Virginia Penhune is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychology at Concordia University. She is also an Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill. Dr. Penhune completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at McGill University in 1998 under the supervision of Dr. Michael Petrides.
Her thesis research investigated the neural basis of rhythm perception and production. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Laval with Dr. Julien Doyon where she focused on examining the neural basis of motor sequence learning. Dr. Penhune joined the faculty at Concordia in 2000 and directs the Laboratory for Motor Control and Neural Plasticity.
The research in Dr. Penhune’s laboratory explores the neural basis of human motor skill learning and performance, with an emphasis on the impact of development and expertise. She uses structural and functional neuroimaging techniques to examine the role of the cerebellum, striatum and motor cortical areas in motor learning, and to explore auditory-motor integration in the context of the perception and production of musical rhythms. This research program takes a broad developmental perspective, including studies in children and older adults, as well as individuals with musical training. An important current line of research examines the impact of early musical training on behaviour and brain structure.