What we do

How is it that music moves us and bonds us so deeply? In the BEAT Lab we are interested in the relationship between musical time and bodily time, in connections between music theory and psychology, in computational modeling of attention and motor behavior, and in how music synchronizes social groups. At the broadest level, we study musical engagement to learn about fundamental dynamics of the nervous system and, conversely, we use cognitive neuroscientific methods to create more immersive musical experiences. To learn more about our research, click here.

McMaster University is the perfect home for our research, with amazing facilities and collaborators in the McMaster Institute for Music & the Mind (MIMM), of which we are a part. We regularly conduct cognitive neuroscience experiments in both individual and social contexts; individual and small group studies (up to 5 people) are conducted in the BEAT Lab; large group studies--with up to 100 people in a music concert context--are conducted in McMaster's globally unique Large Interactive Virtual Environment (LIVELab). We also regularly host online experiments, which participants can complete from the comfort of their homes. If you are interested in participating in our research, please click here.

Lab photo

From left to right: BEATLab graduate students Shreshth Saxena, Maya Flannery, Joshua Schlichting, and Principal Investigator, Lauren Fink

Want to learn more about our lab members? Click here.

Interested in joining us? Click here to learn how.


What we write about

Our most recent publications are displayed below. Click here to see the full list.


What we're up to


Tübingen, Germany

14-24 Aug 2023

Shreshth attended the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics Systems Vision Science Summer School.


Tokyo, Japan

24-26 Aug 2023

Lauren, Maya, & Shreshth presented at the 17th International Conference on Music Perception & Cognition.


Neuromusic Conference

28 Oct 2023

Maya, Joshua, and Shreshth all presented at the 19th annual Neuromusic Conference at McMaster University.

The Innocents

The Innocents

2-4 Apr 2024

Nearly all lab members will be involved in our first LIVELab study, incorporating mobile and webcam eye-tracking!



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The BEAT Lab is located on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations, and within the lands protected by the “Dish with One Spoon” wampum agreement.