• Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Director, Auditory Development Laboratory, UTM


The principal focus of my research is on the development of listening skills in infants and young children. At the simplest level, this involves their ability to detect a wide variety of sounds in quiet and in noisy backgrounds. At a more complex level, this involves documenting infants’ and young children’s skill in discriminating and remembering realistic sound patterns such as melodies. In addition to the research on auditory perception, I conduct other research on singing to infants in the course of care-giving, an activity that seems to be universal. This research has a field component as well as a laboratory component, the field work involving the collection of samples of singing from various national and ethnic groups locally and abroad. One goal of this work is to document the similarities and differences in the nature of singing to infants across different languages and cultures. Another is to determine the effect of such singing on infant listeners.


Trehub, S. E., Plantinga, J., Brcic, J., & Nowicki, M. (2014). Cross-modal signatures in maternal speech and singing. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, article 811. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00811

van Heutgen, M., Volkova, A., Trehub, S. E., & Schellenberg, E. G. (2014). Children’s recognition of spectrally degraded cartoon voices. Ear & Hearing, 35, 118-125. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0b013e3182a468d0

Plantinga, J. & Trehub, S. E. (2014). Revisiting the innate preference for consonance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/a0033471

Trehub, S. E. (2013). Music processing similarities between sleeping newborns and alert adults: Cause for celebration or concern? Frontiers in Psychology, 4, article 644. doi:103389/fpsyg.2013.00644

Peretz, I., Gosselin, N., Nan, Y., Caron-Caplette, E., Trehub, S. E., & Beland, R. (2013). A novel tool for evaluating children’s musical abilities across age and culture. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 7, article 30. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.201300030

Amer, A., Kalendar, B., Hasher, L., Trehub, S. E., Wong, Y. (2013). Do older professional musicians have cogitive advantages? PLoS ONE 8, e71630

Wang, D. J., Trehub, S. E., Volkova, A., & van Lieshout, P. (2013). Child implant users’ imitation of happy- and sad-sounding speech. Frontiers in Psychology, 4. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00351.

Corbeil, M., Trehub, S. E., & Peretz, I. (2013). Speech vs. singing: Infants choose happier sounds. Frontiers in Psychology, 4. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00372.

Volkova, A., Trehub, S. E., Schellenberg, E. G., Papsin, B., & Gordon, K. (2013). Children with bilateral cochlear implants identify emotion in speech and music. Cochlear Implants International, 14, 81-91.

Kalendar, B., Trehub, S. E., and E. G. Schellenberg. (2013). Cross-cultural differences in meter perception.Psychological Research, 77, 196-203.

Trehub, S. E. (2013). Musical Universals: Perspectives from infancy. In J. L. Leroy (Ed.), Torpics in musical universals/Actualites des Universaux Musicaux (pp. 5-8). Paris: Editions des Archives Contemporaines.