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Our Team


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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PhD Student

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.


Research Assistant

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.

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UTEA 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.  


Undergraduate Work-Study Student

Elaine Guan

Elaine is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto specializing in Psychology and minoring in Physiology. She is passionate about how language and the human voice shape infant’s and children’s perceptions of the world during development. Her past experiences largely involve working with children from a research standpoint which inspired her to join the LAMA lab. Aside from research, Elaine enjoys learning new recipes and trying new restaurants.


Undergraduate ROP Student

Chloe Syriac

Chloe is an incoming fourth-year international student from Trinidad and Tobago and is doing a double major in Psychology and Statistics at UTM. Coming from a family of musicians, music has always interested her, and she hopes to learn more about speech and language acquisition using music in children. She has a keen interest in Statistics and loves doing statistical analysis. In her free time, she works as a radio host at CFRE Radio at UTM as "The Voice of CFRE". She also plays the bass guitar in her free time.


Undergraduate ROP Student

Cassandra Yanga

Cassandra is a fourth-year Biology and Psychology student at UTM with a remarkable passion for working with children and playing musical instruments. She is excited to conduct research on the intersection of music and psychology, particularly in the realm of child development. Her interest lies in exploring the effects and interventions of music on cognitive processes such as language learning. Beyond academics, Cassandra enjoys singing, swimming, being in nature, and spending time with loved ones.  She is actively engaged in her community, volunteering as a Children's Sunday School Teacher at her parish and serving as the President of UTM Catholics where she is spearheading the music ministry.


Undergraduate ROP Student

Muskaan Toor

Muskaan is an undergraduate student entering her third year at the University of Toronto, double majoring in Psychology and Biology for Health Sciences. She is passionate about learning more about the cognition behind auditory learning in children and how they can detect different sound features. She is excited to showcase the behind-the-scenes of the lab and valuable knowledge to all during her ROP. In her free time, she likes drawing and making art, reading books, and spending time with family.

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PhD Student

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.


PhD Student

Meyha Chhatwal

Meyha is a graduate student in Psychology at the University of Toronto, co-supervised by Drs. Christina Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden and Laura Cirelli. She received her HBSc in Neuroscience from UofT in 2023 and has been at the LAMA lab since its opening in 2022. Meyha is interested in the intersection between language development, social-emotional development, and music, particularly in infants and children. She hopes to use both neural and behavioural measures to answer such questions in the lab. In her free time, Meyha enjoys singing, playing the harmonium, teaching English to her students, and spending time with friends and family. 


Undergraduate Research Assistant

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.

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UTEA 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 Work Study Student

Alia Louati

Alia is entering her fourth year of my BSc in Psychology. She is particularly interested in researching infants' ability to bias their attention towards the human voice in environments filled with different sounds, and how this ability influences language learning. Alia likes to devote her spare time to activities such as hiking, swimming and tennis, and spending time with family. 


Undergraduate ROP Student

Maira Salman

Maira is an undergraduate student entering her third year at UTM and hopes to specialize in Psychology. Maira has worked as an RA at the ChiLD Lab and has extensive experience tutoring young children. Through her experiences, she has developed an interest in developmental psychology; specifically, language learning. She hopes to learn more about how children acquire language, and how this process applies to children with various disorders, injuries, and speech or auditory impediments. Maira hopes to develop great research, experimenting, and data analysis skills through her time at the LAMA Lab. She is also very excited to utilize the EEG technology at the lab! Outside the lab, she likes fashion and watching dramas from various countries.


Undergraduate ROP Student

Natasha Barekman

Natasha is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the UTM, pursuing a dual major in Communication, Culture, Information Technology, and Technology, Coding, and Society. With an interest in blending aesthetics and accessibility, her goal is to specialize in UX/UI design, aiming to craft user-centric digital interfaces. She is also keen on exploring effective social media strategies for community outreach and participant recruitment. Outside of academia, she enjoys reading, parks, sweet treat outings, and traveling!

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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