Andrea Halpern is a sabbatical visitor for academic year 2019-2020, splitting time between University of Maryland and Durham University (UK).  Her permanent position is Professor of Psychology at Bucknell University, where she teaches courses on  cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and conducts research on how the mind and brain process nonverbal information, particularly music and art. Special interests include memory for music, auditory imagery, perception of emotion in music, and all these skills in the context of healthy and not-so-healthy aging.  She is also interested in how people differ from one another in these skills, with one major focus being on why some people can match pitch very well...and some cannot. During this year, she is working with Professors Bob Slevc and Shihab Shamma and students, looking at how the brain imagines environmenal sounds, changes in auditory imagery with typical aging, and how conductors might differ from other musicians on ability to divide auditory attention.

Some recent papers:

Wöllner, C. & Halpern, A. R. (2016). Attentional flexibility and memory capacity in conductors and pianists. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 78, 198-208. doi : 10.3758/s13414-015-0989-z

Cocchini, G., Filardi, S., Crhonkova, M. & Halpern, A. R. (2017). Musical expertise has minimal impact on dual-task performance. Memory, 25, 677-685. doi:10.1080/09658211.2016.1205628

Halpern, A.R., Zioga, I., Shankleman, M. , Lindsen, J. , Pearce, M. T. &  Bhattacharya, J. (2017). “That note sounds wrong!” Age-related effects in processing of musical expectation. Brain & Cognition, 113, 1-9. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2016.12.006

Greenspon, E. B., Pfordresher, P. Q., & Halpern, A. R. (2017). Pitch imitation in mental transformations of melodies. Music Perception, 34, 585- 604. doi: 10.1525/mp.2017.34.5.585

Halpern, A.R., Chan, C. H. K., Müllensiefen, D., & Sloboda, J. (2017).  Audience reaction to repeating a piece on a concert programme.  Participations, 14, 135-152.

Halpern, A.R., Talarico, J.M., Gouda, N., & Williamson, V. J. (2018). Are musical autobiographical memories special? It ain’t necessarily so. Music Perception, 35, 561-572. doi:

Nichols, B. E., Wöllner, C., & Halpern, A. R. (2018). Score one for jazz: Working memory in jazz and classical musicians. Psychomusicology, 28, 101-107. doi:

Colley, I. D., Keller, P. E., & Halpern, A. R. (2018). Working memory and auditory imagery predict sensorimotor synchronization with expressively timed music. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71, 1781-1796.doi: 10.1080/17470218.2017.1366531

Schubert, E., Halpern, A.R., Kreutz, G., & Garrido, S. (2018). Attraction to sad music: The role of imagery, absorption, and rumination. Psychology of Aesthetics and Creative Arts, 12,  251-258.

Pruitt, T.A., Halpern, A.R., & Pfordresher, P. Q. (2019). Covert singing in anticipatory   auditory imagery. Psychophysiology, 56  e13297.

Halpern, A. R. & Overy, K. (2019). Voluntary auditory imagery and music pedagogy. In M. Grimshaw-Aagaard, M. Walther-Hansen, & M. Knakkergaard, Eds.  The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Imagination. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Doctoral Programs

  • Cognitive and Neural Systems (CNS)


  • PhD
    Stanford University
  • BA
    Brandeis University

Current Students

Former Students

Andrea Halpern
3123A BPS
Department of Psychology
ahalpern [at]