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The Science and Technology of Music


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Causerie déjeuner techno - Abstracts

Alexandre Lehmann, McGill University: Music for the hearing impaired

Cochlear implants allow profoundly deaf individuals to hear again and understand speech, but enjoying music or perceiving its emotions is impaired. The goal of our current research is to understand the mechanisms underlying this impairment, to suggest new therapeutic approaches and to guide technological innovative solutions to improve the life of people who benefit from this medical bionic device, as well as to extend it to hearing-aid users in general.


Olivier Valentin, ÉTS: EARtrodes: Towards a wireless in-ear custom-fitted brain computer interface

Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) can directly translate human intentions into discrete commands, bypassing the motor system. Most non-invasive BCI systems currently in use are based on electroencephalography (EEG) recording technology, thanks to recent developments toward mobile EEG solutions. However these systems are bulky, sensitive to movement, and their current design is inadequate for social settings. To overcome these limitations, a portable and unobtrusive ear-EEG recording system, dubbed “EARtrodes”,was developed and tested against a traditional laboratory EEG system. According to the preliminary results, the EARtrodes seem to be a promising candidate for future small, mobile, and unobtrusive BCI platforms. In the long term ear-EEG systems like EARtrodes could be merged with other audio devices, such as hearing aids and headphones, to build next-generation devices that dynamically adapt to the listener’s intentions and cognitive state changes.


Rachel Bouserhal, ÉTS: The “Radio-Acoustical Virtual Environment” (RAVE): improving communication for workers wearing hearing protection devices in noisy industrial environments

Workers wearing hearing  protection in noisy industrial environments often have to make the choice between removing their hearing protection device or communicating properly. Either of these choices leaves the worker’s health at risk. This talk describes a proposed solution for workers where neither their healing health nor their communication is compromised.


John Sullivan, McGill University: Designing for Accessibility - The Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI)

AUMI is a digital musical instrument that is played through movement and gestures, allowing individuals across abilities to engage in music-making and improvisation with others. While the AUMI interface can be used by anyone, the focus has been on working with children who have profound physical disabilities. This project, now in its 10th year, is made up of technologists, therapists, educators and community members focused on learning more about the relations between ability, the body, creativity and improvisation, from within a cultural context that does not always acknowledge or accept people with disabilities. 


Audrey-Kristel Barbeau, UQAM: Music and stress: The ups and downs of a (complex) relationship!

This presentation will discuss the relationship between active music-making and stress among musicians, including among amateur older adults.  An upcoming research project using glucocorticoid measurements to assess how music affects the body (through measurement of salivary cortisol, alpha-amylase and IgA) will also be presented.