McGill Unversity

Sync Session Interview: Dr Caroline Palmer

Dr Caroline Palmer is Professor in the Department of Psychology, Canada Research Chair and Director of the Sequence Production Lab at McGill University, Montreal. Her work focuses on the behavioral and neural foundations (learning, memory, motor control, attention) that make it possible for people to produce auditory sequences, such as playing a musical instrument or speaking. Some of the questions explored by her research are: how is it possible for people to synchronize actions within milliseconds of each other and predict event timings and patterns with little information (as they do in music) and what we can learn about the way these behaviors are modeled in music that may inform our understanding of other important biological systems.

In our interview during this year's Sync Session at McGill, we learned why she decided to study human behavior through music and how technology like the Sync Project "could be a gamechanger" for researchers by dramatically augmenting the scope, scale and environmentally valid settings for research.

Sync Session Interview: Dr. Robert Zatorre

Dr. Robert Zatorre is the co-director of the International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research (BRAMS), Professor in the Dept. of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of McGill, and an advisor to The Sync Project. His groundbreaking research deals with complex auditory perceptual processes, especially the processing of musical sounds and speech, and the relationship of music with different brain structures such as those related to reward and pleasure. His work explores interesting questions such as “How does the brain process sounds that are made internally versus externally?” and “Does musical training in early childhood affect brain development later in life?”, among others.

Above is an excerpt from our chat with Dr. Zatorre at the Sync Session at McGill University. Dr. Zatorre discusses how modern brain imaging techniques such as fMRI and PET imaging have been helpful in exploring brain development of musicians and non-musicians, the role that music may play on a larger biological schema, and how technology like The Sync Project would enable him to take his work outside of the lab to evaluate responses to music at-scale, in environmentally valid settings.

You can read more about Dr. Zattore's work on music's effect on the reward system and the brain on our blog.

The First Sync Session at McGill

The First Sync Session at McGill

Sync Session - the inaugural gathering on the convergence of music, science, health and technology - will offer an opportunity for leading researchers in music, neuroscience, psychology and medicine to discuss the state of technology in current research, learn about the possibilities for research afforded by new research platforms such as The Sync Project and develop new directions for research into therapeutic and clinical applications as well as basic science.