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Speech and hearing Neuroscience Laboratory

At the Speech and hearing Neurosciences Laboratory, directed by Pascale Tremblay, Ph.D., we study the cognitive neuroscience of human communication using an interdisciplinary approach. Our objective is to understand the biological and neurobiological mechanisms that support the ability to communicate verbally, that is, to perceive and produce speech and voice, which are important building blocks of social interactions, and to use these skills to communicate efficiently is social contexts. The laboratory also aims to identify the factors that affect communication in aging, including cognitive and sensorimotor aging, and their impact on the quality of social interactions and social functioning. We are also interested in understanding the interplay between cognitive, auditory and sensorimotor mechanisms and their effect on communication and social interactions. Finally, we aim to understand the factors that can positively affect communication in both normal and pathological aging, such as singing and voice training. Discovering the beneficial impacts of singing on speech, voice and cognition, and understanding the neuroplastic mechanisms that underlie these protective effects is key to developing and promoting ways to alleviate the negative impacts of aging on communication, social interactions and social participation.

To achieve our goals, we study the anatomy and functioning of the brain using state-of-the-art cognitive neuroscience research methods such as functional and anatomical brain imaging methods (using magnetic resonance imaging or MRI) as well as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). We also use modern behavioural and physiological approaches, such as facial electromyography (recordings of muscle activity), measures of facial muscle force and endurance, respiration patterns, speech errors and acoustics, to study speech and voice mechanisms and to understand how these mechanisms evolve over the lifespan.

Interested in joining us for a research internship, a master or a doctoral degree, or a postdoctoral fellowship?

Contact Dre Pascale Tremblay fto discuss possibilities.

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