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Dr. Frank Russo profile

Dr. Frank Russo

EducationPhD, Queen's University
Phone416-979-5000 x2647
Areas of Expertiseauditory perception; music cognition; vocal-facial emotion; embodied cognition; hearing science; cognitive neuroscience; social neuroscience; neuroplasticity

  Curriculum Vitae / PDF fileClick Here to View >



Frank Russo is a professor of Psychology at Ryerson University, where he holds the Hear the World Research Chair in Music and Emotional Speech. He is also affiliate scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, core member of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind (MIMM), and adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s Music and Health Collaboratory (MaHRC). In his Science of Music Auditory Research and Technology (SMART) Lab at Ryerson, he conducts basic research on the biological, cognitive, and social-emotional bases of music and speech. He also engages in two related areas of applied research. The first area seeks to develop and optimize assistive and rehabilitative technologies that may support perception and production of vocal-facial emotion. The second area assesses the potential for music-based interventions (especially singing) to contribute to health and wellbeing. His work tends to be interdisciplinary in nature but is most closely aligned with the academic disciplines of perceptual science, cognitive science, emotion science, and neuroplasticity. He is also committed to the dissemination and translation of research beyond the academy through creative collaborations with artists, community-based groups, and industry. Successful translations of his research include a Canadian train-horn standard, a sensory substitution technology, new algorithms to support music perception through hearing aids, and the development of singing interventions to support communication deficits. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and Massey College, and is a past president of the Canadian Acoustical Association.


Selected Publications

Ammirante, P., Patel, A., & Russo, F. A. (2016). Synchronizing to auditory and tactile metronomes: A test of the auditory-motor enhancement hypothesis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. doi:0.3758/s13423-016-1067-9

Livingstone, S. R., Vezer, E., McGarry, L. M., Lang, A., & Russo, F. A. (2016). Emotion identification deficits in Parkinson’s disease are related to deficits in the automatic mimicry of facial expression. Frontiers in Psychology, 7: 780. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00780

McGarry, L. M., Pineda, J., & Russo, F. A. (2015). The role of the extended MNS in emotional and non-emotional judgments of human song. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 15, 32-44. doi:10.3758/s13415-014-0311-x

Kirchberger, M. J., & Russo, F. A. (2014). Development and validation of the Adaptive test for the Assessment of Music Perception. Ear and Hearing, 36, 217-228. doi:10.1097/AUD.0000000000000112

Russo, F. A., Vempala, N. N., & Sandstrom, G. M. (2013). Predicting musically induced emotions from physiological inputs: Linear and neural network models. Frontiers in Psychology. 4:468. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00468

Sandstrom, G. M., & Russo, F. A. (2013). Absorption in music: A scale to identify individuals with strong emotional responses to music, Psychology of Music, 41, 216 - 228.

Russo, F. A., Ammirante, P. & Fels, D. I. (2012). Vibrotactile discrimination of musical timbre. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38, 822-826. 

McGarry, L. M., Russo, F. A., Schalles, M., & Pineda, J. A. (2012). Audio-visual facilitation of the mu wave. Experimental Brain Research, 218, 527-538

Tierney, A., Russo, F. A., & Patel, A. D. (2011). The motor origins of human and avian song structure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) of the United States of America, 108, 15510-15515.

Sandstrom, G.M., & Russo, F. A. (2010). Music hath charms: The effects of valence and arousal on the regulation of stress. Music and Medicine, 2, 137-143.