (Music and Mind Institute, Aarhus Denmark).

What I hear moves me

Does hearing a familiar melody prepare the brain to move?  PhD student Oscar Bedford is testing this question using brain stimulation and EEG measures in collaboration with Dr. Robert Zatorre at the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Get an early start 

Work from our lab has demonstrated that starting music training before age seven has long-term effects on behavior and the brain.  PhD student Kierla Ireland has shown that children who start early have better perception of musical pitch.  PhD student Jake Shenker is currently exploring changes in the cerebellum and motor regions in early starters.

Words and music

Bilingualism and music training are powerful long-term experiences.  Post-doc Lucia Vaquero and students Paul-Noel Rousseau and Brian Gunther compare the effect of early- and late- bilingualism and music training on behavior and the brain.


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