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Dr. Frank Russo profile

Dr. Frank Russo

EducationPhD, Queen's University
Phone416-979-5000 ext. 552647
Areas of Expertiseauditory cognitive neuroscience (EEG, fNIRS); hearing science; music cognition; vocal and facial emotion; listening effort; singing and wellbeing; 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

Livingstone, S. R., & Russo, F. A. (2018). The Ryerson Audio-Visual Database of Emotional Speech and Song (RAVDESS): A dynamic, multimodal set of facial and vocal expressions in North American English. PLoS ONE 13(5): e0196391., external link

Goy, H., Pichora-Fuller, M. K., Singh, G., & Russo, F. A. (2018). Hearing Aids Benefit Recognition of Words in Emotional Speech but Not Emotion Identification. Trends in Hearing, 22., external link

Good, A., Choma, B., & Russo, F.A. (2017). Movement synchrony influences intergroup relations in a minimal groups paradigm. Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 39(4), 231-238., external link

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, 23, 1882-1890., external link

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., external link

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., external link

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., external link, opens in new window

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., external link, opens in new window