Coordinating with Sound is a place for discussion of the links between auditory perception, movement coordination, skill acquisition and skilful adaptability. Content will include scientific research (my own and others’), as well as more general thoughts and ramblings about the topics covered and related concepts. My aim is (paraphrasing Michael Turvey) to understand how sounds get into muscles and how muscles get into sound. More broadly, I want to explore concepts of skill, ecological psychology, and the embodied mind.

I am a lecturer in the School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast. I am interested in all things to do with movement coordination, skill, and perception, particularly perception through sound. My research looks at, among other things: how people keep time with rhythmic sounds; how hearing one’s own movements can help skill learning; how sound cues might help movement challenges in children with visual-impairments or adults with Parkinson’s disease; how musicians learn to coordinate their actions to control sound and improvise. I am also interested in philosophical questions about our skilful, embodied interaction with the world and with other people, as well as current issues and debates in the scientific investigation of mind and behaviour.

In my academic life, I have never been able to commit myself to a single, distinct topic of study, but have rather enjoyed dancing between different topics and disciplines, finding many connections along the way. I hope this site will reflect that in the range of topics discussed. I also intend to include material and reflections where relevant from my life outside of academia; things like marvelling at my young son’s skill development, composing and performing music, and conversations with the many fascinating people I am lucky to have in my life. 

Matthew W. M. Rodger