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Peter Pfordresher

Professor of Psychology
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences


Singing accuracy, relationship between music and language, cognitive bases of music performance, psychology of music

Portrait of Peter Pfordresher.

Pfordresher is an expert in cognitive psychology.

The main question motivating his research concerns the way in which we coordinate the planning of actions with our perception of what those actions produce while we are performing music. This research does not focus narrowly on musical experts, but on how musical performance abilities vary across the population. A major current focus is on individual differences in the ability to control vocal pitch to match pitch patterns while singing and while imitating speech.

Pfordresher’s research addresses larger issues concerned with the relationship between music and language in the brain, how we remediate problems such as ‘poor pitch singing’, and the use of mental imagery to coordinate perception and action. A larger goal of this research is the broadening of musical participation in the general population through intersections of cognitive science and music education.


Peter Pfordresher, PhD
Professor of Psychology
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences