Robert Zatorre

McGill University

Neurology and Neurosurgery
Montreal Neurological Institute
3801 University Street
Montreal, QC H3A 2B4

Dr. Zatorre, based at the Montreal Neurological Institute, works in cognitive neuroscience. His research deals with complex auditory perceptual processes, especially the processing of musical sounds and speech. He also works on auditory spatial processes and cross-modal plasticity. Additional research is concerned with anatomical measures of auditory cortex and its relation to hemispheric asymmetries. Research methods include functional imaging techniques (fMRI, PET), cortical morphometry, and behavioral-lesion methods in patients with focal brain damage.

Research Themes


Auditory spatial processing, including spatial localization and attention; perception and memory for pitch and melodic patterns; absolute pitch; imagery for music; emotion and music; speech processing; language organization in multilinguals; Sign-language processing in the deaf

Recent Publications

Kung, S.J., Chen, J.L., Zatorre, R.J. & Penhune, V.B. (in press). Interacting cortical and basal ganglia networks underlying finding and tapping to the musical beat. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Klein, M.E. and Zatorre, R.J. (2011). A role for the right superior temporal sulcus in categorical perception of musical chords. Neuropsychologia. 49, pp. 878-887.

Sutherland, M.E., Zatorre, R.J., Watkins, K.E., Hervé, P.-Y., Leonard, G., Pike, B.G., Witton, C., and Paus, T. (2012). Anatomical correlates of dynamic auditory processing: relationship to literacy during early adolescence. NeuroImage. 60, pp. 1287-1295.

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, pp. 257-262.

Champoux, F. Collignon, O., Bacon, B.A. Lepore, F., Zatorre, R.J. and Théoret, H. (2011). Early- and late-onset blindness both curb audiotactile integration on the parchment-skin illusory task. Psychological Science. 22, pp. 19-25.

Champoux, F., Shiller, D.M., and Zatorre, R.J. (2011). Feel what you say: An auditory effect on somatosensory perception. PLoS ONE. 68, pp. e22829 - DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0022829.

Hyde, K., Zatorre, R. & Peretz, I. (2011). Functional MRI evidence of an abnormal neural network for pitch processing in congenital amusia. Cerebral Cortex. 21, pp. 292-299.

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, pp. 161. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00161.

Zatorre, R., & Baum, S. (in press). Musical melody and speech intonation: Singing a different tune?. PLoS Biology.

Herholz, S.C., Halpern, A.R., and Zatorre, R.J. (in press). Neuronal correlates of perception, imagery, and memory for familiar tunes. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Voss, P. and Zatorre, R.J. (in press). Occipital cortical thickness predicts performance on pitch and musical tasks in blind individuals. Cerebral Cortex.

Voss, P. and Zatorre, R.J. (2012). Organization and reorganization of sensory-deprived cortex. Current Biology. 22, pp. R168-R173.

Zatorre, R.J., Fields, R.D., and Johansen-Berg, H. (2012). Plasticity in gray and white: Neuroimaging changes in brain structure during learning. Nature Neuroscience. 15, pp. 528-536.

Voss, P., Lepore, F., Gougoux, F., and Zatorre, R.J. (2011). Relevance of spectral cues for auditory spatial processing in the occipital cortex of the blind. Frontiers in Psychology. 2, pp. DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00048.

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