Stuart McFarlane

Stuart McFarlane is a PhD candidate in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT. His research interest involves examining the effect auditory stimuli has on human performance and cognition. By spanning the areas of psychology, psychoacoustics, sonification, technology, and design, he aims to extend upon what is known about the capacity of sound, specifically non-speech audio, and its potential for the improvement of non-visual forms of communication.

His current research involves the analysis of auditory stimuli and its effects on sleep inertia (SI), commonly known as ‘morning grogginess’. Initiated upon waking, SI’s symptoms can last for seconds, minutes or hours; where extended SI may impact human performance in a variety of fields vital to the economy. His research proposes to move beyond macro level categorization, towards a detailed understanding of the musical elements essential for the improvement of waking sound design and SI.

Stuart’s previous Masters research, “Exploring Internet CO2 Emissions as an Auditory Display “examined the effectiveness of an auditory display for the sonification of perceived internet e-waste of CO2emissions to a user when performing internet inquiries. Underpinning the theoretical backbone of his research was a focus on auditory display that was guided by soundscape theory, and on approaches to sonification to convey subtle, unobtrusive, and useful information.

Stuart is a strong advocate of multi-disciplinary research, is an award-winning designer and musician with 15+ years’ experience, who regularly performs, exhibits, lectures and consults in both fields. He has exhibited globally, with works held in the permanent collection of the Powerhouse Museum Sydney, and the private collection of Rossana Orlandi, Milan, Italy.


Waking Sound and Sleep Inertia Research study call for volunteer participants

April 3, 2019

DERC’s PhD member Stuart McFarlane is currently recruiting volunteer participants for the research study: Waking Sound and Sleep Inertia.