I am a Banting postodoctoral fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University working with Prs Robert Zatorre and Sylvain Baillet. My research focuses on the cortical dynamics supporting auditory processing, working memory in humans, and multisensory processing. I am studying the power of online (frequency tuned/optimized) brain stimulation in boosting human cognition. To study these mechanims, I use a large array of methods including behavior, psychophysics, fMRI, structural MRI (VBM, diffusion MRI), MEG/EEG/SEEG, and non-invasive brain stimulation tools (rhythmic TMS).
I completed my PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, in 2016 and have been working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Zatorre lab since then. My doctoral research focused on the development of new methods to map specific brain regions involved in language processing on the individual level based on functional connectivity patterns derived from resting-state fMRI. I am currently developing similar techniques to investigate inter- and intra-hemispheric differences in functional connectivity of auditory cortical regions, with the long term goal of applying these methods to explore individual and population differences, for example between musicians and non-musicians. View my CV.
Our brain’s ability to successfully extract auditory information in adverse listening conditions, such as in the presence of competing sound sources, is astonishing and has fascinated me since I became a PhD student in field of auditory cognitive neuroscience. The cortical processing of auditory information during selective listening has therefore become a focus of my research. I am particularly interested in linking the individual selective listening abilities to differences in auditory processing in auditory sensory brain areas and beyond.
Complementing my work on auditory attention, I recently became interested in studying the effects of hearing loss on auditory cortex function. In my experiments, I investigate how the function and the functional connectivity of the auditory cortex adapt to compensate for the degraded auditory sensory input in hearing-impaired individuals.
I joined the Zatorre lab in summer 2016 as a postdoctoral fellow, funded by a research scholarship of the German Research Foundation. Before, I was a postdoc in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oldenburg, Germany.
Publications: Google Scholar
I investigate the mechanisms underlying musical training induced neuroplasticity. My current research aims to understand these neural changes by studying the effects of training on primary auditory processing. Specifically, I am interested in musical training related enhancements to the frequency following response (FFR), an electrophysiological measure that indexes the quality of neural representation of auditory inputs such as speech or music. I am using a multimodal approach that combines several neuroimaging methods (TMS, fMRI, EEG and MEG). My research interests include sensory-motor integration, auditory processing, brain plasticity, complex skills, learning and attentional mechanisms.
Before my Ph.D in Neuroscience I worked as a classical musician and teacher. I graduated in Music Performance from the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec and pursued graduate studies in trumpet at The Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto (2009-2010). I also obtained a Master’s degree in Performance and a B.A. in Music Education at Laval University (2015) both of which intensified my curiosity about the neuroscience of learning. Thus, I completed a Master’s in Music & Human Learning in 2017 under the supervision of Prof. Amy L. Simmons at the University of Texas at Austin. My interest in auditory cognitive neuroscience and, specifically, in the FFR developed at this institution while working as a Research Assistant in Prof. Bharath Chandrasekaran’s Lab. View my CV.
How do our brains process the abstract signal of music into something so emotionally powerful and rewarding? What does that say about how they work? I’m interested in the predictive and motivational mechanisms that contribute to musical pleasure, using computational modeling and neuroimaging to study how musical expectations engage and excite us. By investigating musical predictions and surprises from the perspectives of reinforcement learning and information theory, I’ve found that the activity of the nucleus accumbens reflects musical reward prediction errors and explored the relationship between musical predictability and liking. This interdisciplinary research draws from aesthetics, decision making, and predictive coding, and can hopefully contribute to the neuroscience of curiosity and learning, musical preferences, and music therapy. View my CV.