Research Assistants

Jake Bernstein is a junior at UB studying psychology with a minor in neuroscience. Jake has brief musical training in guitar, drums and piano. He has extensive experience in the studies of visual arts; photography and film along with expertise in Adobe Photoshop and Premiere. His interests include perception, memory, consciousness, artificial intelligence, and dreaming. Some extracurricular interests are astronomy, chess, movies, basketball, and video games. Jake plans on pursuing a career in psychological research after his undergraduate degree.

Dana Boshart is a Junior at UB studying psychology with a minor in criminology. She has over 10 years of formal musical training  primarily in singing, piano and violin, while also being self-taught on many other instruments. After graduating she plans on pursuing a career in the forensic psychology field.

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.

Katherine Magrich is a senior at UB majoring in Psychology and has a minor in Counseling. She has over 9 years of musical training primarily on the trumpet and briefly trained on the violin. She is interested in how music interacts with the brain and affects language. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a career in School Psychology.

Sarah MacDougall is finishing up her master’s in linguistics at UB, where she looks at the social and psychological factors that play a role in longer-term language change, including how we process and resolve things like ambiguities in sound and meaning. She is also interested in similarities between music and language processing, particularly in tone languages and/or in geographic areas with a lot of language contact. A recovering music major, she shifted to psychology and got her BS in psych from The Artist Formerly Known As IUPUI (now IU Indianapolis). Sarah mostly plays piano, but has also played saxophone, French horn, and trumpet in various jazz, Afro-punk, and orchestral and band settings. During her copious free time, Sarah enjoys crocheting, skateboarding, basking in the sun like a cactus, watching live music, and getting marginally better at Spanish. 

Matthew Proy is a junior at UB studying both Psychology and Philosophy. He has been a classically trained pianist for the past 10 years, and has accompaniment experience in both choirs and jazz bands. He is interested in the relationship between musical imagery and performance quality, vocal imitation, and broader philosophical issues concerning language—such as theories of reference and empty names. After graduation, Matthew intends to attend graduate school for Cognitive Psychology

Trishani Sudanandan is a junior who is pursuing a double major in psychology and criminology with a minor in political science. She used to play the violin in orchestra, and took vocal lessons. Now, she enjoys listening to music of many genres and languages. She is interested in how music and language are processed in the brain. After graduating, she plans to go to graduate school for forensic psychology.

Mythili Thamilchelvam (pronounced my-tea-lee) graduated from UB in May 2023 with a major in Psychology and completed an Honor’s Project in APAL. 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. 

Shreeja Yarabolu is a current high school student and will be studying Cognitive Science at UB beginning in the Fall 2023 semester. She played piano for 10+ years and formerly played the clarinet. In general, she enjoys listening to various genres of music. She is interesting in learning how the brain works to process information such as music. She is planning on going into the healthcare field in the future. 

Naiyyir Hossain is a junior double majoring in Computer Science and Psychology, hoping to one day become a high school guidance counselor. He is very excited to contribute to the lab as a Research Assistant. While he doesn’t have any formal music training, he is very eager to learn how the brain conceptualizes it.

Zarin Tasnim is a junior at UB majoring in psychology with a minor in biological sciences. Zarin tends to excel under pressure and notices minute details. She is also currently working as a Student Assistant at UBIT’s Chief Information Officer’s office. Her Spotify playlist is a collection of 5-7 languages as she believes music is an interesting way to learn a new language. She is excited to gain hands-on research experience from APAL and learn new responsibilities as part of research studies. Zarin has a passion for research and statistics and aspires to be a research psychologist in the future.

Ashley E. Scott is a current sophomore at the University at Buffalo studying for her bachelor’s in psychology. After receiving her Bachelor’s, Ashley hopes to attend Graduate School to become a Clinical Psychologist. From Elementary to high school, Ashley was a part of a choir, and in her Sophomore year, she got the opportunity to have a solo in one of her choir concerts. In the 4th grade, she played the Trumpet, and from 5th grade to 7th, she played the Clarinet. Currently, Ashley is interested in studying how the mind works, different cognitive abilities, and theories of Psychology. Meanwhile, she enjoys listening to Afrobeats, R&B, Pop Music, and Rap.