PENHUNE Virginia

Professor, Department of Psychology, Concordia University
Period of residence: 
Du 9 septembre 2019 au 7 février 2020 - Titulaire de la chaire ILCB / IMéRA sur langage et cerveau
Holder of the ILCB / IMéRA chair on language and brain
Research project: 
Auditory-motor integration from music to language
Summary of the research project: 

Language and music both rely on rhythms – the temporal organization of sounds and silences – as a vital part of their power to communicate. The contribution of rhythm may be built on temporal predictions that allow listeners to develop expectations about upcoming events. These expectations in turn allow us to focus attention and thus to sharpen perception and to produce more accurate movements. Work from a number of different researchers, including Dr. Benjamin Morillon at the University of Aix-Marseille, has produced evidence that these expectations or predictions are encoded in auditory and motor regions of the brain that are important for integrating perception and action. In the last several years there has been increasing interest in understanding the parallels and differences in the brain networks underlying auditory-motor integration in both language and music. Thus, the goal of my research program as an Iméra fellow is to develop two interdisciplinary projects focused on auditory-motor integration the context of musical rhythm and possible transfer from music training to language abilities.

Lien(s) web:

Bio :

Virginia Penhune is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Concordia University. She directs the Laboratory for Motor Control and Neural Plasticity. Dr. Penhune received her BA degree in Philosophy from Wellesley College in 1981. Upon realizing that the brain could be more fruitfully studied from the laboratory than from an armchair, she completed a PhD in Psychology at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Michael Petrides. Her doctoral research examined the neural basis of auditory rhythm perception and production. She then pursued a post-doctoral fellowship at Laval University with Dr. Julien Doyon focused on the neural basis of motor skill learning. Dr. Penhune joined the Department of Psychology at Concordia University in 2000, and is also an adjunct member of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University.

Curriculum Vitae: