Concordia University

Virginia Penhune, PhD

Professor and Chair, Psychology

Office: L-SP 253-7 
Richard J. Renaud Science Complex,
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 7535
Website(s): Lab Website
CRDH Website


PhD (McGill University)

Research interests

My research program explores the neural basisof human motor skill learning.  I use structural and functional neuroimaging techniques to examine the role of the cerebellum, striatum and motor cortical areas in the learning and retention ofmotor skills.  My work takes a broad developmental perspective, including studies in children and older adults, as well as individuals with musical training. I am a founding member of the Montreal Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound (BRAMS), as well as the NSERC-funded training grant in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience.  In addition, I am a member of the Scientific Committee of the Quebec Bio-imaging Network, as well as a member of the FRQ-funded Centre for Research in Human Development, the Centre for Research in Brain, Language and Music, and an associate member of the Centre for the Study of Behavioural Neurobiology. 

Selected publications


1.     KarpatiFJ, Giacosa C, Foster NEV, PenhuneVB and Hyde KH (2017).  Dance and music share grey-matter structural correlates. Brain Research. 1657:62-73 doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2016.11.029

2.     Stephan MA, Brown RM, Lega C and PenhuneVB (2016). Melodic Priming of Motor Sequence Performance: The Role of theDorsal Premotor Cortex.  Frontiers in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience.10:210. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00210.

3.     Lega C, Stephan MA, Zatorre RJ andPenhune VB (2016).  Testing the role ofdorsal premotor cortex in learning auditory-motor associations using TMS.  PLoSOne. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163380

4.     Giacosa C, Karpati F, Penhune VB and Hyde KH(2016).  Dance and music training havedifferent effects on white matter diffusivity in sensorimotor pathways. NeuroImage. 135:273-86.doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.04.048.

5.     KarpatiFJ, Giacosa C, Foster NEV, PenhuneVB and Hyde KH (2016).  Sensorimotorintegration is enhanced in dancers and musicians.  ExperimentalBrain Research 234(3):893-903. doi: 10.1007/s00221-015-4524-1.

6.      Matthews TE,Thibodeau JNL, Gunther B and PenhuneVB (2015).  Impact of instrument-specificmusic training on rhythm perception and production.  Frontiersin Psychology. 7:69. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00069.

7.      Korotkevich Y, Trewartha K, Penhune VB and Li KZH (2015). Effects of age and cognitive load on response reprogramming.  ExperimentalBrain Research. 233(3):937-46. doi:10.1007/s00221-014-4169-5.

8.      Karpati FJ, Giacosa C, Foster NEV, Penhune VB and Hyde KH (2015).  Dance and the brain:  A review. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1337: 140-146 doi: 10.1111/nyas.12632.

BaerLH, Park MT, Bailey JA, Chakravarty MM, Li KZH and Penhune VB (2015).  Regional cerebellar volumes arerelated to early musical training and finger tapping performance.  NeuroImage,105:130-139.  Doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.12.076

2.      Villeneuve M, Penhune VB andLamontagne A (2014).   A pianotraining program to improve manual dexterity and upper extremity function inchronic stroke survivors.  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 22August 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00662

3.     Padrão G, de Diego-Balaguer R, Marco-Pallares J, PenhuneVB and Rodriguez-Fornells A (2014). Evidence of adaptive changes in errorprocessing and attentional control during rhythm synchronization learning. Neuroimage. PMID:24956067

4.     Bailey JA,Zatorre RJ and Penhune VB (2014).  Earlymusical training:  Effects on auditorymotor integration and grey matter structure in ventral premotor cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26(4): 755-67.  PMID: 24236696

5.     Bailey JAand Penhune VB (2013). The relationship betweenthe age of onset of musical training and rhythm synchronization performance:Validation of sensitive period effects.  Frontiersin Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience, doi: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00227. PMID:24348323

6.      TrewarthaK, Spilka, M, Penhune VB,Li KZH and Phillips N (2013). Contextupdating processes facilitate response reprogramming in younger but not olderadults. Psychology and Aging, 28 (3): 701-713.  PMID: 24041003

7.      Baer LH, Thibodeau JLN, Gralnick TL,Li KZH and Penhune VB (2013).  Therole of musical training in emergent and event-based timing.  Frontiersin Human Neuroscience. PMID:  23717275. 

8.     Steele CJ, Bailey JA, Zatorre RJ and Penhune VB (2013). Early musical training and white-matter plasticityin the Corpus Callosum:  Evidence for asensitive period.  Journal of Neuroscience, 33(3):  1282-1290. PMID: 23325263

9.      KungSJ, Chen JL, Zatorre RJ andPenhune VB (2013). Interacting cortical and basal ganglia networks underlyingfinding and tapping to the musical beat. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25(3): 401-420PMID: 23163420.

10.  Brown RM, Chen JL, HollingerA, Penhune VB, Palmer C & Zatorre RJ (2013). Repetition suppression in auditory-motorregions to pitch and temporal structure in music. Journal of CognitiveNeuroscience, 25(2):313-328PMID:  23163413.

11.  SteeleCJ, Scholtz J, Douaud G,Johansen-Berg H and Penhune VB (2012). Structural correlates of skilled performance on a motor sequencelearning task.  Frontiers in HumanNeuroscience, 6:28;  doi:10.3389/fnhum.2012.00289.  PMID: 23125826

12.  BaileyJA and Penhune VB (2012).  A sensitive period for musicaltraining: Contributions of age of onset and auditory working memory.  Proceedings of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1252(1): 163-170.  PMID: 22524355

13.  Penhune VB and Steele CJ (2012). Parallel contributions of cerebellar, striataland M1 mechanisms to human motor sequence learning. Behavioral and BrainResearch, 226(2): 579-91.  PMID: 22004979

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