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BRAMS-CRBLM Lecture Series – Conference by Dr. Séverine Samson

Tuesday November 30th, 2021, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Université de Montréal, Pavilion Marie-Victorin, Room D-427

The recording of the lecture is available: here

Music synchronization and socio-emotional engagement in cognitively impaired elderly: Does live performance matter?

Although music therapy may engender clinical benefits in patients with neurodegenerative disease, the impacts of social and musical factors of such activities on sensorimotor synchronization and on socio-emotional engagements are poorly understood. To address this issue, I will discuss the impact of live performance on socio-emotional engagements and rhythmic synchronization to music in patients with or without major cognitive impairment (i.e. Alzheimer’s disease, vascular and mixed dementia). I will propose the idea that rhythmic entrainment induced by listening to music, including synchronized movements with musical rhythms, and socio-emotional engagement, including positive facial expression and gaze contact, might contribute to the efficacy of music-based interventions in these patients. I will also discuss how aligned actions to rhythmic sounds and the production of various non-verbal behaviors could be modulated by the presence of a partner, and more generally by the social environment. Finally, I will present evidence suggesting that reductions in motor and socio-emotional engagements in patients with cognitive impairments might be markers of disease progression.

Séverine Samson is a cognitive neuropsychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Lille in France and is in charge of the pre-surgical neuropsychological evaluation of epileptic patients in an Epilepsy unit (Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris). In Lille, she developed neuropsychology training programs specialized in cognitive rehabilitation. Her research focuses on the neurobiological bases of perception, memory and emotion using methods from cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, psychophysiology and neuroimaging. More specifically, she used music as a framework for understanding the functioning of human memory and emotions. This evolution has led her to experimentally investigate potential therapeutic applications of music in the rehabilitation of cognitive and affective disorders.  She addresses her research questions by analysing different neuropathologies of epileptic, degenerative, developmental and sensory origin. The multi-disciplinary approach used combines clinical research with the experimental rigor of basic research, at the interface of art, science and cognition.



Nov 30 2021


3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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


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