Principal Investigator

amy belfi

Amy Belfi

Dr. Belfi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Science at Missouri S&T. received her BA in Psychology from St. Olaf College, her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Iowa, and completed postdoctoral work at New York University. 

Dr. Belfi's work focuses on how music and aesthetic experiences influence our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. She uses a variety of techniques to explore how listeners are affected by music, including functional neuroimaging, psychophysiology, and neuropsychological studies of patient populations. While primarily focusing on music, Amy also studies how we experience other art forms, such as paintings and poetry.

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Undergraduate Research Assistants


Brooke Boulais

Brooke is in her final year of undergraduate studies, majoring in Applied Mathematics (computational emphasis) and Psychology, with a minor in Computer Science. She is working on her Senior Honors Thesis, in which she is following up on research focusing on impairments in proper naming following injury to the left temporal pole. She continues to express her passion for the arts through the marching band and the ballet and dance club, where she is currently president, and by teaching ballet and tap at a Rolla dance studio. She hopes to continue on to graduate school and study Neuropsychology, inspired by her late grandfather and uncle.

Maria Gugliano

Maria is a junior at Missouri University of Science and Technology majoring in Biological Sciences. She is also working on two minors in Chemistry and Psychology for Healthcare, and plans to attend graduate school.

Kaelyn Kacirek

Kaelyn, an undergraduate student at Missouri S&T, has developed a great interest in both engineering and neuroscience. For many years, she has been involved in musical ensembles and is a formal recipient of the John Philip Sousa Music Award and the Phi Beta Mu Director Service Award. For her high school senior thesis project, she chose to study the effects of music on the brain in Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. Her fascination with the subject has led her to become a research assistant at the university. While she collaborates with other students and faculty members on research related to neuroscience, she will continue to pursue her Engineering Management degree with a minor in Cognitive Neuroscience with plans to graduate in the year 2020.




 Ava (Peterson) Stroud

Ava is in her fourth year of undergraduate studies, majoring in Psychology/Pre-Medicine with an emphasis in Neuropsychology and minoring in Spanish. In her spare time she paints, exercises, and explores the Rolla/surrounding areas. She loves listening to oldies jazz/blues (her all time favorite artist is Frank Sinatra), and folk rock/alternative rock. As an aspiring physician, she ie interested in gaining research experience and learning more about the field of psychology, the brain, people, and herself. Moreover, she is looking forward to applying this new-found knowledge and research experience to her future career.


Nick Schmidt

Nick Schmidt is an undergraduate (class of 2020) in Biochemical Engineering also pursuing a minor in Biomedical Engineering.  He hopes to continue his education into the medical field and wants to learn everything he can about how the human body works particularly the brain.  His interest in the research stems from his active participation and love for the music program at Missouri S&T where he spends much of his free time.    


Raelynn Twohy

Raelynn Twohy is an undergraduate (Class of 2021) at Missouri S&T double majoring in biology and psychology. Her work in the lab involves studying at the effects of aging on autographical memory. She is also an active member of the performing arts on campus including the bands and theatre which is where she spends most of her free time.

High School Research Assistants


Elena Bai

Elena is a student at Rolla High School and plans to graduate in 2021. She developed an interest in psychology around 7th grade, and plans to work in the field of research psychology. A lot of her free time is either spent listening to music or playing flute.