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Our Team


UTM Postdoctoral Fellow

Anna Czepiel

Anna Czepiel is a postdoctoral researcher in the LAMA lab, at the UTM, exploring how the brain tracks real-world speech and song. She gained a Bachelor’s in music (University of York) and a Master’s in Music, Mind, and Technology with Cognitive Neuroscience (University of Jyväskylä). After an internship at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Anna completed her doctoral work in 2023 on responses to music in real-world contexts at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics and Maastricht University. In her spare time, Anna enjoys baking, playing piano and violin, and singing.

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Graduate Trainee

Anne Cabildo

Anne is a psychology graduate student at the University of Toronto. She completed her undergraduate studies at Toronto Metropolitan University with a minor in music and culture. She is interested in exploring the neural correlates underlying music and language processing as well as the effects of musical training on communication skills. Alongside her passion for research, Anne enjoys reading novels and performing music around the city.


SROP Student

Vashti Kamassah

Vashti recently received her BA in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. Throughout her time at the university she has taken a unique approach to her psychology degree so that she may be able to service minority communities with holistic treatments. Due to this, much of her research and literature reviews center around music (Musically Evoked Autobiographical Memories in those with Alzheimer's, Using Music to aid Second Language Teaching, Music-Intervention Improving Sleep Quality in Insomniacs, etc.). In her spare time Vashti enjoys travelling, baking and listening to music.


Undergraduate RA

Ryan Mark David

Ryan is an undergraduate student pursuing a specialist in Neuroscience at UTM. His interests include understanding how music influences neurocognitive development and exploring the clinical implications of music paradigms. He enjoys playing classical piano, volleyball, and reading philosophy. Aside from his research interests and hobbies, he teaches piano and works at a metabolic clinic.


Undergraduate ROP Student

Natasha Saeed

Natasha is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and she is completing a specialist in Neuroscience. At the lab, she is interested in understanding how the perception of various stimuli, such as voices and sounds, may vary in certain conditions or disorders. She is also interested in the neural mechanisms underlying these processes.  

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Undergraduate ROP Student

Giuliana Giannini

Giuliana is in her final year of her undergrad at UTM studying biology, psychology, and forensic science. She has a deep passion for speech, language, and human anatomy, and loves to dive into the field of auditory and communicative disorders. She played the saxophone in high school, which really sparked her interest in music and neuroscience. She is hoping to get her Master of Science degree in clinical speech-language pathology in the coming years, while also feeding her love for forensic science and true crime! In her spare time, Giuliana volunteers in a swallowing rehabilitation lab, loves to swim, and creates photo albums for her friends and family!

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Undergraduate ROP Student

Anh Tran

Anh Tran is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UTM, specializing in Psychology and minoring in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. At the LAMA Lab, Anh is gaining research experience and knowledge in music and auditory cognition with the aim of applying both to her strong interest in mental health-related research and interventions. Currently, Anh's ROP project is investigating how emotional valence within speech (i.e.. how happy or sad a voice sounds) influences people's attentional bias to it within busy listening environments and whether hidden hearing loss plays a role here. Outside of the lab, Anh enjoys long walks with their corgi, Tempra.

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Undergraduate IRP Student

Saghar Tavakoli

Saghar is in her final year of undergraduate studies at UTM, specializing in psychology and majoring in Biology for Health Science. Her professional experience working with children and youth (with and without disabilities) inspired her to join the LAMA lab. Saghar is undertaking an independent research project with Dr. Christina Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden for Fall/Winter 2023-24. Her project investigates whether we can better convey emotions through speech or song. In her free time, Saghar likes to spend time with friends and family, going on hikes, and listening to mental health podcasts. On campus, Saghar is a mentor at the PMLC program and assists first-year students with disabilities to transition smoothly into post-secondary school.


Undergraduate ROP Student

Maha Khalid

Maha is in her final year of her undergraduate studies at UTM with a major in Biology for Health Sciences and double minor in Psychology and Philosophy of science. She has a keen interest towards understanding the process of music and language perception, as well as using music as a form of emotional expression. Outside of the lab, Maha composes her own original music and is heavily involved in on and off campus volunteering, such as with Harmonix Music Club at UTM, and the physiotherapy department at a nearby hospital! 


Graduate Trainee

Anna Liu

Anna is a graduate student in Psychology at the University of Toronto. She received her BSc in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University. She is mainly interested in how bilingualism and other diverse linguistic environments influence our perception and development. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking, songwriting, and discovering new music in different languages.


Undergraduate ROP Student

Emily Prete

Emily is entering her second year at UTM studying psychology. Her experiences volunteering and working with children inspired her interest in child communication development. She has a strong interest in research and hopes to gain a greater understanding of how we process what we hear. In her free time Emily likes to read and spend time with her family.

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Undergraduate RA

Meyha Chhatwal

Meyha recently received her BSc (Honours) from the University of Toronto, specializing in Neuroscience and majoring in Biology for Health Sciences. Her interests include a range of topics within auditory cognitive and developmental neuroscience research. She is particularly interested in studying music and language acquisition in infants and young children at the lab. In her free time, Meyha enjoys singing, baking, teaching English to her students, and spending time with friends and family. 


Undergraduate ROP Student

Myra Ahtesham

Myra is an undergraduate student at UTM completing a Neuroscience specialist. She is interested in perception and language development with the aim of bridging these interests at the LAMA lab. She has a keen interest in data analysis and hopes to learn more about what goes into designing and carrying out a study for perception research. In her free time, Myra enjoys knitting and studying languages.


Volunteer Researcher

Aalia Rangnekar

Aalia Rangnekar recently completed her BSc Honours at UTM with a double major in Psychology and Biology for Health Sciences. Working as a piano and voice teacher for the past few years has sparked her interest in music cognition research. Particularly, she is interested in music acquisition in young children and how music training can benefit other cognitive domains. She is excited to gain invaluable research skills and experience at the LAMA Lab. In her spare time, she works at an urgent care clinic and plays piano at a senior lifestyles residence.

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Undergraduate ROP Student

Katie Ngo

Katie is an undergraduate pursuing a major in Biology for Health Sciences with double minors in Chemistry and Anthropology. She is interested in studying the influence of musical features on early cognitive development. With more than 10 years of classic music training, Katie helps teach young students to learn and love their instruments. Between her studies, she enjoys playing the piano, going on nature walks and reading classic literature.

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Undergraduate ROP Student

Reem Idris

Reem is a 4th-year student completing her final year in the psychology specialist program. Her interests include topics involving child and language development. She wants to learn more about how we process speech and the many factors that affect it. She plays the flute and loves to paint. She can speak Arabic, English and French, and she is learning German in her free time.  

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Undergraduate ROP Student

Richard Chan

Richard is an undergraduate UTM student completing a Psychology specialist. Earning his HBMus in piano performance and composition, he is interested in how music and psychology are related. He is interested in if the rhythmic nature of the language makes people perceive language from a myriad of noise more quickly. Outside of lab and school work, he enjoys a good sip of Japanese whiskey, as well as playing Jazz with his friends.

Check out past lab members who helped our lab grow

Join the Team








We do not have any openings
for the 2023-2024 year,

but feel free to reach out to

Dr. der Nederlanden

for any inquiries.


We are looking to hire a postdoc starting around January 2023. The ideal candidate will have interests in music and language and auditory scene analysis and experience doing EEG/MEG (time-frequency domain analysis experience is a plus!). Reach out to Dr. der Nederlanden.

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