Mark Schmuckler



Fields of Study


As an undergraduate I completed dual degrees in music (piano performance) and psychology. In my 2nd year of university I was fortunate enough to be hired as a paid subject in auditory psychoacoustics research for Dr. Richard E. Pastore. This opportunity was fortuitous, for the next year Dr. Pastore agreed to supervise me in an independent study project investigating duplex perception with musical stimuli (see Pastore, Schmuckler, Rosenblum, Szczesiul, 1983, on the publications page), and then supervised my senior thesis the following year. Knowing my interest in music, during my senior year Dr. Pastore told me of a burgeoning field on the psychology of music, and lent me Diana Deutsch's (1983) classic edited volume, The Psychology of Music. At that point I became interested in pursuing a Ph.D in psychology, focussing on the psychology of music.

I was accepted to graduate school at Cornell University, to work with Carol Krumhansl. During my first year of graduate study Carol was on sabbatical, and so Eleanor Gibson graciously agreed to look out for me. Based on my experience in Jackie's lab over that year I became fascinated by infant development, and wanted to continue working in this area. Accordingly, I somehow managed to convince both Carol and Jackie that I could conduct active research programs in both music cognition and infant development. Since that time I have been actively involved in both fields, and continue to conduct research in these areas today (see Research Interests) page.

After completing and defending my Ph.D in the summer of 1987, I moved to the University of Virginia to begin a post-doctoral fellowship with Bennett Bertenthal studying infant development. At the same time as I was arriving at the University of Virginia, Michael Kubovy was also just moving to the department. Accordingly, I was able to continue both of my research streams in infant development and in music perception. Ironically, of all of the research I conducted at UVa, none of the projects with either Bennett or Michael bore publishable fruit. However, during this time I began fruitful collaborations with Dennis Proffitt and with my good friend David Gilden.

Dr. Mark Schmuckler began his term as the University of Toronto Scarborough’s (UTSC) Vice-Dean Undergraduate in July 2013.  Professor Schmuckler has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses since joining UTSC 25 years ago in the Department of Life Sciences now the Department of Psychology. Professor Schmuckler is a specialist in the areas of infant perceptual-action coupling and the perception of pitch structure in music.  He serves on a variety of university committees: Course Evaluations, Quality Assurance, Dean’s Advisory Committee and the Dean’s Committee on Petitions to name a few. 

As Vice-Dean Undergraduate, he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of undergraduate programs and curriculum, student appeals and petitions - strategizing on undergraduate programs enrollment; oversight on teaching and learning innovations; curriculum renewal projects and the oversight of academic activities.  The Vice-Dean also oversees undergraduate student support provisions; course evaluations review; technology and teaching; and academic integrity.