Miller Hall - 1135

Focus Areas

The Auditory Perception Laboratory is interested in identifying and understanding general perceptual principles that govern the recognition of common auditory events, including speech (e.g., phonemes), nonspeech (e.g., musical instruments), and environmental noises. These interests extend to the perceptual organization of events in complex auditory arrays/scenes, including attention to perceptual attributes that are critical to distinguishing sound sources.


Michael D. Hall
Director: Michael D. Hall
Professor, Department of Psychology

Michael is a psychoacoustician whose research on timbre and general principles of auditory event recognition has consistently appeared in top-tier journals. He is a former president of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, and previously directed JMU’s Psychological Sciences M.A. program (service that was recognized in 2015-16 by a grant from the JMU Emeriti Association). Michael also has organized conferences for the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, and for several years chaired or co-chaired the organizing committee for the annual Auditory Perception, Cognition, and Action Meeting. He currently serves as co-editor for the journal Auditory Perception & Cognition.

Graduate Research Assistants:

Dominique Akesse
Dominique Akesse 

Dominique is a student in the Experimental Psychology Concentration of the Psychological Sciences Masters program. She is from Atlanta, Georgia and has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Neuroscience from Georgia State University. Her research interests include understanding potential influences of instrument timbre on emotion perception, as well as exploring possible ways that musical training might impact learning and memory more generally.



Laura Reinert

Laura is a graduate research assistant with the Auditory Perception Lab. She is currently pursuing a M.A. in Psychological Sciences within the experimental psychology concentration. Her research interests include understanding the relationship between music and speech, and the limits of our comprehension of sound sources. She earned a B.A. degree from Arcadia University majoring in psychology and with minors in music, sociology, and their honor program. Her previous experience includes animal research while at Arcadia University and more recently, work in the Aphasia Rehabilitation Research Lab at Temple University. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree to continue her research in auditory perception. 

Benjamin Stone

Benjamin is a student in the Psychological Sciences M.A. program at JMU, originally hailing from Reno, Nevada. Benjamin graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a B.A. in psychology. Minoring in music, Benjamin's interests lean toward psychoacoustics and understanding critical perceptual elements of music. 


Seeking Research Assistants: We are always on the look-out for talented JMU undergraduates and potential graduate students who are interested in working in the team-based environment of our laboratory on the projects summarized on this site, as well as on related research topics. Please direct all inquiries about these opportunities to the laboratory director at

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