Research Themes

Listed below are the research themes over the last several years. The current themes within which new students are being accepted are marked with *. An incomplete collection of typical publications associated with each theme is provided on this page. These materials are posted to ensure timely dissemination of academic work for individual, noncommercial purposes. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. See this page for the full list of MPCL's publications sorted by year.

*Perception and cognition of musical timbre

Research on the perceptual structure of musical timbre, data-analysis methods for determining this structure, acoustic correlates of timbral dimensions and features, the explanatory power of models of timbre perception for timbre intervals and timbral saliency, memory for timbre and timbre sequences.
McAdams, S. (2013). Musical timbre perception. In Diana Deutsch (Ed.), The psychology of music (3rd Edition). To dowload sound samples that accompany this chapter: Click here.
Thoret, E., Depalle, Ph. & McAdams, S. (2017). Frontiers in Psychology.
McAdams, S., Douglas, C. & Vempala, N. (2016). Frontiers in Psychology.
Siedenburg, K. & McAdams, S. (2016). Memory.
Siedenburg, K., Jones-Mollerup, K. & McAdams, S. (2016). Frontiers in Psychology.
McAdams, S., Winsberg, S., Donnadieu, S., De Soete, G. & Krimphoff, J. (1995). Psychological Research.
Caclin, A., McAdams, S., Smith, B. K. & Winsberg, S. (2005). Journal of Acoustical Society of America.

*Psychological foundations for orchestration practice

Application of results from psychoacoustic and cognitive psychology research to the development of a theory of orchestration, including issues such as the role of sensory processes and auditory scene analysis in the perception of instrumental blends and the role of timbral differentiation and timbral saliency in the formation of auditory streams and the perceptual analysis of musical textures.
Visit the Orchestration and Perception website
Goodchild, M., Wild, J. & McAdams, S. (2017). Musicae Scientiae.
Chiasson, F., Traube, C., Lagarrigue, C. & McAdams, S. (2017). Musicae Scientiae.
Lembke, S.-A. & McAdams, S. (2015). Acta Acustica united with Acustica.
Tardieu, D. & McAdams, S. (2012). Music Perception.


*Auditory scene analysis

Study of sensory data-driven and knowledge-driven processes that organize the acoustical fields into auditory events and auditory streams, and their role in music perception and cognition with particular emphasis on the role of timbre in scene analysis as applied to orchestration practice.
Douglas, C., Noble, J. & McAdams, S. (2016). Music Perception.
Bey, C. & McAdams, S. (2002). Perception & Psychophysics.
Bey, C. & McAdams, S. (2003). JEP:HPP.

Cognitive and affective dynamics of music listening

Elucidation of the temporality of perceptual, cognitive and affective experience of listeners. Development of music theories as tools for scientific thoughts and for the construction of hypotheses on what happens in the mind of a listener during music listening, as well as how musical structures and the way they are realized by performers shape this experience over time.
Chuen, L., Sears, D. & McAdams, S. (2016). Psychophysiology.
Taher, C., Rusch, R. & McAdams, S. (2016). Music Perception.
Egermann, H., Pearce, M. T., Wiggins, G. A., & McAdams, S. (2013). Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience.
McAdams, S., Vines, B. , Vieillard, S., Smith, B. & Reynolds, R. (2004). Music Perception.
Lalitte, P., Bigand, E., Poulin-Charronnat, B., McAdams, S., Delbé, C. & D'Adamo, D. (2004). Music Perception.
Dubnov, S., McAdams, S. & Reynolds, R. (2004). Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Perception of formal functions in music

Study of the perceptual cues and cognitive processes involved in perceiving formal functions in music, such as functional beginnings, middles and endings of musical phrases, as well as the effects of formal musical training on these processes.
Sears, D., Caplin, W. E., & McAdams, S. (2014). Perceiving the classical cadence. Music Perception.
Vallières, M., Tan, D., Caplin, W. & McAdams, S. (2009). Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies.

Performance and perception of keyboard music

Study of performer-listener communication and the "descending" dynamic cognitive control effect of performers' analyses and interpretations of musical structures on their performance of them.
Goodchild, M., Gingras, B. & McAdams, S. (2016). Music Perception.
Gingras, B., Palmer, C., Schubert, P. & McAdams, S. (2016). Psychology of Music.
Gingras, B., Lagrandeur-Ponce, T., Giordano, B. & McAdams, S. (2011). Perception.
Gingras, B. & McAdams, S. (2011). Journal of New Music Research.

Sound source perception

Study of the link between mechanical processes of vibrating objects, the acoustic field created by them, the perception of the object and event properties, and the categorization and identification of sound sources.
McAdams, S. (1993). Recognition of auditory sources and events. In S. McAdams & E. Bigand (Eds.), Thinking in sound: The cognitive psychology of human audition.
Hjortkjaer, J. & McAdams, S. (2016). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
Giordano, B.L., McAdams, S., Zatorre, R.J., Kriegeskorte, N., & Belin, P. (2013). Cerebral Cortex.
Giordano, B., Rochesso, D., & McAdams, S. (2010). JEP:HPP. [Supplemental Materials];
McAdams, S., Roussarie, V., Chaigne, A. & Giordano, B. (2010). Journal of Acoustical Society of America . [Supplemental Materials];
Giordano, B., McDonnell, J. & McAdams, S. (2010). Brain and Cognition.

Multimodal integration in action contexts

Study of the underlying mechanisms by which information of different sensory modalities (audition, proprioception and tactile sensation) is combined for tasks such as material identification during complex motor plannings/executions such as locomotion or music production.
Wollman, I., Fritz, C., Poitevineau, J. & McAdams, S. (2014). PLoS ONE.
Giordano, B.L., Visell, Y., Yao, H.Y., Hayward, V., Cooperstock, J., & McAdams, S. (2012). Journal of Acoustical Society of America.
Cao, Y., Giordano, B. L., Avanzini, F., & McAdams, S. (2016). Experimental Brain Research.

Perception and modeling of spatialized sound

Study of the mechanisms by which sounds presented over loudspeaker arrays are perceived as spatialized, and the gestural control of spatialization.
Marentakis, G., Griffiths, C. & McAdams, S. (2016). ACM Transactions in Applied Perception.
Peters, N., Braasch, J. & McAdams, S. (2011). Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies.
Peters, N., Marentakis, G. & McAdams, S. (2011). Computer Music Journal.
Marentakis, G., & McAdams, S. (2013). ACM Transactions on Applied Perception.