About us

Welcome to BRAMS – International Laboratory for BRAin, Music and Sound Research

BRAMS is a unique centre dedicated to research excellence in the study of music and auditory cognition with a focus on neuroscience. The research centre is located in Montreal and jointly affiliated with the University of Montreal and McGill University.

The idea of BRAMS began in August 2003 from the dream of Isabelle Peretz, joined by several Montreal scientists, to create a research centre that would unite their complementary expertise and long-held interest in music cognition. BRAMS was officially launched in 2005 by co-directors Isabelle Peretz (Professor of Psychology at University of Montreal) and Robert Zatorre (Professor at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University). The laboratory quickly became a centre of excellence in the study of the biological foundations of music, as hailed by Science in February 2007. BRAMS has one of the most comprehensive and sophisticated technological platforms in the world, thanks to funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) in 2007 of more than $14 million. Since April 2011, BRAMS is part of the CRBLM (Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music) strategic cluster.

In 2018, Isabelle Peretz decided to pass the torch of co-directorship to ensure a bright and long future for BRAMS. The BRAMS facilities were moved to the nearby Pavilion Marie Victorin at the University of Montreal, and Simone Dalla Bella, recruited from University of Montpellier (France), took over as co-director of BRAMS.

The BRAMS technological platform and facilities are primarily located at the University of Montreal (90 Ave. Vincent-d’Indy, Outremont) and include five soundproof testing rooms, an fNIRS System (functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy), a TMS System (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), five EEG systems (Electroencephalography), a Dome with 80 speakers, and a Motion Capture Lab. A Bösendorfer piano, unique in North America, is currently located at the University of Montreal’s Laval Campus. Moreover, state-of-the-art facilities for brain imaging and stimulation are available at the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Our interests

The main interests of BRAMS include answering the following questions: Why is the brain musical? How does the structure and function of the nervous system allow us to remember, play, listen and respond to music? How are these functions related to other cognitive domains such as language? How do these functions change during development, and how do they breakdown in disease? How can music be exploited for rehabilitation or re-learning of impaired functions in patient populations?

Today, BRAMS is home to more than 70 internationally renowned faculty members, from four Montreal Universities and from abroad, dedicated to music and auditory cognitive neuroscience. Thirteen of them currently hold a Canada Research Chair: Miriam Beauchamp, Jonathan Bolduc, Krista Byers-Heinlein, Karim Jerbi, Pierre Jolicoeur, Caroline Palmer, Isabelle Peretz, Karsten Steinhauer, Debra Titone, Jérémie Voix, Michael Wagner, Robert Zatorre and Benjamin Zendel. Robert Zatorre and Marc Pell hold a James McGill Research Chair. Isabelle Peretz and Simone Dalla Bella hold a Casavant Chair in neuropsychology and music cognition. Such a concentration of experts in the neuroscience of music and auditory cognition is unique in North America. BRAMS members’ research covers the spectrum from perception of music, speech, and voice to memory and motor performance, with a common interest in the neural substrates of human auditory cognition and music in particular. Between 100 and 150 trainees per year have access to BRAMS technological platform for research.

Le BRAMS – Laboratoire international de recherche sur le Cerveau, la Musique et le Son

Le BRAMS est un centre unique, situé à Montréal et conjointement affilié à l’Université de Montréal et l’Université McGill. Le laboratoire axe principalement ses recherches sur la cognition musicale, avec une emphase particulière sur les neurosciences.

L’idée du BRAMS est née en août 2003 du rêve d’Isabelle Peretz, suivie par plusieurs autres chercheurs Montréalais, de créer un centre de recherche réunissant leurs expertises et intérêts envers la cognition de la musique. Le BRAMS a été officiellement fondé en 2005 par les co-directeurs Isabelle Peretz (professeure au Département de psychologie à l’Université de Montréal) et Robert Zatorre (professeur à l’Institut neurologique de Montréal, Université McGill). Le laboratoire est rapidement devenu un centre d’excellence dans l’étude des fondements biologiques de la musique, comme l’a reconnu la revue Science en février 2007. BRAMS possède l’une des plateformes technologiques les plus complètes et les plus sophistiquées au monde grâce au financement de la Fondation canadienne pour l’innovation (FCI) de plus de 14 millions de dollars alloués en 2007. Depuis avril 2011, le BRAMS fait partie du regroupement stratégique CRBLM (Centre de Recherche sur le Cerveau, le Langage et la Musique).

En 2018, Isabelle Peretz a décidé de passer le flambeau de la co-direction pour assurer un avenir radieux et long au BRAMS. Les installations du BRAMS ont été transférées au Pavillon Marie Victorin de l’Université de Montréal, et Simone Dalla Bella, venant de l’Université de Montpellier (France), a pris la relève en tant que co-directeur de laboratoire.

La plateforme technologique et les équipements du BRAMS sont principalement situés à l’Université de Montréal (90, avenue Vincent-d’Indy, Outremont), et comprennent cinq salles de testing insonorisées, un système fNIRS (spectroscopie fonctionnelle proche infrarouge), un système TMS (stimulation magnétique transcrânienne), cinq systèmes EEG (électro-encéphalographie), un dôme avec 80 haut-parleurs et un laboratoire de capture de mouvement. Un piano Bösendorfer unique en Amérique du Nord est actuellement situé sur le Campus Laval de l’Université de Montréal. De plus, des installations de pointe pour l’imagerie cérébrale et la stimulation sont disponibles à l’Institut Neurologique de Montréal.

Nos préoccupations

Les préoccupations principales du BRAMS consistent notamment à répondre à des questions telles que: Pourquoi le cerveau est-il musical? Comment les structures et les fonctions de notre système nerveux nous permettent-elles d’écouter, de nous souvenir, de jouer et de réagir à la musique? Comment ces fonctions sont-elles liées à d’autres sphères de la cognition, telle que le langage? Comment ces fonctions évoluent-elles au cours de notre développement, et quelles altérations subissent-elles en cas de maladie? Comment peut-on exploiter la musique pour la réadaptation ou le réapprentissage des fonctions altérées chez le patient?

Aujourd’hui le BRAMS regroupe plus de 70 professeurs de renommée internationale, des quatre universités montréalaises et de l’étranger, dédiés aux neurosciences cognitives de la musique et de l’audition. Parmi eux, treize chercheurs sont titulaires d’une Chaire de recherche du Canada: Miriam Beauchamp, Jonathan Bolduc, Krista Byers-Heinlein, Karim Jerbi, Pierre Jolicoeur, Caroline Palmer, Isabelle Peretz, Karsten Steinhauer, Debra Titone, Jérémie Voix, Michael Wagner, Robert Zatorre et Benjamin Zendel. Robert Zatorre et Marc Pell sont titulaires d’une Chaire de recherche James McGill. Isabelle Peretz et Simone Dalla Bella sont titulaires d’une Chaire Casavant en neuropsychologie et cognition musicale. Une telle concentration d’experts en neuroscience de la musique et en cognition auditive est unique en Amérique du Nord. Les recherches des membres du BRAMS couvrent le spectre allant de la perception de la musique, de la parole et de la voix à la mémoire et à la performance motrice, avec un intérêt commun pour les substrats neuronaux de la cognition auditive humaine et de la musique en particulier. Entre 100 et 150 étudiants et stagiaires ont accès à la plateforme technologique du BRAMS chaque année.


Direction (Co-directors)

Simone Dalla Bella, Ph.D.
BRAMS Co-director, Professor, Department of Psychology
University of Montreal
simone.dalla.bella@umontreal.ca
(514) 343-6111 Ext. 44069

Dr. Dalla Bella is interested in the cognitive and neuronal mechanisms underpinning music perception and performance. His research has focused on musical skills, such as pitch and rhythm perception/production, in the general population as well as in individuals with musical deficits (tone deafness and beat deafness). Current research is centered around 1) the evaluation and profiling of rhythmic abilities in healthy individuals and patient populations (e.g., patients with Parkinson’s disease, ADHD), and 2) the use of rhythmic stimulation and training to improve motor skills (e.g., gait and speech in patients with Parkinson’s disease). He uses behavioural methods, motion capture, EEG, and exploits new mobile technologies for testing and training purposes.

 

Robert J. Zatorre, Ph.D.
BRAMS Co-Director, Professor, Montreal Neurological Institute
McGill University
robert.zatorre@mcgill.ca
(514) 398-8903
http://www.zlab.mcgill.ca

Dr. Zatorre, based at the Montreal Neurological Institute, works in cognitive neuroscience. His research deals with complex auditory perceptual processes, especially the processing of musical sounds and speech. He also works on auditory spatial processes and cross-modal plasticity. Additional research is concerned with anatomical measures of auditory cortex and its relation to hemispheric asymmetries. Research methods include functional imaging techniques (fMRI, PET), cortical morphometry, and behavioural-lesion methods in patients with focal brain damage.


Staff

Johanne David
Administration & Office Automation Technician

Following studies in computer science, Johanne has worked for many years in IT development, project management & administration, business needs analysis and as a consultant for large companies and many other environments. Since 2008, Johanne has been working in the research environment administration.

Within the BRAMS team, Johanne is responsible for all the administrative activities.

 

 

 

Mihaela Felezeu, MD, M.Sc.
Research Agent
Responsible for: Electroencephalography/ Event Related Potentials (EEG/ ERP), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Laboratories and Laboratory for electrophysiological measurements using Biopac equipment

Mihaela Felezeu obtained her master’s degree in Clinical Biomedical Sciences at the University of Montreal. Previously, she practiced as a Medical Doctor at the Electrophysiology Department in a psychiatric hospital in her native country.

She joined BRAMS team as a research agent helping with the design and setup of experiments. She assists the experimenters, providing technical support for all stages of the research process, from recording to data analysis, prepares user guides and trains users regarding general procedures. She also assesses research participants and manages the bank of participants.

 

Alex Nieva, ENG, MA, M.Sc.
Research Agent
Responsible for: Motion Capture Lab, the Dome, fNIRS, audio equipment, research protocol development, and research-related computer software and networking.

Alex Nieva is a research engineer specialized in the connection between music and various related fields such as electronics, new media technologies, acoustics, audio, computer programming and music perception. Alex holds an MA in music technology from McGill University and an MSc in electrical engineering from Northeastern University.

Alex oversees the maintenance and development of BRAMS state-of-the-art technological platform. He is primarily focused on maintaining the motion capture service and integrating it with other techniques such as EEG, EMG, fNIRS, etc. As well, he is in charge of all related audio, video, and computer equipment and provides support for experiments in the aforementioned techniques.

 


Dawn Merrett, Ph.D.
Administrator for Twitter account

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kevin Jamey
Administrator for Facebook account

 

 

 

 

 


How to become a BRAMS member (full or associate membership)?

A Professor from a Canadian or International institution who wants to join BRAMS as a full or an associate member should forward his/her Curriculum Vitae and a cover letter specifying his/her research interests, by email, to the BRAMS co-directors, Simone Dalla Bella and Robert Zatorre – or to the email address: info@brams.umontreal.ca. All requests will be evaluated by the BRAMS Executive Committee.

Following their application, members of the CRBLM automatically obtain BRAMS associate membership status (simplified application process), thus allowing them to have access to BRAMS infrastructure.

All BRAMS members and their students have access to all laboratory resources. However, we ask you to make sure that you have the required technical skills before using the equipment in question. To use a testing room or any type of equipment, booking is mandatory. All BRAMS members, invited researchers, postdoctoral fellows and students are also to abide by BRAMS regulations.

Comment devenir membre (régulier ou associé) du BRAMS?

Un(e) professeur(e) d’une institution canadienne ou étrangère qui souhaite se joindre au BRAMS en tant que membre régulier ou associé doit faire parvenir son Curriculum Vitae et une lettre précisant ses intérêts de recherche, par courriel, aux co-directeurs du BRAMS, Simone Dalla Bella et Robert Zatorre – ou à l’adresse courriel suivante: info@brams.umontreal.ca. Toute demande sera évaluée par les membres du Comité Exécutif du BRAMS.

À la suite de leur application, les membres du CRBLM obtiennent automatiquement le statut de membre associé (processus d’application simplifié), leur permettant d’avoir accès à l’ensemble de l’infrastructure du BRAMS.

Tous les membres du BRAMS, ainsi que leurs étudiants, ont accès à toutes les ressources du laboratoire. Cependant, nous vous demandons de vous assurer que vous possédez les compétences techniques nécessaires avant d’utiliser l’équipement en question. Tous les membres du BRAMS, professeurs invités, stagiaires et étudiants doivent également se conformer aux règles internes du laboratoire.

portrait
Take part in a research study
logo

BRAMS (International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research) is a unique centre dedicated to research excellence in the study of music and auditory cognition with a focus on neuroscience. The research centre is located in Montreal and jointly affiliated with the University of Montreal and McGill University.

Address

Our civic address
Pavillon Marie-Victorin/ Local A-108
90 Vincent-d’Indy Ave., Outremont, QC H2V 2S9

Our mailing address
BRAMS / UdeM – FAS – Département de psychologie
CP 6128, succ. Centre-ville/ Montréal, QC H3C 3J7

Contact Us

514.343.6111 ext. 3167
info@brams.umontreal.ca
Join our Brams mailing list!
Subscription
Custom Website by webcolours.ca ©2020 | Brams - All Rights Reserved.