mardi, 01 février 2022 21:50

Winter 2022 projects

Écrit par Marilyne Joyal and Pascale Tremblay, translated by Sabrina Juhasz

The winter of 2022 is shaping up to be quite busy at the lab, and we’ve decided to give you an overview of what we’ll be working on!

During the semester, the team will be busy acquiring and analyzing neuroimaging data, as well as data from different speech, language, and cognitive tests (e.g., auditory attention); we will be setting up our new electroencephalography platform; recruiting volunteers for our studies and writing articles and so much more!

Facebook Qui fait quoi hiver 2022 ENG

Curious to know more?

Here are the main projects that the team will work on over the winter:

1) TMS-induced plasticity

Two projects on this topic are under way.

Valérie is continuing a research project in which participants are invited to the lab for a speech-in-noise perception experiment and two transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) sessions and take part in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) session. Valérie will be training several members of the team to recruit volunteers as well as continue collecting data, which she began last summer. Among the people who will lend her a hand, are our three research interns: Sabrina and Alexandre, who completed an internship in biomedical sciences with us in 2021 and who, to our great pleasure, will be back, and Camille, who studies neuropsychology in France and joined the laboratory mid-January. In parallel to the data collection, Valérie will carry out the analyses of the speech-in-noise perception test that she uses in this project.

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A second research project is in development: Marjorie’s. Marjorie began a master’s degree in our lab last September. She is developing an experiment which aims to modulate the ability to produce speech. She is currently developing stimuli (syllables and words). She will then need to record them in the lab, clean them up, and integrate them to her experiment. As soon as the stimuli and the experiment are ready, Marjorie will start a first study to ensure that her stimuli and her task are adequate. We call this process “validation”.

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2) Music-induced brain plasticity

We have two projects underway that focus on this topic. The first one has already resulted in two publications (Perron et al., 2022; Perron et al., 2021) and two others are submitted for review. Pascale is terminating data analysis for a fifth paper, which focuses on the impact of amateur singing on auditory attention and working memory capacities.

Then there is our more recent project, which included both singers, instrument players and control participants. Data collection for this project is officially finished! The analyses thus officially start this winter! Since there is much data to be analyzed, many people will participate.

Alexandre, Sabrina, Pascale and Marilyne will analyze data from cognitive tests (e.g., auditory attention or verbal memory) as well as draw a comprehensive portray of the three participants groups to determine whether they are comparable for example in terms of age and education level. Lydia and Edith (a postdoctoral student who will join the lab soon!) will analyze results from language tests in which participants had to name images or find words that start with certain letters; this will be done under the supervision with Pascale and her collaborator Joël Macoir, a professor in speech-language pathology at Université Laval who specializes in cognitive and language ageing.

Speech data analysis also continues for this project. Lydia will continue analyzing the results of a speech production test (diadochokinesia test) which she has been doing for over a year, under the supervision of Pascale and her collaborator, Johanna-Pascale Roy, phonetician, and professor of phonetics at Université Laval.

Finally, Xiyue is immersed in the analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data! She is learning a ton about fMRI.  Her analyses aim to determine whether the brain’s functioning at rest differs as a function of age and group (singers, instrument players and controls). Stay tuned for her preliminary results!

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3) Development of our electroencephalography platform

Part of the team, under Pascale and Marilyne’s direction, will be busy setting up our brand-new electroencephalography (EEG) platform. A first study combining EEG and cerebral stimulation (TMS) has already been approved by our ethics committee and should start in the spring. Before data collection can officially begin, however, the team must organize the equipment and become familiar with it, elaborate protocols for its safe use, and carry out pilot tests. Our first pilot has now taken place, and we are excited to report that all went well, and the system works beautifully.

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4) Organization of a symposium for the ACFAS’ 89th convention

We are organizing a symposium on innovative approaches for optimal cognitive ageing, which will take place on May 13th at Université Laval! Pascale and Marilyne are organizing the event. All the guest speakers have been chosen and a call for abstracts has been sent out to invite people to present scientific posters at the symposium. Several students from our lab will present a scientific poster at the symposium, as well as lending a hand to Pascale and Marilyne for the organization and animation of the event!

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5) Project on the neurophysiology of speech

This spring, in collaboration with Marc Sato, neurophonetician, and researcher at the Laboratoire Parole et Langage at Aix-en-Provence in France, Pascale will write an article on a project using EEG to study brain activity during speech production in young and older adults. This is the third paper in the past two years that the team is writing. Pascale and Marc’s most recent project focused on audiovisual speech perception. All their publications are available here.

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On top of all these projects, we will also prepare presentations for various events, we will write scientific articles, take classes, teach classes and do so much more. A great winter, therefore, filled with many projects and great discoveries!

Further readings (in French only):

Dernière modification le vendredi, 25 février 2022 14:21
Plus dans cette catégorie : « 2021 in review