Stony Brook Matters

Margaret Schedel Profiled in PNAS


Margaret Schedel’s pioneering research in sonification is the subject of a profile in the May 2 issue of the journal PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Margaret Schedel monitors a Parkinson’s patient who is wearing shoes wired to help correct her gait through music when she walks.

Schedel, associate professor of composition and computer music and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Music, is also director of cDACT, Stony Brook’s consortium for Digital Arts, Culture and Technology.

She forges connections across disciplines through innovative research involving the emerging field of sonification — adding sound to data to communicate information that might otherwise be missed visually.

The profile describes Schedel’s research in collaboration with Lisa Muratori, a professor of physical therapy at Stony Brook:

“Schedel is using data sonification to develop a tool that could help people with Parkinson’s disease correct unsteady gaits. By attaching 3D motion sensors to a patient’s feet, the simple act of walking can generate a lot of data. There are time components (for example, how many seconds it takes for the left foot to swing forward) and spatial components (such as the length of a stride). Muratori collects these data from healthy individuals and from people with Parkinson’s disease. Schedel then sonifies that data by matching different components of walking with different aspects of sound.”

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