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

Carolyn Kroger, (“Carrie”), is a fifth-year PhD student in the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience program in the MSU Psychology Department. She graduated in 2015 from the University of Arkansas with a B.A. in Psychology. She worked as an RA in the University of Arkansas Music Cognition Lab from 2014-2016, where she conducted research with Dr. Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis on the role of verbal descriptions in music listening experiences. Her master’s work in the TAP Lab examined temporal and dynamic features in unimanual and bimanual tapping as well as interpersonal synchronization. Her dissertation research examines the potential role of spatial dynamics in movement timing.

Yan Cong is a fifth year graduate student in Linguistics, with an additional specialization in Cognitive Science. She has been investigating the (enriched) meaning of degree constructions in context. At the TAP Lab, she is currently interested in projects on the roles of rhythm and pitch in language processing. Yan enjoys cycling, hiking, and thriller movies in her free time.


Toni Smith is a second year graduate 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 fall 2018, where she was an undergraduate research assistant in the Music Dynamics Lab. While there, she conducted research on synchronization and pitch-induced temporal illusions for her honors thesis. Here in the TAP Lab she is currently working on the SPiN project, looking at the role of rhythm and entrainment in the perception of speech in difficult listening situations. In her free time, she enjoys reading, dance, and learning to cook new foods.

Gerardo Lopez (Gerry) is a graduate student in the Music Theory program here at MSU. He is currently involved with the Narrative Listening and TEMPO projects. Aside from his academic interests, he’s trained as a classical flutist and also enjoys the occasional Calvin and Hobbes comic strip.

Zachary Lookenbill is a graduate student in Music Theory at Michigan State. His research interests include the perception of rhythm and meter, specifically metrical dissonances like polyrhythms and hemiola. He plans on working on the Tempo project in the TAP lab. Outside of music cognition, Zach enjoys listening to and playing piano music of Beethoven, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff. On the very rare occasion that he isn’t studying music, he’s often cooking, running, or playing disc golf.

Samantha Waddell (Sam) is a second-year MM Music Theory student from Evansville, IN. With an undergraduate degree in piano performance, Sam has lent her performance and topic theory skills to the Narrative Listening project. Outside of this project, her current research interests include rhythm and meter in pop music, from The Beatles to Billie Eilish, and the use of motive in Robert Schumann’s music. Outside of the classroom, she likes to take her cat on walks and play Animal Crossing.


Paul Clancy is a senior from South Lyon, MI pursuing a major in Neuroscience and Physiology and a minor in Global Public Health and Epidemiology. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he hopes to attend medical school. He works at TAPlab at the Social Media Chair, and in his free time he enjoys playing piano.

Anusha Mamidipaka is a junior in Lyman Briggs studying Neuroscience with an additional major in Psychology and a minor in Graphic Design. She is involved with the SPiN project, which investigates speech perception in difficult listening conditions, and the narrative listening project, which looks at how people interpret instrumental music. After she graduates, she plans to attend medical school. On-campus, she is the art managing editor for the Red Cedar Review. In her free time, she enjoys painting and making videos.

Alison Eberle is a senior from Romeo, Michigan studying Experience Architecture with minors in Graphic Design and German. She is currently a part of the SPiN project, investigating speech perception in difficult listening conditions.

Shubhangi Sharma is a senior studying Genomics and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Bioethics from Gurnee IL. She is currently working on the Rhythm and Language project studying the effect of distal prosody on speech in children.

Cynthia Sridhar is a sophomore from Los Angeles, California studying Neuroscience with a minor in Bioethics. She is currently working on the Interpersonal Tapping Project which examines mimicry between individuals during interpersonal coordinated movements. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to attend medical school. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends and is an avid SpongeBob fan!

Jewelian Fairchild is a junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Behavior and Social Services. She is currently involved with the Narrative Listening project which studies the role of narrative listening in music perception. Jewelian is a part of the Psychology Scholar’s Program here at MSU and upon graduating, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist.



Jessica Truong is a sophomore majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in security risk management. She has an interest in psychology and music and is currently involved with the Interpersonal Tapping Project which looks at mimicry between individuals. In her free time she enjoys the piano and spending time with her friends.

William Quackenbush is a senior in Lyman Briggs majoring in Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience and minoring in Music. He is currently working on the Interpersonal Tapping project to better understand the relationships between rhythm processing and synchronization. After he graduates, he plans to go to graduate school for neuroscience. He is fascinated with music therapy and music’s role as a language for those who are autistic and unable to verbally communicate. In his free time, he loves to play violin and travel.

Nathalie Nordan is a junior student majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in music. She plays piano as her primary instrument, and enjoys reading (anything and everything). She is also learning the bass guitar, and loves to learn new things everyday. She loves music cognition and has always wanted to study it. She is working on the Tempo project and hopes to learn more about it.

Alperen Ekinci is a junior studying psychology from Istanbul, Turkey. He is currently involved with Slow Tapping Project. He is interested in artificial intelligence and time perception. After he graduates, he plans to go to graduate school for Cognitive Science. He wants to gain experience in the field of timing and perception. In his free time, he enjoys playing chess and travelling.

Kyle Oliver is a Freshman majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology. After graduating he plans to attend medical school with hopes of specializing in Neurology. Outside of school, Kyle loves to play soccer and golf!

Olivia Dodson is a freshman from Cincinnati with majors in Music Performance and Neuroscience. As a new member in the lab, she is interested in getting involved with the Narrative Listening project. Olivia plans to go to graduate school after completing her undergraduate degree. Outside of working in the lab she enjoys practicing her oboe and spending time with her friends.

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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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Michigan State University

  • 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, 2020
  • Audrey Drotos, 2019
  • Sarah Dec, 2019
  • Elizabeth Wieland
  • 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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