Ahren Fitzroy

Education

09/2013

Ph.D., Neuroscience and Behavior

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Dissertation: The effects of metric strength on the allocation of attention across time


05/2007

B.S., Psychology (Neuroscience track), summa cum laude with Departmental Honors

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Thesis: Event-related potential indices of syntactic processing in music and speech


05/2005

A.A., Liberal Arts, Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA


Academic Appointments

2017 – present

Visiting Lecturer in Psychology and Education, Mount Holyoke College. Using neuroimaging, EEG, and behavioral methods to investigate the mechanisms supporting auditory learning and speech processing under difficult and disordered conditions across the lifespan.


2016 – present

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cognition Attention Perception and Speech Laboratory, Mount Holyoke College, Advisor: Mara Breen. Using EEG, eyetracking, and behavioral methods to investigate implicit and explicit prosody during silent and child-directed reading.


2015 – present

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Somneuro Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, Advisor: Rebecca Spencer. Using fMRI, DTI, EEG, and behavioral methods to assess the impacts of sleep on auditory and sequence learning.


2015 – 2016

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Neurocognition and Perception Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, Advisor: Lisa Sanders. Developed novel electrophysiological techniques for assessing attentional influence on speech-in-noise perception under real-world conditions.


2013 – 2015

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, Northwestern University, Advisor: Nina Kraus. Investigated interactions of maturation, life experience, and rhythmic skill with brainstem and cortical auditory function and language/reading outcomes in preschoolers and adolescents.


2008 – 2013

Graduate Research Assistant, Neurocognition and Perception Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, Advisor: Lisa Sanders. Demonstrated that rhythmic stress hierarchies guide attention to moments in time in a manner that modulates early cortical auditory processing.


2012

Graduate Research Assistant, Language Processing Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, Advisor: Charles Clifton. Used eyetracking and behavioral methods to investigate the effects of syntactic complexity on plausibility recognition timing.


2007 – 2008

Graduate Research Assistant, Activity for Brain and Cognitive Development Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, Advisor: Matthew Davidson. Analyzed fMRI data comparing local and global processing of hierarchical auditory and visual stimuli.


2006 – 2007

Undergraduate Research Assistant, Neurocognition and Perception Laboratory, University of Massachusetts, Advisor: Lisa Sanders. Investigated cross-domain transfer effects of musical expertise on ERP markers of linguistic syntactic processing.


Research Support

2018 – 2019

Pilot Grant Award, University of Massachusetts Human Magnetic Resonance Center. Untangling sensory, memory, and attentional contributions to speech-in-noise perception in older adults. (Principal Investigator)


2015

Interdisciplinary language research seed grant, University of Massachusetts.


2013 – 2015

Institutional postdoctoral NRSA fellowship, National Institutes of Health. Translational Research in Communication Sciences & Disorders. (5T32DC009399-05, PI: Larson).


2012 – 2013

Dissertation research grant, University of Massachusetts.


2008 – 2011

MRI-MRS pilot research grant, University of Massachusetts. Plasticity profiles for subsystems of music and language processing. (Co-Investigator).


2007 – 2009

Institutional predoctoral NRSA fellowship, National Institutes of Health. Predoctoral Training in Neuroscience and Behavior. (5T32NS007490-08/09, PI: Meyer).


2006 – 2007

Commonwealth Honors College honors research grant, University of Massachusetts.


Publications

  1. Fitzroy, A. B., Kainec, K. A., & Spencer, R. M. C. (in press). Aging-related changes in nap neuroscillatory activity are mediated and moderated by grey matter volume. European Journal of Neuroscience. doi:10.1111/ejn.15468

  2. Fitzroy, A. B., Kainec, K. A., Seo, J., & Spencer, R. M. C. (2021). Encoding and consolidation of motor sequence learning in young and older adults. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2021.107508

  3. Fitzroy, A. B., & Sanders, L. D. (2020). Subjective metric organization directs the allocation of attention across time. Auditory Perception & Cognition. doi:10.1080/25742442.2021.1898924

  4. Fitzroy, A. B., & Breen, M. (2020). Metric structure and rhyme predictability modulate speech intensity during child-directed and read-alone productions of children's literature. Language and Speech, 63(2), 292-305. doi:10.1177/0023830919843158

  5. Fitzroy, A. B., Ugolini, M., Munoz, M., Zobel, B. H., Sherwood, M., & Sanders, L. D. (2020). Attention modulates early auditory processing at a real cocktail party. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 35(6), 712-728. doi:10.1080/23273798.2018.1492002

  6. Breen, M., Fitzroy, A. B., & Oraa Ali, M. (2019). Event-related potential evidence of implicit metric structure during silent reading. Brain Sciences, 9(8), 192. doi:10.3390/brainsci9080192

  7. Jones, B. J., Fitzroy, A. B., & Spencer, R. M. C. (2019). Emotional memory moderates the relationship between sigma activity and sleep-related improvement in affect. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 500. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00500

  8. Woodruff Carr, K., Fitzroy, A. B., Tierney, A., White-Schwoch, T., Kraus, N. (2017). Incorporation of feedback during beat synchronization is an index of neural maturation and reading skills. Brain and Language, 164, 43-52. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2016.09.005

  9. Fitzroy, A. B., Krizman, J., Tierney, A., Agouridou, M., & Kraus, N. (2015). Longitudinal maturation of auditory cortical function during adolescence. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 530. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00530

  10. Fitzroy, A. B., & Sanders, L. D. (2015). Musical meter modulates the allocation of attention across time. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27(12), 2339-2351. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00862

  11. Krizman, J., Tierney, A., Fitzroy, A. B., Skoe, E., Amar, J., & Kraus, N. (2015). Continued maturation of auditory brainstem function during adolescence: A longitudinal approach. Clinical Neurophysiology, 126(12), 2348-2355. doi:10.1016/j.clinph.2015.01.026

  12. Fitzroy, A. B., & Sanders, L. D. (2013). Musical expertise modulates early processing of syntactic violations in language. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 603. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00603

Conference proceedings

  1. Breen M. & Fitzroy, A. B. (2021). Pitch cues to hierarchical metric structure in children’s poetry. Paper presented at Future Directions of Music Cognition, Virtual.

Presentations (* indicates presentation by a mentored student)

  1. Breen, M., Garcia, S., Franck, G., Lopez, L. A., & Fitzroy, A. B. (2021). Spanish readers signal hierarchical metric structure in spoken productions of 'El Gato Ensombrerado,' a Spanish translation of Dr. Seuss's 'The Cat in the Hat'. Poster to be presented at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society.

  2. Fitzroy, A. B. & Breen M. (2020). Neural Correlates of Implicit Phrase and Meter Processing in Children’s Poetry. Poster presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Virtual.

  3. Fitzroy, A. B. & Breen M. (2020). The Cat in the Cingulate: Source-domain differentiation of implicit metric and phrase processing in children's poetry. Poster presented at the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language, Virtual.

  4. Fitzroy, A. B. & Breen M. (2020). Untangling neural responses to implicit phrasing and meter in children’s poetry. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/6ZWSF. Poster presented at the Annual Conference on Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing, Potsdam, Germany. video abstract

  5. Fitzroy, A. B., Kainec, K., & Spencer, R. M. C. (2020). Age-related declines in nap oscillatory activity are mediated and moderated by grey matter volume. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Virtual.

  6. Fitzroy, A. B., & Breen, M. (2019). Implicit metric structure in The Cat in the Hat modulates auditory processing. Poster presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Montreal, QC.

  7. Jones, B. J., Fitzroy, A. B., Spencer, R. M. C. (2019). Cued reactivation of visuospatial memory during sleep in young and older adults. Talk presented at the International Sleep Replay Workshop, Evanston, IL.

  8. Lokhandwala, S.*, Fitzroy, A., Riggins, T., & Spencer, R. M. C. (2019). Topography of nap slow wave activity and nap-dependent changes in memory in preschool children. Poster presented at the Pediatric Sleep Medicine Conference, Naples, FL.

  9. Fitzroy, A. B., & Breen, M. (2019). Implicit metric structure in aprosodic productions of The Cat in the Hat modulates auditory processing. Poster presented at UMass Language and Music Workshop, Amherst, MA.

  10. Kainec, K. A., Fitzroy, A. B., & Spencer, R. M. C. (2019). Age-Related Changes in Sleep-Dependent Procedural Learning Consolidation. Sleep, 42(Supplement_1), A112–A112. doi:10.1093/sleep/zsz067.274. Poster presented at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. San Antonio, TX.

  11. Rodheim, K.*, Fitzroy, A., Jones, B., Holmes, J., Lokhandwala, S., & Spencer, R. (2019). Exploring Associations Between Sleep Spindle Characteristics and Circadian Preference in Adults. Sleep, 42(Supplement_1), A61–A62. doi:10.1093/sleep/zsz067.149. Poster presented at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. San Antonio, TX.

  12. Fitzroy, A. B., & Breen, M. (2018). Prosody imparts predictive structure similar to mature perception during child-directed reading. Poster presented at Experimental and Theoretical Advances in Prosody 4: Sociolectal and dialectal variability in prosody, Amherst, MA.

  13. Giovannone, N.*, Fitzroy, A. B., Richie, R., Jasińska, K., Wood, S., Landi, N., Coppola, M. & Breen, M. (2018). Prosodic phrase boundary processing in native signers of ASL. Poster presented at Experimental and Theoretical Advances in Prosody 4: Sociolectal and dialectal variability in prosody, Amherst, MA.

  14. Fitzroy, A. B., & Breen, M. (2018). Readers use duration and intensity variation to signal hierarchical metric structure in child-directed poetic speech. Talk presented at the 15th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Montreal, QC.

  15. Fitzroy, A. B., Lobdell, L., Norman, S., Bolognese, L., Patel, A. D., & Breen, M. (2018) Horses do not spontaneously engage in tempo-flexible synchronization to a musical beat. Poster presented at the 15th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Montreal, QC.

  16. Oraa Ali, M., Fitzroy, A. B., & Breen, M. (2018). Prosody, Poetry & Processing: ERP evidence for hierarchical metric structure in silent reading. Talk presented at the 15th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Montreal, QC.

  17. Fitzroy, A. B., Cremone, A., & Spencer, R. M. (2018). Characterizing the effects of sleep extension on overnight EEG dynamics in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Sleep, 41, suppl_1, pp. A101-A101. doi:10.1093/sleep/zsy061.260. Poster presented at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. Baltimore, MD.

  18. Kainec, K., Fitzroy, A. B., & Spencer, R. M. (2018). Functional imaging of nap dependent procedural memory reorganization. Sleep, 41, suppl_1, pp. A40-A40. doi:10.1093/sleep/zsy061.099. Poster presented at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. Baltimore, MD.

  19. Oraa Ali, M., Fitzroy, A. B., & Breen, M. (2018). Prosody, Poetry and Processing: ERP Evidence for Rhythmic Structure in Silent Reading. Talk presented at the 31st Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Davis, CA.

  20. Breen, M. & Fitzroy, A. (2017). The Cat in the Hat: Speakers cue musical and linguistic metric structure in child-directed poetic speech. Talk presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Vancouver, BC.

  21. Kainec, K.*, Fitzroy, A. B., & Spencer, R. M. (2017). Neurobehavioral influence of sleep on implicit learning during normal aging. Poster presented at the 7th Annual UMass Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium, Amherst, MA.

  22. Fitzroy, A., & Breen, M. (2017) Intensity variation signals metric structure in child-directed poetic speech. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, San Diego, CA.

  23. Bakre, S.*, Fitzroy, A., & Spencer, R. (2017) Take a Nap Get Back on Track: The Effects of Aging on Sleep Dependent Consolidation of Motor Learning. Poster presented at the UMass Amherst Research Intensive Summer Internship program for high school students symposium, Amherst, MA.

  24. Fitzroy, A., & Breen, M. (2017) Talkers impart neuroperceptually expected metric structure during child-directed poetic speech. Poster presented at The Neurosciences and Music – VI: Music, Sound and Health, Boston, MA.

  25. Jones, B. J., Fitzroy, A. B., & Spencer, R. M. (2017). Sleep preserves emotional reactivity for negative memories. Sleep, 40, suppl_1, pp. A91-A91. doi:10.1093/sleepj/zsx050.246. Poster presented at 31st annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, Boston, MA.

  26. Oraa Ali, M.*, Fitzroy, A. B., & Breen, M. (2017). Prosody, Poetry and Processing: ERP Evidence for Rhythmic Structure in Silent Reading. Poster presented at 11th Annual Cornell Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium, Ithaca, NY.

  27. Sanders, L. D., & Fitzroy, A. B. (2016). EEG and ERP measures of live speech processing in a multi-talker environment. Talk presented at the 57th annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Boston, MA.

  28. Barreau, C., Fitzroy, A., & Breen, M. (2016). Effects of rule knowledge on action perception: ERP evidence from Ballet and Modern dance genres. Talk presented at the 57th annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Boston, MA.

  29. Rivera-Rodriguez, A.*, Fitzroy, A., Sherwood, M., Dasgupta, N., & Sanders, L. (2016). The effects of emotion on unintentional race bias. Poster presented at UMass Summer Program for Undergraduate Research Conference, Amherst, MA.

  30. Woodruff Carr, K., White-Schwoch, T., Fitzroy, A., Kraus, N. (2015). Incorporating feedback during beat synchronization relates to neural speech encoding and language skills. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, Nashville, TN.

  31. Fitzroy, A. B. (2013). Metric strength directs a patterned allocation of attention across time. Talk presented at the annual New England Sequencing and Timing meeting, Amherst, MA.

  32. Fitzroy, A. B. (2012). Metric strength effects on early auditory processing as indexed by ERPs and gamma-band activity. Talk presented at the fall Biannual Meeting of the Northeast Music Cognition Group, Boston, MA.

  33. Fitzroy, A. B. (2012). Metric strength modulates early auditory processing. Talk presented at the University of Massachusetts Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium, Amherst, MA.

  34. Fitzroy, A. B. (2012). Metric strength modulates early auditory processing: ERP evidence. Talk presented at the spring Biannual Meeting of the Northeast Music Cognition Group, New Haven, CT.

  35. Fitzroy, A., & Sanders, L. D. (2010). Musical meter directs the hierarchical allocation of attention in time. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Montreal, QC.

  36. Fitzroy, A., & Sanders, L. D. (2008). Event-related potential indices of syntactic processing in music and speech. Poster presented at The Neurosciences and Music III – Disorders & Plasticity, Montreal, QC.

  37. Astheimer, L. B., Fitzroy, A. B., Sanders, L. D., & Davidson, M. C. (2008). Attention to hierarchical levels affects cortical processing across modality and dimension. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA.

  38. Sanders, L. D., Astheimer, L., Bush, W., & Fitzroy, A. (2007). Temporally selective attention modulates perception of rapidly presented information. Talk presented at the annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Long Beach, CA.

  39. Fitzroy, A., & Sanders, L. D. (2007). Event-related potential indices of syntactic processing in music and speech. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, New York, NY.

Teaching Experience

Mount Holyoke College

Analyzing Human Brain Signals (Fall 2018) – Instructor of record.

Developed a 300-level laboratory course to teach gold-standard human in vivo electrophysiology and neuroimaging research and analysis techniques.

Independent study in Psychology & Education (Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019) – Instructor of record.

Supervised undergraduate students in conducting neuroimaging and electrophysiological research on speech-in-noise processing in younger and older adults.

Sensation and Perception (Fall 2017) – Instructor of record.

Developed and conducted 200-level undergraduate course in Sensation and Perception.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Departmental Honors Seminar (Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012) – Instructor of record.

Designed and conducted a seminar teaching undergraduate students how to perform research culminating in a successful honors thesis.

Statistics in Psychology (Spring 2010, three sections) – Laboratory component instructor.

Cognitive Psychology (Spring 2011) – Teaching assistant (course instructor – Carolyn Cave)

Sensation and Perception (Spring 2009) – Guest lecturer on Music Perception (course instructor – Lisa Sanders)

Service to Profession

2013 – present

Ad hoc reviewer:

Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

Brain and Language

Current Zoology

Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience

Hearing Research

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

Journal of Memory and Language

NeuroImage

PLOS ONE

Scientific Reports


2016

Co-organizer, New England Sequencing and Timing annual meeting, Amherst, MA


2012 – 2013

Educational Outreach committee member, Neuroscience and Behavior Program, University of Massachusetts

Professional Association Memberships

2020 – present

Society for the Neurobiology of Language


2017 – present

Sleep Research Society


2016 – present

Psychonomic Society


2011 – present

Society for Music Perception and Cognition


2006 – present

Cognitive Neuroscience Society