Welcome to BRAMS – International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research
BRAMS, International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research, is a unique centre dedicated to research excellence, located in Montreal and jointly affiliated with the University of Montreal and McGill University. The research centre is devoted to the study of music cognition with a focus on neuroscience. Part since April 2011 of the newly created CRBLM, Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music, BRAMS welcomes more than 35 faculty members and 100 trainees.
BRAMS was created in June 2004, from the dream of several Montreal scholars, affiliated to McGill, Concordia and University of Montreal, to create a research centre that would unite their highly complementary backgrounds and common interest in understanding the neural substrates of human auditory cognition, and of music processing in particular. In February 2007, BRAMS obtained a major grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. Thanks to the CFI 14 million dollars grant, BRAMS offers its Members, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students the best infrastructure currently available worldwide for experimental approaches to Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience. The main laboratory, located at Université de Montréal (1420 boul. Mont Royal) currently offers 10 audiometric testing rooms, a hemi-anechoic chamber, a TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), five EEG systems (Electro-encephalography), a professional recording studio with a unique Bösendorfer piano, and, since Fall 2011, a fully functional Motion Capture lab. Since April 2011, BRAMS is part of the CRBLM strategic cluster – Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music.
BRAMS exists to address the following questions: Why is the brain musical? How does the structure and function of the nervous system allow us to listen to, remember, play, and respond to music? How are these functions related to others such as understanding speech? How do these processes change during development, and how do they breakdown in disease? Such questions have concerned BRAMS founding co-directors, Isabelle Peretz (Professor, Dept. of Psychology, University of Montreal) and Robert Zatorre (Professor, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University), for over twenty years. Dr. Peretz has particular expertise in the cognitive processes underlying music, while Dr. Zatorre has concentrated on the structure and function of the auditory cortex.
Today, BRAMS is home to 35 internationally renowned faculty members dedicated to auditory cognitive neuroscience. Seven of them hold a Canada Research Chair: Isabelle Peretz, Pierre Jolicoeur, Caroline Palmer, Jorge Armony, Nathalie Fernando, Debra Titone and Karsten Steinhauer; and Robert Zatorre holds a James McGill Research Chair. 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 performance.