Andrea Halpern

Andrea Halpern

Professor of Psychology
Department Co-Chair of Psychology
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About Andrea Halpern

Professor Halpern teaches in the Department of Psychology as well as the Neuroscience Program.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Stanford (Psychology)
  • B.A. Brandeis Unviersity (Psychology)

Research Interests

Dr. Halpern studies cognitive processes such as memory and thinking, especially for nonverbal materials. Of particular interest to her is how musicians and nonmusicians understand, remember, and react to music. One special interest is auditory imagery, or what is happening when you "hear a tune inside your head." She has studied this using the traditional tools of experimental psychology, as well as with cognitive neuroscience techniques. She is also interested in how both normal aging and Alzheimer's disease affect how people learn and remember music, as well as why some people can sing more accurately than others.

Selected Publications

Pearce, M.T. & Halpern, A. R. (2015). Age-related patterns in emotions evoked by music. Psychology of Aesthetics and Creative Arts, 9, 248- 253. doi: 10.1037/a0039279

Halpern, A. R. (2015). Differences in auditory imagery self report predict behavioral and neural outcomes. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain, 25, 37-47. doi: 10.1037/pmu0000081

Jakubowski, K., Farrugia, N., Halpern, A.R., Sankardpandi, S. & Stewart, L. (2015). The speed of our mental soundtracks: Tracking the tempo of involuntary musical imagery in everyday life. Memory and Cognition, 43, 1229-1242. doi: 10.3758/s13421-015-0531-5

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

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

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.

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.

Centanni, T.M, , Halpern, A.R., Seisler, A.R., & Wenger, M.J. (2020). Context-dependent neural responses to minor notes in frontal and temporal regions distinguish musicians from nonmusicians. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience.

Halpern, A. R. (2020). Processing of musical pitch, time, and emotion in older adults. In L. L. Cuddy, S. Belleville, & A. Moussard, Eds. Music and the Aging Brain. Academic Press.

Regev, M. Halpern, A.R., Owen, A. M., Patel, A. D., & Zatorre, R. J. (2021). Mapping specific mental content during musical imagery. Cerebral Cortex, 31, 3622-3640.

Halpern, A.R. & Pfordresher, P. Q. (2021). What do less accurate singers remember? Pitch matching ability and long-term memory for music. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 84, 260-269.

Further Information

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