Research Overview

Organizing complex perceptual input in real time is crucial for our ability to interact with the world around us, and information received in the auditory modality in particular is central to many fundamental aspects of human behavior (e.g., spoken language, music, sound localization). Classic views of perception hold that we absorb environmental information from our senses and translate these inputs into signals that the brain organizes, identifies, and interprets in a bottom-up fashion. However, there is a long-standing debate in cognitive science as to the degree to which top-down effects from higher-level processes such as emotions, actions, motivation, intentions, and linguistic representations directly influence perceptual processing (e.g., Firestone & Scholl, 2016, and subsequent commentaries in Behavioral & Brain Sciences).

Our research supports this more flexible definition of perception, focusing on the importance of interactions, including the interaction of bottom-up and top-down processing and interactions within and across modalities. To this end, we take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding auditory perception. Our research program encompasses music, speech, and cross-modal perception using a combination of behavioral, cognitive neuroscience, and computational modeling approaches. This work speaks to a broad set of issues within psychological science: To what extent are cognitive processes encapsulated from one another? How is perception influenced by individual and cross-cultural differences, previous knowledge, expertise, and task demands?

Ongoing Projects

  • Top-down and context effects on speech perception

  • Audiovisual interactions in speech perception

  • Speech perception in Spanish-English bilinguals

  • Competition between audiovisual correspondences

  • Music influences on product perception

  • Music and memory interactions

  • Music preferences and personality correlations

Western Psychological Association Conference

Portland, OR April 2022

Michelle Nugyen

WPA 2022

Rhiannon Novelli

WPA 2022

Ted Zelenskyy

WPA 2022

Alexa Andrade

Creative Collaborations 2022

Lucy Edwards

Creative Collaborations 2022

Michelle Nguyen

Creative Collaborations 2022

Rhiannon Novelli

Creative Collaborations 2022

Makena Spencer, Sam Eason, & Victoria Nguyen

Creative Collaborations 2022

Connor Warman

Creative Collaborations 2022

Recent Publications

For full list of publications, see Google scholar.

Morett, L., Feiler, & J. & Getz, L. (2022). Elucidating the influences of embodiment and conceptual metaphor on lexical and non-speech tone learning. Cognition.

Getz, L., Barton, S. & Perry, L. (2021). Context-specific knowledge is the key to salsa music. Auditory Perception & Cognition.

Getz, L. & Toscano, J. (2021). Rethinking the McGurk effect as a perceptual illusion. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.

Getz, L. & Toscano, J. (2020; invited review). The time-course of speech perception revealed by real-time neural measures. WIREs Cognitive Science.

Getz, L. & Toscano, J. (2019). Electrophysiological evidence for top-down lexical influences on early speech perception. Psychological Science.