Research Assistants

Julie Aronsky is a junior at UB pursuing a degree in psychology. She enjoys listening to music and attending plays. She listens to a wide variety of genres and is open to discovering new musical styles. She participated in chorus when she was younger, but now prefers listening to music rather than singing.


Emma Boiano is a junior at UB studying Psychology and Pharmacy. She enjoys listening to music, has taken music classes during her undergraduate courses, and took music lessons when she was younger. She has a strong interest in working in health care in the future and is very excited to be working in the lab.

Renee Branche is a current sophomore at UB pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology. She is currently a research assistant in the Auditory Perception and Perception & Action Lab. Renee has always had an interest in music ever since she was a kid, as she was constantly put in music groups. Being in a dance group now and previously a choir, her love for music has grown deeper. Renee is excited to learn more about the role that sound plays in connection to the brain. 


Saar Bratton is in his final year here at UB to receive his B.S. in Psychology. He is a research assistant in the Auditory Perception & Action lab. He has experience in singing as he was a part of the choir and the drama club his senior year of high school. With love for music like his it would be out of the ordinary to see him without his headphones. Outside of American music he loves listening to music in Spanish and Hindi and is learning both languages. 


Thamarah Bouaz is a recent UB graduate with a degree in Psychology. She has 15 years of violin playing experience and was a member of my school district orchestra from seventh grade up until my senior year in high school. Since then, I have played privately.


Andy Cruz is a recent UB graduate with a degree in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. She is part of the sensorimotor mechanism study which focuses on pitch limitation. Growing up, my parents continuously tried to spark my interest in music, and to no avail. However, as I grow older my interest and curiosity in music continues to  grow, because of how often and how dependent people’s everyday lives are to it.


Bidya Dahal is a recent UB graduate with degrees in Psychology and Anthropology. Despite not playing any musical instruments, she has always been fascinated by music due to its impact on people’s lives. My free time is spent listening to music from different genres and countries. My interests include: consciousness, human perception, and cognition.


Lihui De is a recent UB graduate with a degree in both psychology and criminology with a minor in law. He has been learning and practicing the piano for 15 plus years and has taught himself how to play the alto saxophone. He previously played in the UB concert band since he was a freshman and is a former member of the UB only co-ed a-cappella group: The Enchords. Music is a necessary part of his life. You can find him dancing on the street or in the car randomly, yep, he’s vibing with music. He loves psychology and is very excited to work in the lab.


Emma Gandolfi is a senior at UB majoring in psychology with minors in criminology and sociology. Emma is a research assistant working on the Grammy Project. She participated in chorus and loves to listen to music.



Elizabeth Goldstein is a junior at UB studying psychology. She is a flutist in the UB Symphonic Orchestra and has been playing the flute for 11 years. Besides the flute, she has also recently started to learn the piccolo and ukulele. She is interested in how the auditory system and brain work together in both music and language, two distinctly human experiences.


Richard Nicosia is a current sophomore at UB studying psychology on a pre-medical track. A classically trained pianist, Richard has been an accompanist for choirs and pit orchestras, played in a local jazz combo, and been a private music teacher over the last several years. He is interested in motor imagery in musical practice and how it can strengthen memory and enhance performance.


Yu Ning Liao is a senior at UB studying psychology. He has experience playing the recorder and has been playing it for 3 years. His main interest in the field of music is how it impacts cognition.The brain responds to different genres of music eliciting different types of moods and emotions. Another one of his interests is seeing what causes preferences for genres of music within each individual.


Brooke Romania is a current senior at UB pursuing a double major in SSI: Cognitive Science and Linguistics and a minor in Psychology. In addition to working for APAL, Brooke is an undergraduate research assistant for the Social Self Lab at UB run by Dr. Gabriel and an intern for the Early Childhood Research Center. Brooke’s interest in music began at a young age. she pursued training in piano, voice, and clarinet, and additionally has taught herself guitar, banjo, ukulele, and the harmonica.


Leyla Skopljak is a UB senior pursuing an undergraduate degree in Psychology. She was a member of her school district’s choir from elementary school all the way up until high school. When she first joined her middle school’s choir, she was named a Soprano and sang as one for the remainder of her choir career. Although she certainly wouldn’t classify herself as a talented singer, she has always had a profound interest, curiosity, and love for music and all that it entails. 


Mythili Thamilchelvam (pronounced my-tea-lee) is a senior at UB majoring in Psychology. She enjoys listening to music in different languages. She used to play the harmonica and the keyboard as a child but she has lost touch now. This is her first year in the lab and she is currently working on her Psychology Honors Program project.