Using music as a stimulus for the study of perceived and imagined activity in the auditory cortex has proven an effective and reliable platform. Many studies have confirmed music’s ability to be retained in memory with almost carbon-copy- like accuracy – relative pitch, tempo, and timbre of ear-worms have been shown to correspond significantly with perceived characteristics when music is “played back” as auditory mental imagery. Experienced musicians make for an interesting subject population, as they have gone through years of extensive training to produce accurate auditory images in composition and performance tasks. Untrained subjects are also appropriate, as, with few exceptions, the ability to retain and imagine musical passages appears to some extent in all people, suggesting an underlying neural mechanism that can be strengthened with practice.


  • Neurological foundations of music in the auditory cortex
  • Musical mental imagery and intrusive thoughts
  • Brain-computer interfaces
  • Music perception and cognition
  • Musically-induced emotional states
  • Music Information Retrieval

Research Projects

  • Investigating Neural Correlates in Imagined and Heard Pitch Using EEG

    Investigating Neural Correlates in Imagined and Heard Pitch Using EEG

    Musician and non-musician populations will perform listening, playing, and mental imagery tasks using a mismatch negativity paradigm.

    The study measures expectation violation and conformity through event-related-potentials recorded via electroencephalograph placed over the scalp. Subjects are presented with a combination of conditions in which they imagine, perform, or hear a standard pitch reference, or are randomly presented with an unexpected pitch during those conditions.