Stephen Van Hedger

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Huron University College

About Me

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Huron University College, where I direct the Huron Auditory Perception (HAP) Lab. Prior to this, I was a BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Western University, working jointly with Ingrid Johnsrude and Laura Batterink. I completed my Ph.D. work in the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago, working with Howard Nusbaum.

In my research, I use behavioral and neuroscientific (fMRI, EEG, eye tracking) methodologies to understand how individuals are able to learn and remember perceptual patterns in their environments. I have focused on music and speech as model systems for understanding (1) how prior experience shapes perception, (2) the limits of auditory plasticity in adulthood, and (3) how both implicit and explicit learning mechanisms contribute to auditory representations.

Much of my current research is web-based, using JavaScript packages such as jsPsych. To promote transparency and replicability in psychological science, I have made my scripts available to use in your own research. If you have any questions about any of the scripts, feel free to contact me.

"One line" portrait
(credit: Shannon Heald)



Van Hedger, S.C., Veillette, J., Heald, S.L.M., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2020). Revisiting continuous versus discrete models of human behavior: The case of absolute pitch. PLOS One, 10.1371/journal.pone.0244308 Uddin, S., Reis, K., Van Hedger, S.C., Heald, S.L.M., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2020). Cortical mechanisms of talker normalization in fluent sentences. Brain & Language, 201, 104722. [PDF]


Van Hedger, S.C., Heald, S.L.M., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2019). Absolute pitch can be learned by some adults. PLOS One, 10.1371/journal.pone.0223047. [PDF]

Van Hedger, S.C., Nusbaum, H.C., Heald, S.L.M., Huang, A., Kotabe, H., & Berman, M.G. (2019). The aesthetic preference for nature sounds depends on sound object recognition. Cognitive Science, 43, e12734. [PDF]

Stenfors, C., Van Hedger, S.C. ... Berman, M.G. (2019). Positive effects of nature on cognitive performance across multiple experiments: Test order but not affect modulates the cognitive effects. Frontiers in Psychology, 10:1413. [PDF]

Van Hedger, S.C., Nusbaum, H.C., Clohisy, L., Jaeggi, S.M., Buschkuehl, M., & Berman, M.G. (2019). Of cricket chirps and car horns: The effect of nature sounds on cognitive performance. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 26, 522-530. [PDF]

Zhen, A., Van Hedger, S.C., Heald, S.L.M., Goldin-Meadow, S., & Tian, X. (2019). Manual directional gestures facilitate cross-modal perceptual learning. Cognition, 187, 179-187. [PDF]


Van Hedger, S.C., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2018). Individual differences in absolute pitch performance: Contributions of working memory, musical expertise, and tonal language background. Acta Psychologica, 191, 251-260. [PDF]

Van Hedger, S.C., Heald, S.L.M., Uddin, S., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2018). A note by any other name: Intonation context rapidly changes absolute note judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 44, 1268-1282. [PDF]

Van Hedger, S.C., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2018). Absolute pitch. In J. Vonk, T. K. Shackelford (eds.), Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior. Springer, Cham. [PDF]

Nusbaum, H.C., Uddin, S., Van Hedger, S.C., & Heald, S.L.M. (2018). Consolidating skill learning through sleep. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 20, 174-182. [PDF]

Uddin, S., Heald, S.L.M., Van Hedger, S.C., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2018). Hearing sounds as words: Neural responses to environmental sounds in the context of fluent speech. Brain & Language, 179, 51-61. [PDF]

Uddin, S., Heald, S.L.M., Van Hedger, S.C., Klos, S., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2018). Understanding environmental sounds in sentence context. Cognition, 72, 134-143. [PDF]

Van Hedger, S.C., Heald, S.L.M., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2018). Long-term pitch memory for music recordings is related to auditory working memory precision. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71, 879-891. [PDF]


Van Hedger, S.C., Heald, S.L.M., Huang, A., Rutstein, B., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2017). Telling in-tune from out-of-tune: Widespread evidence for implicit absolute intonation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 24, 481-488. [PDF]

Heald, S.L.M., Van Hedger, S.C., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2017). Understanding sound: Auditory skill acquisition. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 67, 53-93. [PDF]

Heald, S.L.M.+, Van Hedger, S.C.+, & Nusbaum, H.C. (2017). Perceptual plasticity for auditory object recognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00781 [PDF]


Van Hedger, S.C., Heald, S.L.M., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2016). What the [bleep?]: Enhanced absolute pitch memory for a 1000 Hz sine tone. Cognition, 154, 139-150. [PDF]


Van Hedger, S.C., Heald, S.L.M., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2015). The effects of acoustic variability on absolute pitch categorization: Evidence for contextual tuning. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 138, 436-446. [PDF]

Van Hedger, S.C., Heald, S.L.M., Koch, R., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2015). Auditory working memory predicts individual differences in absolute pitch learning. Cognition, 140, 95-110. [PDF]

Van Hedger, S.C., Palmer, C., Hogstrom, A., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2015). Sleep consolidation of musical competence. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 33, 163-178. [PDF]


Heald, S.L.M., Van Hedger, S.C., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2014). Auditory category knowledge in experts and novices. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 8:260. [PDF]


Hedger, S.C., Nusbaum, H.C., Lescop, O., Wallisch, P., & Hoeckner, B. (2013). Music can elicit a visual motion aftereffect. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 75, 1039-1047. [PDF]

Hedger, S.C., Heald, S.L.M., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2013). Absolute pitch may not be so absolute. Psychological Science, 24, 1496-1502. [PDF]

Hedger, S.C., Nusbaum, H.C., & Hoeckner, B. (2013). Conveying movement in music and prosody. PLOS One, 10.1371/journal.pone.0076744. [PDF]

+ Co-First Authors

Electronic versions of papers are provided as a professional courtesy to ensure timely dissemination of academic work for individual, noncommercial purposes. Copyright and all rights therein resides with the respective copyright holders, as stated within each paper. These files may not be reposted without permission.


© Stephen Van Hedger. Website template adapted from from Updated April 2020.