Isabelle Peretz



  • Associate Fellow
  • Brain, Mind & Consciousness


  • Université de Montréal
Department of Psychology


  • Canada


PhD (Psychology), Free University of Brussels


Isabelle Peretz’s research focuses on the musical potential of ordinary people, its neural correlates, its heritability and its specificity relative to language.

She is renowned for her work on congenital and acquired musical disorders (amusia) and on the biological foundations of music processing in general. She has published on a variety of topics in neurocognition of music, from perception, memory, and emotions to singing and dancing. She is the founding co-director of the International Laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound Research.


Member of the Order of Canada, 2018
Officer of the National Order of Quebec, 2018
Laureate, Award of Excellence, Fonds de Recherche du Quebec-Nature et Technologie (FRQNT), 2015
Laureate, Neural Plasticity Award, IPSEN Fondation (France) for pioneering research in the domain of "Music and Brain Plasticity", 2011
Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 2008

Relevant Publications

Peretz,I. (2018). Apprendre la musique. Nouvelles des neurosciences. Editions Odile Jacob.

Peretz, I. (2016). Neurobiology of Congenital Amusia. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20(11), 857-867.

Nozaradan, S., Peretz, I., & Mouraux, A. (2012) Selective neuronal entrainment to the beat and meter embedded in a musical rhythm. Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 17572-17581.

Cousineau, M., McDermott, J. & Peretz, I. (2012) The basis of musical consonance as revealed by congenital amusia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), 109, 19858-19863.

Peretz, I. & Coltheart, M. (2003) Modularity of music processing. Nature Neuroscience6, 688-691.