Robert Zatorre, PhD

Contact Information

Email: robert.zatorre [at] (Robert Zatorre)
Tel.: 514-398-8903
Website: Zatorre Lab
Recent Publications: PubMed, Google Scholar
Academic Affiliations: Neurology and Neurosurgery, Psychology
Research Groups: Cognitive NeuroscienceNeuroimaging and Neuroinformatics


Dr. Robert Zatorre is interested in the neuronal basis of auditory events, specifically speech and music. He studies brain-damaged patients as well as normal subjects using contemporary brain-imaging techniques, including PET and MRI. One of his projects investigates the ability to "hear" music in the mind, the goal being to determine whether the same part of the brain is used to perceive sounds originating internally and externally. Dr. Zatorre also collaborates with Dr. Marilyn Jones-Gotman in studying how the chemical senses---taste and smell---work together to produce a psychological event known as "flavour." In collaboration with Dr. Laura Petitto of McGill's Department of Psychology, he is studying the cognitive processing of sign language among the deaf, the goal being to reveal how the nervous system adapts to the lack of input in one modality to permit the processing of visual signs instead of speech.

Selected Publications: 

Andoh*, J. and Zatorre, R.J. (2011). Interhemispheric connectivity influences the degree of modulation of TMS-induced effects during auditory processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 161. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00161

Kim*, J.-K. and Zatorre, R.J. (2011) Tactile-auditory shape learning engages the lateral occipital complex. Journal of Neuroscience. 31, 7848-7856.

Salimpoor*, V.N., Benovoy, M., Larcher, K., Dagher, A., and Zatorre, R.J. (2011) Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music. Nature Neuroscience, 14, 257-262.

Foster*, N. E.V. and Zatorre, R.J. (2010) A role for the intraparietal sulcus in transforming musical pitch information. Cerebral Cortex, 20, 1350-1359.

Zatorre, R.J., Halpern, A.R., and Bouffard, M. (2010) Mental reversal of imagined melodies: A role for the posterior parietal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22, 775-789.

Zangenehpour*, S., and Zatorre, R.J. (2010) Crossmodal recruitment of primary visual cortex following brief exposure to bimodal audiovisual stimuli. Neuropsychologia, 48, 591-600.

Schönwiesner*, M. and Zatorre, R.J. (2009) Spectro-temporal modulation transfer function of single voxels in the human auditory cortex measured with high-resolution fMRI. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.), 106, 14611-14616.

Bermudez*, P., Evans, A.C., Lerch, J., and Zatorre, R.J. (2009) Neuro-anatomical correlates of musicianship as revealed by cortical thickness and voxel-based morphometry. Cerebral Cortex, 19, 1583-1596.

Chen*, J.L., Penhune, V.B., and Zatorre, R.J. (2008) Listening to musical rhythms recruits motor regions of the brain. Cerebral Cortex, 18, 2844-2854.

Zarate*, J.M. and Zatorre, R.J. (2008). Experience-dependent neural substrates involved in vocal pitch regulation during singing. Neuroimage, 40, 1871-1887.

Zatorre, R.J., Chen*, J.L., and Penhune, V.B. (2007) When the brain plays music. Auditory-motor interactions in music perception and production. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8, 547-558.

Wong, P.C.M., Warrier, C.M., Penhune, V.B., Roy, A.K., Sadehh, A., Parrish, T., and Zatorre, R.J. (2008) Volume of left Heschl’s gyrus and linguistic pitch learning. Cerebral Cortex, 18, 828-836.

Zatorre, R.J. and Gandour, J.T. (2007) Neural specializations for speech and pitch: Moving beyond the dichotomies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. 363, 1087-1104.

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