Lab Members


J. Devin McAuley is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Director of the MSU Cognitive Science Program and a member of the Neuroscience Program. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at Indiana University, receiving a B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science, a M.S. in Computer Science, and a joint Ph.D. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science. He then went on to complete postdoctoral studies in Psychology at the University of Queensland and the Ohio State University where he was a Music Cognition Postdoctoral Fellow. Before joining the MSU faculty in 2009, Devin was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Bowling Green State University. Dr. McAuley’s research interests include auditory perception, attention, and memory, music cognition, cross-modal processing, timing and temporal control of behavior, and relationships between music and language processing.

Leigh VanHandel is a former Associate Professor of Music Theory at Michigan State University, and is now Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of British Columbia.  Her research areas focus on music cognition with an emphasis on rhythm, meter, and tempo. She’s currently working on the Tempo Project, which is studying what musical cues influence our perception and determination of tempo. In her spare time, she officiates roller derby and plays bass guitar in a rock band.

Graduate Students

Toni Smith is a fifth-year PhD student in the Psychology Department’s Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience program. She graduated with a B.S. in cognitive science at the University of Connecticut in 2018, where she was an undergraduate research assistant in the Music Dynamics Lab. Here in the TAP Lab she has worked on the speech-in-noise project, looking at the role of rhythm and entrainment in the perception of speech in difficult listening situations. More recently, she has been working on a project investigating the role of movement in timing perception, and is also involved in a collaborative project with the University of Michigan on adults who stutter. In her free time, she enjoys reading, thrifting, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

Samantha Waddell is a second-year PhD student in Music Theory at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She also holds a BM in Piano Performance from the University of Evansville (2018) and earned an MM in Music Theory at Michigan State University (2021). Sam has been collaborating on the Narrative Listening project since 2019, lending her performance and theory skills to the project. Outside of music cognition, Sam’s research interests include rhythm and meter perception in popular music, and music theory pedagogy. Outside of the classroom, she likes to care for her houseplants and prevent her cat from eating them.

Bailey Rann is a first-year PhD student in the psychology Department’s Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience program. She graduated with a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Science from Michigan State University in 2023, where she was a research assistant in Dr. McAuley’s Timing Attention and Perception (TAP) Lab. After earning her B.S., she continued working in the TAP Lab as the Lab Manager. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, lifestyle photography, thrifting, and spending time hanging out with friends or reading in coffee shops!

Post Graduate

Matthew Oakes recently graduated from Michigan State University earning his masters in Music Theory. His research interests include perception of auditory grouping, music perception and cognition, and music theory pedagogy. Outside of school, Matthew deeply enjoys running, cooking, talking with his fiancé, talking with friends and family back home in Texas, and playing with his awesome cat.

Post Undergraduate

Jewelian Fairchild recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She was an undergraduate RA on the Narrative Listening project and is now collaborating on two Narrative Listening papers. Outside of the TAP Lab, Jewelian is a project manager for the Prenatal Stress Study, with interest in how prenatal stress affects infant development. After taking time off to gain more research experience, she plans to apply to clinical psychology Ph.D. programs to continue her research interests on child maltreatment and parenting


Sanaye Lewis is a senior from Atlanta, Georgia majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Cognitive Science. After graduating, she plans on going into industry and becoming a software engineer. In her free time she enjoys dancing, watching musicals, and listening to podcasts.

Tanmay Shekhar is a junior in the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University. Currently, he is running participants and analyzing data for one of the labs current projects (MINT). After graduation, he plans to continue involving himself in related research. His hobbies include reading, philosophy, and playing the trombone.

Rachael Farquharson is a sophomore in the College of Social Science and the College of Music at Michigan State University. Her majors are a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Voice Performance. She plans to use the TAP lab as an opportunity to gain research experience and explore the connections between culture, imagination, and the perception of music.

Cormac Avila is a senior majoring in Psychology and Jazz Studies, and minoring in Cognitive Science. Upon graduation, he hopes to pursue a graduate degree in neuroscience while continuing to play piano in the music industry. His hobbies include reading philosophy and spending time with family.

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Lab Affiliates

  • Zach Hambrick, Ph.D., Michigan State University
  • Melissa Allman, Ph.D., Michigan State University
  • Jason Moser, Ph.D., Michigan State University
  • Juli Wade, Ph.D., Michigan State University

Other Institutions

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Brendan McEvoy

Brendan McEvoy graduated in the Spring of 2024 with his MM in Music Theory from Michigan State University. His research interests include inclusive and cognition-informed music pedagogy, perception and analysis of musical narrative, semiotic analysis, and public music theory. Brendan enjoys playing chamber music with friends, meeting new cats, and curating memes.

Ryan Galik

Ryan Galik graduated in the spring of 2024 with his M.M. Music Theory and Music Composition at Michigan State University. His research interests include genre perception and flow in listening, understanding narrative through diegetic frames, and cognition-informed pedagogy practices. Outside his studies, Ryan enjoys distance cycling, films no one has heard of, and losing at chess.

Meghana Gogineni

Meghana Gogineni recently graduated with a dual major in Neuroscience and Psychology from Michigan State University. She plans to apply for either medical school or graduate school after graduation. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, singing, and spending time with friends.

Frank Dolecki

Frank Dolecki recently graduated from Michigan State University with bachelors degree in Human Biology and a minor in Cognitive Science.

Kyle Oliver

Kyle Oliver recently graduated with a dual major in Neuroscience and Psychology from Michigan State University. Kyle plans to further pursue education in psychology with hopes of a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Outside of school, Kyle loves to play soccer and golf!

Cynthia Sridhar

Cynthia Sridhar recently graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelors degree in Neuroscience and Sociology with a minor in Bioethics. Now that she has graduated, she plans to attend medical school.

Michigan State University

  • Carolyn Kroger, Ph.D., 2022
  • Jessica Truong, B.A., 2022
  • Anusha Mamidipika, B.S., 2022
  • Nathalie Nordan, B.S., 2022
  • Ryan Jones, M.A., 2022
  • Yan Cong, Ph.D., 2021
  • Olivia, Dodson, 2021
  • Paul Clancy, B.S., 2021
  • Alison Eberle, B.A., 2021,
  • Shubhangi Sharma, B.S., 2021
  • Alperen Ekinci, B.S., 2021
  • William Quackenbush, B.S., 2020
  • Gabby Kindig, B.A., 2020
  • Zack Loyd, B.A., 2020
  • Becca Vroegop, B.A., 2020
  • Kelly Russell, B.S., 2020
  • Nicole Boog, B.S., 2020
  • Rebecca Guei, B.A., 2020
  • Audrey Drotos, B.S., 2019
  • Sarah Dec, B.A., 2019
  • Elizabeth Wieland, 2019
  • Marilyn Zahrt, 2019
  • Stacey Rowland, 2017
  • Alyssa Cleland, 2017
  • Klea Doko, 2017
  • Vixey Silva, 2017
  • Lauren J. Amick, M.A., 2017
  • Elisa K. Fromboluti, Ph.D., 2016
  • Courtney Cox, 2016
  • Audrianna St. Germain, 2016
  • Sara Dziubek, 2015
  • Monique Daignault, 2015
  • Jayson Winsor, 2015
  • Katherine Jones, M.S., 2015
  • Emily LaPlante, 2015
  • Joshua Lucksom, 2014
  • Bradley Seegert, 2014
  • Joshua Linkowski, 2014
  • Joshua Hamilton, 2014
  • Katie Centurione, 2014
  • Karli Nave, B.S., 2014
  • Jon Walters, B.S., 2014
  • Trisha Zdziarska, B.S., 2014
  • Breanna Borg, 2014
  • Abid Ahmad, 2014
  • Neelima Wagley, B.S., 2013
  • Brad Perry, B.S., 2013
  • Prashanth Rajarajan, B.S., 2013
  • Ashley Elliston, 2013
  • Ben Mastay, 2012
  • Alan Wedd, M.S., 2012
  • Ben Syzek, 2012
  • Jessica Wallace, 2012
  • Krista Bur, B.A., 2012
  • Patrick Engler, B.A., 2012
  • Erica Koelzer, B.A., 2012
  • Liza Kustantin, 2011
  • Amelia Wiggins, B.S., 2011
  • Lauren Zielinski, B.S. 2011
  • Brian Spyke, B.S., 2010

Bowling Green State University

  • Elina Banzina, Ph.D., 2012
  • Thomas J. Donahue, 2011
  • Amanda Stewart, 2011
  • Molly Henry, Ph.D., 2011
  • Alyssa Cain, 2010
  • Jennifer Vogt, B.S., 2010
  • Nathan Miller, Ph.D., 2010
  • Tracey Raybourn, M.A., 2010
  • Samantha Tuft, B.A., 2010
  • Louis Vinke, M.A., 2010
  • Brian Grushcow, B.A., 2009
  • Nicholas Steuver, B.S., 2009
  • Marta Zaleha, B.A., 2007
  • Steven Borawski, M.A., 2006
  • Laren Conklin, B.S., 2006
  • Deborah Frater, B.S., 2006
  • Allison Skinner, B.S., 2006
  • Jonathan P. Miller, Ph.D., 2005
  • Chris Ayala, M.A., 2004
  • Josie Bostleman, B.S.
  • Lori Curtindale, M.A., 2007
  • Laura Fuhr, B.S.
  • Laura Krauss, B.S.
  • Ann Mary Mercier, M.A., 2007
  • Kelly Miller, B.S.
  • Chris Trimmer, B.S.
  • Kelly Rider
  • Jacqueline Toft
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