Welcome to the Science of Music, Auditory Research, and Technology Lab!

About Us

The SMART lab is an interdisciplinary research team at Toronto Metropolitan University. We are engaged with basic and applied research questions at the intersection of music, mind and action. Our research foci include music cognition, hearing science, and health and wellbeing. Click here to learn more about our philosophical and methodological approach to research.

Recent News

April 15, 2024, Toronto Star article “The sound of science: How music can transform our brains” – an interview about Frank’s work with LUCID and how music can help modulate anxiety

Posted at https://www.thestar.com/business/mars/the-sound-of-science-how-music-can-transform-our-brains/article_8f444f44-f909-11ee-b4fb-e71acc8fc9e2.html


March 12, 2024, TMU’s The Forefront podcast with Aaron Labbé and Frank Russo on “Turning Music into Medicine” saved on Spotify (Season 4, Episode 3)

Posted at https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#inbox/FMfcgzGxRxMdqHDszLxTksbjrrWbnJvbhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFs3_lF4Q5Y


December 15, 2023, excerpts from Sina Fallah and Frank’s presentation at the 2023 High Notes Gala for Mental Health.

Posted at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFs3_lF4Q5Y


November 08, 2023, Frank Russo weighs in a webinar by the University of California San Francisco, Sound Health Network. The topic was “Exploring App-Based Music Interventions and Therapist-Led Music Therapy”

Posted at https://soundhealth.ucsf.edu/content/exploring-app-based-music-interventions-and-therapist-led-music-therapy-0


May 06, 2023, Frank Russo is interviewed by the South China Morning Post in the article “Sound healing: how music, on its own or with psychedelics, is becoming the latest mental health and wellness trend”

Posted at https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/article/3218662/sound-healing-how-music-its-own-or-psychedelics-becoming-latest-mental-health-and-wellness-trend


April 24, 2023, Chi Yhun Lo published “Identity change of late-deafened adults after receiving cochlear implants” in Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. https://doi.org/10.1080/17483107.2023.2198565


April 6, 2023, Hannah Shatzer and Frank Russo publishes their review paper “Brightening the Study of Listening Effort with Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy: A Scoping Review” in the journal Seminars in Hearing. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0043-1766105


April 4, 2023, Congratulation to our RA Lucy Muir who won the NSERC Undergraduate Student Award. The undergraduate student research award is administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and awarded to students who show academic excellence and research potential. This award gives undergraduate students the opportunity to nurture their interest in research by engaging in lab work full time for 14 to 16 weeks over the spring and summer.


April 1, 2023, Chi Yhun Lo wins UHN STEM Pathways Volunteer of the Month.


March 2-4, 2023, Frank Russo, Gurjit Singh, and Hannah Shatzer presented a poster titled “Effects of Hearing Aid Use on Perceived Arousal and Valence in Emotional Speech” at the American Audiology Society Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.


Feb 10-15, 2023, Frank Russo gave a talk titled “Music to Our Ears: Does Musical Training Improve Auditory and Speech Processing and Perception?” as an invited speaker for the President’s Symposium – part of the 2023 Midwinter Meeting of Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) Conference in Orlando, Florida.


Feb 9-10, 2023, Frank Russo gives an introduction/roast for Dr. Julia Spaniol before her talk at the Lake Ontario Visionary Establishment (LOVE) Conference.


Nov 19, 2022, Chi Yhun Lo presented a poster titled “On-beat Rhythm and Speech-In-Noise Perception in Older Adults with Hearing Aids” at the 18th Annual NeuroMusic Conference at McMaster University. Authors on the poster were Chi Yhun Lo, Ella Dubinsky, Kay Wright-Whyte, Gurjit Singh, and Frank Russo.


October 25, 2022, Chi Yhun Lo discusses his research journey as part of the STEAM Design Research Panel for High School Students at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute as part of the UHN STEM Pathway and KITE Young Innovators outreach program.


October 9-12, 2022, SMART lab attends Society for Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy in Boston. Hannah Shatzer presents results listening effort fNIRS findings


October 6, 2022, Chi Lo and Frank Russo present “Group-based music to support health and wellbeing outcomes for children and adults with hearing loss” at Music and Hearing Health Workshop in Oldenburg, Germany


September 25-28, First annual SMART lab retreat, Beaver Lake, Parry Sound District, Ontario


August 8-12, 2022 Chi Lo, Hannah Shatzer, and Frank Russo present research at International Hearing Aid Research Conference in Lake Tahoe, California


August 4-8, 2022 Sean Gilmore and Frank Russo present research at Society for Music Perception and Cognition in Portland, Oregon November 11, 2021 Frank Russo presents “Group singing to support social wellbeing and communication in adults with communication challenges” at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London


July 21, 2020 Frank Russo presents “Current research on the effects of music on health, cognition, and wellness” at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, University of British Columbia

Research Focus

Music Cognition / Emotion

Our primary stream of “basic research” seeks to understand music perception and production from an embodied perspective...

Hearing Science

Our secondary stream of “basic research” focuses on auditory perception and cognition in real-world listening scenarios...

Health & Well-Being

Our “applied research” generally seeks to develop or optimize assistive technologies (e.g., hearing aids) as well as music-based interventions...