top of page


April 26th 2024

A new paper exploring how altered haptic feedback impact piano performance was just published in Research Studies in Music Education.  This work was carried out by Dr. Marilia Nunes-Silva at the State University of Minas Gerais in Brazil.  

April 15th 2024

CAANLab is at CNS! Praveena presented her work on using machine learning to decode timbre perception from single-trial EEG, while Amour presented her work on the impact of noise exposure and aging on central auditory processing.  


Sept 7th 2023

Welcome to three new CAANLab'sians!  Amour Simal joins the lab as a postdoctoral fellow where she will bring her expertise in EEG to explore auditory perception.  Logan Barrett is starting an MSc in Neuroscience and will explore how aging impacts musical expectancy. Bhavya Sehgal is starting an honours thesis where she will use VR to better understand how auditory processing is impacted by distraction.  Finally, although she is a veteran of the lab, Danica Robichaud recently started her MSc in Psychology and will be doing a project on the involvement of the motor system in musical memory.


July 18th 2023

Today CAANLab broke its one day record for most conference presentations in a single day!  Thanks to Stephen, Danica, Praveena and Ben for giving talks, and to Alicia for presenting a poster at CSBBCS 2023.

June 19th 2023

Welcome to Pegah Dehghan!  Pegah is joining the CAANlab as a PhD student, and will do work on improving speech comprehension in noise. 


June 14th 2023

New paper out in PLoS-One about the experiences and needs of unpaid family caregivers for people with dementia in rural settings.  Thanks to Dr. Heather Campbell-Enns for inviting us to participate on this interesting project!  You can read the paper here.

March 29th 2023

Download the final program for Brainwaves 2023 here!

March 13th 2023

The first Brainwaves conference is being held on Friday March 31 2023.  We are celebrating the grand opening of Memorial University's Human Neuroscience Centre!  The event is free and open to the public, but requires registration.  Read more about the conference, and register by clicking here. 

March 3rd 2023

Our paper on learning an artificial musical grammar was just published in Frontiers in Cognition.  Thanks to both Praveena and Sarah for putting in the hard work to get this project done.  You can read the paper here.


Dec 10th 2022

With the departure of Sarah to a faculty position, we have an opening for a new post-doc.  The position comes with funding, travel and research support.  If you are interested, please contact Dr. Zendel (


Dec 1st 2022

Big congrats to Dr. Sarah Sauvé! Sarah has taken a permanent faculty position in the School of Psychology at University of Lincoln.  We are all very excited for Sarah, but a bit sad to be loosing such a bright, productive, and collegial member of our lab.  We all wish Sarah the best as she starts this new chapter in her life.  

October 26th 2022

Ben made an appearance on the WHAL Show, hosted by Mike Whal. Ben and Mike discussed music and the brain.  Other guests on this episode include Alan Doyle, Amelia Curran, Chris Andrews and Brad Klucowicz.  Watch it here.


October 3rd 2022

Our paper on how aging and musicianship interact during an auditory stream segregation task was just published in PLoS-One.  Thanks to Sarah for collecting and analyzing the data, and writing the bulk of the manuscript.  Thanks also to Jeremy Marozeau for letting us use his stimuli, and helping with the design, implementation of analysis of the data. Read the paper here!

September 23rd 2022

Acoustics Week in Canada is coming up in St. John's, and CAANLab is organizing.  Praveena, Sarah, Stephen, Ozgen and Alicia are all presenting their research at the conference.  Its going to be a great time!  

September 1st 2022

Our paper on the impact of aging on neural entrainment to rhythm was just published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience!  Thanks to Sarah for her data analysis, writing, and managing the submission!  Also thanks to lab alumni Emily Bolt for helping to design the study, and collect the data, and collaborator Sylvie Nozaradan for help with the design, writing and for letting us borrow her stimuli!  You can read the paper here!

June 1st 2022

Ben just published a paper on the importance of the motor system when designing auditory rehabilitation programs.  You can read it here!


May 5th 2022

Tomorrow Sarah and the rest of the CAANLab team are doing some Science with the Symphony!  We will be doing a study on memory for musical phrases live with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.  The study will be done during the Masterworks 3 concert on May 6th 2022.  If you are interested in participating, please arrive at the symphony as early as possible.  


May 2nd 2022

Ozgen returned from CNS where she presented a poster entitled, "Interleaved vs. Blocked training format effects on optimizing music-related transfer to auditory skills."  The organizers of CNS selected her abstract as one of the best at the conference, and invited her to give a data blitz presentation.  


April 30th 2022

The Human Neuroscience Centre (HNC) held its first retreat.  During the day, HNC members toured of most of the human neuroscience labs on the main campus of Memorial.  At CAANLab we invited people to participate in a mock EEG study, to test out our new virtual reality system, and to try out our computerized piano.  After we were able to visit labs run by Dr. Diana De Carvalho, Dr. Sarah Power, Dr. Duane Button, Dr. Kevin Power, and Dr. David Behn. It was great to see the diversity of all the amazing human neuroscience labs at Memorial. We finished the retreat with some drinks at the Quidi Vidi Brewery.  A great time was had by all!


April 4th 2022

Ben and Ozgen published a new paper on the relationship between acoustical and musical pitch perception in adolescents.  You can read the article here.


April 1st 2022

Alicia was awarded a CIHR-CGS Masters Fellowship! Congrats to Alicia!


March 28 2022

Praveena has been promoted directly into the PhD program!


Jan 1st 2022

Welcome (again) to Stephen Cooke.  Stephen completed his honours thesis in the lab last year, and has re-joined the lab as a MSc student.  He will continute to explore pitch-timing interactions in music, with a focus on age-related changes in the neurophysiology.


Oct 21st 2021

Ben had a chat with Mike Wahl from The Health and Wellness show on VOCM.  You can listen to the show entitled, Music as Medicine here. 


Sept 25th 2021

Big Congrants to Alicia Follet, the newest CAANLab'sian.  She was recently awarded the Faculty of Medicine Deans Fellowship.  This is a major, two-year award based on Alicia's academic excellence.  Congrats!   


Sept 2nd 2021

Soapbox Science is happening this weekend, Sept 4th at 11am, at the St. John's Farmers Market.  Read more about it in this article from the Memorial University Gazette.

July 6th 2021

We are really excited to announce CAANLab's participation in SingWell.  SingWell is an international collaboration between researchers and community organizations to explore the benefits of group singing for people with communication disorders.  The team of researchers, led by Dr. Frank Russo, was recently awarded a SSHRC Partnership Grant worth over 2 million dollars to develop community choirs accross Canada and around the world.  


June 23rd 2021

Ozgen, Sarah and Ben are "back" from the Neurosciences and Music VII.  The conference was moved online due to the pandemic, but the organizers did a great job simulating the conference experience through the multiple online platforms.  Ben hosted a symposium called, 'Towards music-based auditory rehabilitation for older adults with Drs. Claude Alain, Gavin Bidelman, and Frank Russo.  Sarah presented the results of her work on how the tonal hierarchy is represented in the brain, and Ozgen presented preliminary results from her study on how music training format differentially impacts transfer to auditory processing abilities.  


June 3rd 2021

Can the tonal hierarchy be mapped to auditory evoked potentials? Check out our new paper called Mapping Tonal Hierarchy in the Brain, recently published in Neuroscience.  Congrats to Dr. Sarah Sauve for designing the study, collecting and analyzing the data, and writting a great paper.


May 28th 2021

Two CAANLab members have finished their programs. 

Congrats to Dr. Bethany Power for completing her degree in Medicine!  Dr. Power will be starting a residency in family medicine, based out of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. 

Congrats to Stephen Cooke for finishing his honours bachelor degree in Psychology!  Stephen was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Award, and will continue working at CAANLab over the summer.  


May 11th 2021

Congrats to Sarah and Ozgen for their work in organizing Soapbox Science in St. John's!  Soapbox Science spotlights local women scientists in a public and accessible forum. To support this fantastic initiative, Ozgen secured funding through the QuickStart program at Memorial University, and Sarah secured funding through the NSERC Student Ambassador Grant. Read more about Soapbox Science here. 


March 30th 2021

Check out our labs newest paper on memory deficits associated with using telehealth.  This is a preliminary report of a study we had to pause for the COVID pandemic, but we thought would be important given how much of our lives have moved into the video-conferenceing world.  Read the paper here! 


Oct 5th 2020

Welcome to two new CAANLab'sians, Christina Dove and Liam Robbins!  Christina is doing her PhD in Community Health, and will be doing research on the auditory and psychosocial benefits of choir singing.  Liam is a medical student, and will be doing research on how we understand speech when there is loud background noise.


Sept 4th 2020

Sarah and Ozgen are organizing the first Soapbox Science of the year in St. John's! This public oureach program promotes women scientists and the work they do in order to encourage more women to consider careers in science and technology.  Read more about it in a recent article in the Telegram.  You can register for Soapbox Science St. John's by clicking here.

July 21st 2020

Hot off the press: Do self-taught musicians have similar auditory processing advantages compared to formally trained musicians? See our new paper in Frontiers in Neuroscience to find out! Big thanks to Emily Alexander for the work she put into this project as part of her honours thesis.   

June 9th 2020

Check out a new book: Music and the Aging Brain.  Drs. Zendel & Sauve wrote Chapter 11 - Towards music-based forms of auditory rehabilitation


May 26th 2020

Big congrats to Dr. Emily Bolt for completing medical school!  Dr. Bolt started in the CAANLab as a Psychology Honours Student in 2015, and stayed on as an Undergraduate Medical Student.  Now she is off to do a Psychiatry Residency here at MUN.  

February 14th 2020

Congratulations Ozgen for passing her PhD comprehensive exams!

January 2nd 2020

Its 2020 and CAANLab keeps growing. We want to welcome Praveena Satkunarajah and Stephen Cooke to the lab.  Praveena is doing her Masters in Neuroscience, and Stephen is doing an undergraduate honours thesis in Behavioural Neuroscience.  Welcome!


November 5th 2019

The CAANLab wants to welcome Emily Alexander back as our lab manager. Emily completed her honours thesis in the CAANLab in 2018, and then went on to complete a Masters degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto.  We are all excited to have her back! 


August 14th 2019

A second paper about the impact of music training on hearing abilities was just published in Brain and Cognition.  Here we show that 6 months of music training enhanced brain activity, as measured with fMRI, in regions associated with the speech motor system.  Read the paper here: Fleming et al. (2019) The effects of short-term musical training on the neural processing of speech-in-noise in older adults


August 4th 2019

Dr. Suave and Dr. Zendel are at SMPC in New York City. Dr. Suave is presenting a poster entitled, The impact of aging on neurophysiological entrainment to a metronome.  Dr. Zendel is giving a talk entitled, Auditory processing abilities in formally trained and self-taught musicians.  


July 4th 2019

Music training can improve hearing abilities in older adults! In this new paper we show that 6 months of music lessons can improve the ability to understand speech in noisy environments for older adults.  Read the paper here: Zendel et al. (2019) Music training improves the ability to understand speech-in-noise in older adults

June 25th 2019

The first paper on our project about aging and rhythm perception is out in NeuroReport!  Thanks to Dr. Sarah Sauve, Dr. David Fleming, and Ms. Emily Bolt for the hard work they put into this project! Read the paper here: Sauve et al. (2019) The impact of aging on entrainment to a metronome

May 30th 2019

Dr. Zendel was awarded an NSERC Discovery grant to exmaine the impact of individiual differences in auditory perception.


May 13th 2019

Come down to Bridie Molloy's on George Street and enjoy a beer while listening to Dr. Zendel and Dr. Christine Carter talk about the science of music! Dr. Zendel is giving a talk called 'Unlearning Music' as part of the Pint of Science festival. It starts at 7pm on May 21. 

April 1st 2019

Congrats to Bethany Power and Liam Foley!  Bethany was awarded an Undergraduate Summer Student Internship and Liam was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Award.  


February 6th 2019

CBC News did a piece on Dr. Zendel's research on the benefits of video game playing in older adults.  Watch it here.


January 11th 2019

Dr. Zendel was interviewed by Paddy Daly on VOCM about his recent work on the benefits of video game playing.  Listen to the interview here: Mario Kart for the Memory


January 9th 2019

Dr. Zendel was interviewed on CBC's On the Go, about his recent work on the benefits of video game playing.  Highlights from the interview are here:  Give Nan a Nintendo to keep her brain sharp.

December 11th 2018

The Aging Research Centre at Memorial University was officially opened today! The CAANLab will serve as a core research space in St. John's, and Dr. Benjamin Zendel will serve as the inaugural Research Chair for the centre.      


October 4th 2018

Emily Bolt's honours thesis was just published online, in advance of the full publication, in the journal Death Studies. 

Bolt, E.L.W., Corbin-Dwyer, S., Buckle, J.L. & Zendel, B.R. (2018) How age-of-death and mode-of-death impact perceptions of the deceased. Death Studies (advance online publication) 


August 7th 2018

Dr. Karen Willoughby was awarded the College of Family Physicians of Canada Family Medicine Resident Award for Scholarly Achievement for her research project, "Hearing and Memory Deficits in Older Adults Using Telehealth". 

Congrats Karen!


July 8th 2018

We all just got home from CSBBCS.  People from the lab presented three posters, and one talk on some of our ongoing research.

Laura Howell gave a talk entitled, "Dialectical influences on understanding speech-in-noise"

Emily Alexander presented a poster entitled, "Auditory processing differences between formally trained and self-taught musicians"

Emily Bolt presented a poster entitled, "Neural encoding of musical rhythm in older and younger adults"

Benjamin Zendel presented a poster entitled, "The impact of lifetime noise exposure on the cortical processing of sounds presented in noise"


May 16th 2018

Emily Alexander will be getting her B.Sc. Honours in Psychology tomorrow, and next year she will start a PhD in Psychology at the University of Toronto.  She was selected as one of Grenfell Campus's success stories!  Watch here.  She was also featured in the Western Star, and in Grenfell Campus News.


May 8th 2018

New paper in Nature Scientific Reports!  Using random performance feedback we were able to make participants tone deaf!

Vuvan, D.T., Zendel, B.R. & Peretz, I. (2018) Random feedback makes listeners tone-deaf. Scientific Reports. 8(7283). 1-15.


May 6th 2018

The awards keep coming in for Emily Alexander!  She was just awarded an NSERC undergraduate summer research award.  Congrats!


April 10th 2018

Emily Alexander and Bethany Power were both awarded scholarships to extend their research programs over the summer.  Emily was awarded an Undergraduate Summer Student Internship (USSIP), and Bethany was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Award (SURA).  Congrats Emily and Bethany!!


April 9th 2018

Laura Howell successfully completed her second PhD comprehensive exam.  Her project was titled, "Dialectical influences on understanding speech-in-noise." Congrats Laura!!


April 6th 2018

Emily Alexander presented the results of her honours thesis at the Nick Novakowski Senior Project Conference.  Her presentation was titled, "Auditory processing differences between formally-trained and self-taught musicians."


February 13th 2018

Our paper on the impact of aging on processing tonal violations was published in Frontiers in Neuroscience!

Lagrois, M.E., Peretz, I. & Zendel, B.R. (2018). Neurophysiological differences between older and younger adults when processing violation of tonal structure in music. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12(54), 1-15. 


December 13th 2017

Two new papers were published this week!

The first examines the impact of tDCS on pitch processing:

Royal, I., Zendel, B.R. (joint first author), Desjardins, M.E., Robitaille, N. & Peretz, I. (2018) Modulation of electric brain responses evoked by pitch deviants through transcranial direct current stimulation. Neuropsychologia. 109, 63-74. 


The second is the first paper from a randomized control trial examining the impact of music training and video game playing on auditory, visual and cognitive abilities in older adults. This paper explored the impact of playing a 3D video game on hippocampal volume in older adults.


West, G.L., Zendel, B.R (joint first author)., Konishi, K., Benady-Chorney, J., Bohbot, V.D., Peretz, I. & Belleville, S. (2017). Supersized: Playing Super Mario 64 increases hippocampal grey matter in older adults. PLOS-One, 12(12): e0187779. 


September 22nd 2017

Ben gave a talk to the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists entitled, "Improving hearing abilities in older adults with music."


June 9th 2017

We're off to The Neurosciences and Music VI - Music, Sound and Health in Boston!  Dr. David Fleming will present a poster entitled, "The impact of music training on speech-in-noise perception in older adults: fMRI results".  His poster was selected as one of the best at the conference and was invited to give a short talk to highlight the results.  Dr. Isabelle Royal will present the results of the data she analyzed at the CAANLab in a poster entitled, "Can amusia be induced in the normal barin? A tDCS study."  Finally, Ben will present a poster entitled, "The impact of music training on speech-in-noise perception in older adults: ERP results". 


May 31st 2017

CBC radio came to the lab to learn about what we're working on.  Have a listen to the story: A Grenfell Campus researcher thinks learning to play music could help keep your hearing keen when you get old, or read the print version here: Music to my ears: MUN researcher explores link between music and hearing


May 17th 2017

Bethany's research was covered in the MUN Gazette. She will also be graduating with a B.Sc. Honours in Psychology tomorrow.  Another congrats for Bethany!


April 23rd 2017

Ben was a speaker at a symposium called, Music is a Mind Builder at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.  He spoke about his work on the impact of music training on hearing abilities in older adults.  Read a recap of the event here


April 5th 2017
Bethany Power was awarded an Undergraduate Summer Student Intership Program Award, and will be continuing her research over the summer as she prepares to start medical school in the fall. Congrats Bethany!


November 4th 2016
McLeans recently published an article about Ben's research. Click below to read it.

How a career in hearing loss can break Canada's sound barrier


October 22nd 2016

Ben and Emily travelled to Montreal to present at the CAG2016 meeting.  Ben presented a poster, "Music lessons improve cognitive abilities in older adults" and Emily presented a poster, "Perception of Death: Mode-of-death and Age-of-death"


August 11th 2016

New paper out in Neurobiology of Aging about comparing the efficacy of different forms of attentional training in older adults.

Zendel, B.R., de Boysson, C., Mellah, S., Démonet, J.F. & Belleville, S. (in press). The impact of attentional training on event-related potentials in older adults. Neurobiology of Aging. 47, 10-22. 


June 14th 2016

Off to Halifax for Our Future is Aging: Current Research on Knowledge, Practice and Policy.  Emily Bolt will present her research: "Does age matter? Perceptions of mode of death"


May 23rd 2016

New paper out in PLOS-One about processing pitch in musical and non-musical context.

Royal, I., Vuvan, D., Zendel, B.R., Robitaille, N., Schönwiesner, M. & Peretz, I. (2016).  Activation in the right inferior parietal lobule reflects the representation of musical structure beyond simple pitch discrimination. PLOS-One 11(5): e0155291. 



May 15th 2016

Our BioSemi EEG system has arrived!


April 1st 2016

Ben presented a poster, entitled, "The impact of musicianship on induced oscillatory activity during a speech-in-noise task" at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society in New York City. Thanks to Olivier and Merwin for the data analysis.

bottom of page