People

Director

Erin Hannon

Erin Hannon is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She received a Ph.D. Experimental Psychology in 2005 from Cornell University. Her research program combines her interests in cognition, culture, infant and child development, music and dance, and language. Her research examines how an individual's culture-specific listening experiences influence his or her perception of music, the similarities and differences between musical and linguistic skills as they develop and perhaps interact during infancy and childhood, how we acquire the ability to move in time with music, and how developmental milestones in music perception might be related to other social, cognitive, and linguistic abilities and behaviors. Download publications or her vita.



Graduate Students

Jessica Nave-Blodgett

Jessica Nave-Blodgett is a sixth-year graduate student working with Dr. Erin Hannon and Dr. Joel Snyder. Her current research interests focus on temporal processing, sequence processing, music cognition, speech segmentation, and attention to hierarchical structures in time (meter). Jessica uses behavioral measures and EEG/ERP recordings to investigate how we attend to rhythmic patterns in time with sight and sound. She is also researching dance perception and how watchers make sense of the movement patterns in time. She was recently awarded the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees Fellowship to fully fund her research for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years. Jessica holds a BA in Music Theory and Composition from McDaniel College and a BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She enjoys hiking and rock scrambling in the mountains surrounding the Las Vegas Valley and greater Southwestern United States, and visiting National Parks and wilderness areas for hiking, camping, and photography. She has completed the 52 Peak Challenge in the Las Vegas area, and is working on the Las Vegas Mountaineers Classic 50 Peaks and the 50 State High Points Challenge. Jessica is also musician and a dancer, playing the clarinet and dancing Egyptian Raqs Sharqi.

Breanne Yerkes

Breanne Yerkes is a sixth-year graduate student in the Experimental Psychology program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She graduated with her BA and MA in Psychology from UNLV and is a member of the Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience lab and the Auditory Cognition and Development lab working with Dr. Joel Snyder and Dr. Erin Hannon. Her current research interests include studying the neural processes involved in auditory scene analysis in typically developing individuals and individuals with autism.

Karli Nave

Karli Nave is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in Experimental Psychology with a Developmental Emphasis, and she is studying with both Dr. Erin Hannon in the Music Lab and Dr. Joel Snyder in the Auditory Cognition and Neuroscience lab. Her current research interests include studying auditory perception and cognition in both adults and young children. Specifically, she is currently researching how adults and children perceive beat and meter in music, and how this is evident in listeners' brain activity. In addition, she is interested in how rhythm perception relates to language abilities in young children. Before attending UNLV, Karli graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in Psychology and a BS in Neuroscience. During her time at MSU, she worked in the Timing, Attention, and Perception lab with Dr. Devin McAuley. In her free time, Karli enjoys playing the French Horn, hiking, and watching Big Ten college football.

Samantha O’Connell

Samantha O’Connell is a fourth-year graduate student in the Experimental Psychology program studying under Dr. Snyder and Dr. Hannon as a member of the Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. Hailing from the Windy City, Sam completed her undergraduate studies at Northwestern University receiving a BA and BMus in Psychology and Violin Performance, respectively. Samantha's research interests are in the domains of music and dance, particularly using behavioral and EEG techniques to understand why "groovy" music makes people want to dance. When not in the lab, Sam is an active violinist and tap dancer, performing this past year at the Las Vegas Tap Festival, the Smith Center, and on Las Vegas CW News. She's an avid foodie, yogi, runner, and panda-lover.

Sarah Paige Werner

Sarah Paige Werner is a second-year graduate student working with Dr. Erin Hannon. Originally from Virginia, she holds a BM in Music Education and a BS in Pyschology from James Madison University. Her research interests are pretty much anything involving speech and music, but her specific focus is development of musical skills in children and training methods catering to them. In her free time, Sarah Paige enjoys playing her harp, attempting to play a variety of other instruments, board games, and writing.

Rodica Constantine

Rodica Constantine is a first-year graduate student in the Experimental Psychology program working with Dr. Erin Hannon. She holds both a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in music from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a piano pedagogy certificate from Carnegie Mellon University. Her primary research interests dwell within the domain of music cognition, more specifically geared towards parallels between music and language acquisition across different age groups. Aside from research, she enjoys playing and teaching piano, hiking, and exploring Las Vegas!



Current Research Assistants



Jared Leslie

Jared Leslie (Spring 2016 - Present) graduated from UNLV in December 2018 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. He plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with a focus in Neuroscience. He has interest in disorders of the brain and neural development. He plays several percussion instruments with his favorite being the Marimba. Outside of school he enjoys hiking, reading, and volunteering with various community service organizations.

Jessica Mussio

Jessica Mussio (Fall 2016 - Present) graduated from UNLV with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Biology, with her research experience being the highlight of her undergraduate years. Over the upcoming year, she will pursue a doctorate in occupational therapy and is ecstatic to continue participating in research. Beyond research and her studies, Jessica enjoys exploring nature, writing songs, jam sessions, road trips, stargazing and loves cats. Through music, she finds inspiration and joy and wants to radiate that joy. During the intermissions of life's activities, Jess loves to play piano, guitar and sing. As an occupational therapist, she hopes to incorporate music into therapy through setting up an arts center to encourage people to find happiness and expression through music.

Rudolf Jovero

Rudolf Jovero (Fall 2017 - Present) majors in Computer Science with a minor in Neuroscience. Their research interests include auditory perception and auditory cognition (e.g. music, linguistics), biomathematics, and the computational modeling of neuroscience and linguistics. Rudolf loves the beautiful mathematics that can describe music. Formerly as a music major, Rudolf studied microtonal music and tuning systems. Rudolf plays trumpet and french horn. In their spare time, Rudolf listens to their record collection while cracking open a cold bottle of independently branded soda. Rudolf’s other casual interests include constructing new languages, the dancing manipulation of playing cards --- known as cardistry, the use of colors in fashion and makeup, board games, and memetics of a dank quality.

Tanya Serrano

Tanya Serrano (Spring 2018 - Present) is a junior majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in psychology. After graduating she plans on attending graduate school and receiving her PhD in Educational Psychology. She is currently the events chair for the Scientistas which advocates for women in science. On her weekends she likes to volunteer her time to her local clinic. She enjoys watching movies, playing with her cats, and spending time with her family.

Dana Barakat

Dana Barakat (Spring 2018 - Present) is a third year psychology major at UNLV. After graduating she plans on furthering her education and attending graduate school. Dana has a passion for helping and working with children. Every year she volunteers with Project Refugee Smiles in Syrian refugee camps on the borders of Turkey. Where they provide free dental care to Syrian refugees escaping the war and atrocities occurring in Syria. In her free time Dana enjoys spending time with her family, and playing with her two dogs.

Yazmin Flores

Yasmin Flores (Summer 2018 - Present) is a Psychology major with a minor in Human Services. Yasmin is actively working into getting into graduate school to study to become an Education Specialist. Her goal is to be a school psychologist. In her spare time, Yasmin loves to workout, hike, sleep, and have mini adventures with her daughter.

Serrena "Doc" Truong

Serrena "Doc" Truong (Fall 2018 - Present) is a UNLV spring graduate with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in biology. She currently works as a chiropractic assistant while also doing Archaeology and Psychology research at UNLV. After her masters, she plans on attending medical school in hopes of becoming a pediatrician or medical examiner. Her interests include music, animals, biological anthropology, chemistry, medicine and forensic science. Due to graduating high school at the age of 16, she believes that education is one of the most powerful weapons that can be used to change the world. Aside from work and studying, she enjoys spending time with her family and dogs, playing music(guitar, violin, and piano), and volunteering/helping the community.

Janelle Salcedo

Janelle Salcedo (Fall 2018 - Present) is a Psychology and Human Services major and minor in Biology and Neuroscience. After graduating, she plans on attending graduate school for clinical or counseling psychology. She enjoys being involved in OUMP as a student advisory board member. In her free time, she likes playing the violin, reading, crocheting, hiking, volunteering, and traveling.

Marko Lewis-Piper

Marko Lewis-Piper (Fall 2018 - Present) is a senior majoring in Psychology and Music Technology with a minor in Neuroscience. Marko plans to go to graduate school and further his education. He wants to become a child psychologist and counsel kids, and then study and practice music therapy to help patients! Marko is an excellent audio technician who is confident using Protools, Logic, and Garage Band. He makes some cool beats in his free time, and grew up playing piano. Marko enjoys having a good time like playing basketball or video games or hanging with friends doing chill stuff!

John Hatch

John Hatch (Fall 2018 - Present) is a new student on campus! He just transferred from Utah State University, and is a Sophomore majoring in Pre-Professional Biology. He has a vision of entering the Medical Field. As part of an Air Force family, John has lived in seven states now. He graduated high school from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, where he majored in violin and piano. When he began attending UNLV, the Music Lab struck him as a fitting transition from his musical background to a science filled future. He enjoys spending time with family, swimming, hiking, being involved in the arts, and learning foreign languages.

Minerva Moran

Minerva Moran (Fall 2018 - Present) is a biology major with a minor in Business Administration. After graduating, she plans to attend the UNLV School of Dental Medicine. Afterwards, she aims to join the Air Force to serve airmen and their families. Then, she wants open up her own practice in which she can serve the community. Currently, she is vice president of Silver Wings and a member of several other organizations. Her spare time consists of baking, cooking, working out, singing, and volunteering. Lastly, she enjoys spending her time outdoors or inside coffee shops drinking pumpkin spice lattes.

Joel Herd

Joel Herd (Fall 2018 - Present) is a Washington state native who came to Las Vegas to study psychology. He hopes to be accepted into the UNLV School of Medicine. In addition to working in the UNLV Music Lab, he is also conducting plant research with Dr. Devitt. He enjoys hiking, running, dancing, listening to music, and eating competitively.

Aerie Carswell

Aerie Carswell (Spring 2019 - Present) is a third year psychology major at UNLV. She transferred here from Charleston, South Carolina. Her interests are in developmental psychology with a focus on language. When she’s not studying for classes, Aerie is either knitting, reading, getting cuddles from her chocolate lab, or exploring the dry desert and all the scenery and wildlife it has to offer.

Katherine Johnson

Katherine (Katie) Johnson (Spring 2019 - Present) is a senior majoring in psychology. After graduating she plans on attending graduate school and receiving her Master's degree in Social Work in order to help children. She is currently as a member in UNLV Spectrum and UNLV's Honors Council. She currently is set to present at an upcoming APA conference near the beginning of Fall 2019. In her free time, she rambles about education and the importance of mental health, including how it factors into her future occupation. When she isn't doing one of those two other activities, she can commonly be found writing poetry or hiking.




Lab Alumni

Christina Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden

Christina Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden graduated in 2016 with her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with a Developmental Emphasis. She worked with both Erin Hannon and Joel Snyder, researching questions related to how infants and children learn about and attend to relevant sounds in their environment, like music and speech. Currently, Christina is a Postdoctoral Fellow in London, Ontario at the Brain and Mind Institute of Western University working with Jessica Grahn and Marc Joanisse. Christina graduated in 2008 from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI and worked for 2 years at her Alma Mater’s Center for Social Research honing her skills in research and analysis. Christina also sings and plays the cello.



Sangeeta Ullal

Sangeeta Ullal graduated with a PhD in Experimental Psychology with a Cognitive Emphasis in May 2015. Her dissertation focused on neural correlates of experience-driven rhythm and meter processing, and on the interaction between processing of numerosity and musical meters. Presently, Sangeeta teaches undergraduate Psychology courses at Nevada State College, and spends the rest of her time tending to her one year old daughter, Leela. Sangeeta graduated from McMaster University with a B.Sc. in Biology and Psychology. She has received training in Indian Classical Music (vocal and sitar).

Andrew Gerthoffer

Andrew Gerthoffer is a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program, studying under Dr. Christopher Kearney. His research interests center on anxiety and stress disorders in children and adolescents. Drew holds a BA in History from the University of Nevada, Reno (with many, many psychology courses taken along the way). In his spare time, he enjoys running, swimming, and hanging out with friends and family.




Former Lab Managers



Katie Williams

Katie Williams is from Waukegan, IL. She graduated from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, where she received a B.S. in Neuroscience and also majored in Spanish, in May of 2014. While there, she assisted on research projects involving the relationship between autism and problem-solving skills. Music has always been a big passion of Katie's; she has been playing the upright bass since she was 13 and also sings. In the future, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Neuroscience and research autism, especially the relationship between a person's degree of autistic characteristics and his or her musical abilities.

Parker Tichko

Parker Tichko is a former lab manager who is pursuing his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology / Neuroscience. His research interests include emotional responses to music, the evolutionary origins of music, and the development of musical abilities. He is an active composer, producer, musician and produces synth-pop out of his bedroom. Recently, he authored his first book, a teacher's guide for using music technology in the classroom. He holds a B.A. in both Music and Psychology from Wheaton College (MA).

Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones is a former lab coordinator pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Clinical Psychology. Her research focuses on women's visual attention to erotic stimuli.


Michael "Stoops" Noh

Michael "Stoops" Noh, M.S., is a former lab coordinator pursuing his doctoral degree at University of Wisconsin-Madison in Quantitative Psychology. His research focuses on multilevel modeling in quasi-experimental designs tailored to the realm of education. In his non-existent spare time, Stoops enjoys looking at datasets and pretending that he is a successful general manager for a professional sports team rather than an earnestly poor but happy graduate student. Stoops comes from a family of professional musicians and dabbles in piano, ukulele, guitar, and mario paint. He credits his expert level dance dance revolution skills to working in the auditory cognition lab.