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About Research

LIVELab and MIMM help build a brighter world through the scientific study of music, sound and movement and their importance to human health and development.

More than 70 research studies have been conducted or are in progress at LIVELab, with a focus on behavioral and neurophysiological measurement of human interaction. LIVELab brings researchers from McMaster’s Faculties of Science, Health Sciences, Engineering and the Humanities together with international researchers and industry partners.

LIVELab also provides research opportunities to nearly 60 postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students and welcomes students in the Music Cognition specialization within the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior.

LIVELab is part of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind. The institute is an interdisciplinary group of researchers, including psychologists, neuroscientists, music theorists, musicians, dancers, media artists, mathematicians, kinesiologists, health scientists and engineers. Together, they study questions about the physical structure, evolution, neural processing, performance and perception of music, dance and media arts. Specific questions explore how the auditory and motor systems interact to produce music, how performers synchronize with each other, how people encode and enjoy music and how groups in society are defined by the music they play.

Some of the areas being explored by faculty and student researchers at LIVELab include:

  • Testing new technologies to improve music at live concerts for hearing aid users
  • Non-verbal communication between jazz musicians
  • Emergent organization in group drumming
  • Sensorimotor interaction within complex environments and fall risk in the elderly
  • Effects of sub bass on movement and enjoyment of music
  • Understanding physiological and cognitive consequences of music performance anxiety
  • Community music therapy and well-being in university students
  • Time and rhythm deficits in developmental disorders
  • Measuring non-verbal interaction between mothers and infants
  • Mind wandering in students during lectures
  • Evaluation of pedagogical techniques for optimal learning
  • Experiments in new media that incorporate technology into artistic performance