Sylvain Baillet, PhD

Sylvain Baillet, PhD
Contact Information
Email address: 
sylvain.baillet [at]
Hospital title: 
Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Biomedical Engineering, and Computer Science
Tier-1 Canada Research Chair, Neural Dynamics of Brain Systems.
Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, McGill University
Director, Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Unit of The Neuro
Chair, TOSI Open Science Grassroots Initiatives Committee
BIC Core Faculty

Sylvain Baillet graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay in Applied Physics (France) and obtained his PhD summa cum laude in Physics from University of Paris (Paris-XI). Sylvain has an international career profile, having held positions in France, the USA and Canada. He was a Research Associate at the Signal and Image Processing Institute of the University of Southern California before joining the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, France) as a tenured Principal Investigator in 2000. He became the head of the Brain Imaging group at the Cognitive Neuroscience & Brain Imaging CNRS Laboratory in 2005, at La Salpetriere University Hospital in Paris. In 2008, he took a position as Associate Professor of Neurology & Biophysics at the Medical College of Wisconsin and became the founding Scientific Director of the MEG Program at Froedtert Hospital, in Milwaukee (USA). He joined the Montreal Neurological Institute in 2011.

Scientific Output – Sylvain is a global leader in brain imaging and multimodal electrophysiology for systems neuroscience. He has been recognized by multiple international Career Achievement Awards and the Tier-1 Canada Research Chair of Neural Dynamics of Brain Systems (2018) for his “achievements on the world map of cutting-edge neuroimaging research.” He has been on 13 journal Editorial Boards. Sylvain developed pivotal methods for brain imaging and quantitative electrophysiology, with an emphasis on magnetoencephalography (MEG) for time-resolved brain imaging. These advances also applied to EEG – a technique widely used in research, clinics and wearable devices. He produced highly cited good-practice guidelines and contributed authoritative reviews of his field e.g., commissioned by Nature Neuroscience  or endorsed by the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. He consistently maintains a diverse funding portfolio (NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC, CFI, Compute Canada, Brain Canada, FRQS, FRQNT, NIH and private donors; gross total: >$36M; 14 active grants, 8 as PI or co-PI). He produced 110 articles, 9 book chapters (14 as primary, 42 as senior author; 53 in the past 7 years), 200 conference proceedings, 3 international patents, 180 invited lectures (90 international) and publishes in leading journals, from Neuroscience to Computer Science, and top-tier outlets e.g., Nature Communications, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, PLoS Biology and PNAS. The quality of his research output was recognized by the French Academy of Sciences (“outstanding publication in Biology”) and a high level of citations: >11,700 citations, with 4 articles in the Top 1% of most-cited publications in Neuroscience & Behaviour (Web Of Knowledge). As a mentor and educator, He has trained 130 students (74 grads) and 13 post-docs with backgrounds from Neuroscience to Computer Science; 20 have obtained faculty positions worldwide.

Promotion of Open Science  Sylvain contributed major open-science resources: he co-founded the Open MEG Archives (OMEGA) in 2015; the first open-access repository of MEG data (700 international users, 50 journal articles). He also shares his tools and methods with open-source software. His team hosts the software integration of Brainstorm, an international NIH project, which has grown a community of 27,600 user accounts. Since 2011, 2,000 students and faculty members have attended 40 training workshops worldwide, and >1,600 journal articles cite Brainstorm as the primary tool for data analysis.

Management of Research Sylvain founded and led several research and clinical imaging platforms: the MEG program he created in 2008 was recognized by US health-insurance partners and is now part of the routine pre-surgical workup of dozens of epilepsy and brain-tumor patients annually. The MEG unit he founded at McGill in 2012 has become the second busiest scanner on campus, after 3T MRI. He has led the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, the largest of its kind in Canada, for which he recruited 6 new PI leaders and 9 HQPs and raised $6.4M in infrastructure grants in 4 years. 

Industrial Transfers Sylvain has experience with the management of patented intellectual property and successful industrial transfers. For example, his patented MRI work for acute stroke evaluation was transferred to the biomedical industry, used in national clinical trials, obtained CE and FDA certifications, and is now marketed worldwide.

Selected publications: 
  1. Ouellette H (…) Baillet S (…) Lacoste B (2020) Vascular Contribution to 16p11.2 Deletion Autism Syndrome Modeled in Mice, Nature Neuroscience
  2. Moreau JT, Hankinson TC, Baillet S, Dudley RWR (2020) Individual-patient Prediction of Meningioma Malignancy and Survival Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, npj: Digital Medicine, 3, 12 [∗]
  3. Donhauser P & Baillet S (2020) Two Distinct Neural Time Scales for Predictive Speech Processing, Neuron, 105(2): 385-393 [∗]
  4. Nasiotis K, Cousineau M, Tadel F, Peyrache A, Leahy RM, Pack C, Baillet S (2019) Integrated open-source software for multiscale electrophysiology, 231, Scientific Data [∗]
  5. Müller F*, Niso G*, Samiee S, Ptito M, [Baillet S, Kupers R] (2019) A Thalamocort. Pathway for Fast Rerouting of Tactile Info. to the Occip. Cort. in Congenital Blindness, Nature Communications, 10, 5154 [∗]
  6. Puschmann S, Baillet S, Zatorre RJ (2018) Musicians at the cocktail party: Neural substrates of musical training during selective listening in multi-speaker situations, Cereb Cortex
  7. Niso G, Gorgolewski KJ, Bock E, Brooks TL, Flandin G, Gramfort A, Henson RH, Jas M, Litvak V, Moreau J, Oostenveld R, Schoffelen JM, Tadel F, Wexler J, Baillet S (2018) MEG-BIDS: an Extension to the Brain Imaging Data Structure for MEG, Scientific Data, Jun 19;5:180110 [∗]
  8. Hari R, Baillet S, Barnes G, Burgess R, Forss N, Gross J, Hämäläinen M, Jensen O, Kakigi R, Mauguière F, Nakasato N, Puce A, Romani GL, Schnitzler A, Taulu S (2018) IFCN-endorsed practical guidelines for clinical magnetoencephalography (MEG), Clin Neurophys
  9. Albouy P, Baillet S, Zatorre RJ (2018) Driving Working Memory with Frequency-Tuned Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation, Ann NY Acad Sci [∗]
  10. Samiee S, Levesque M, Behr C, Avoli M, Baillet S (2018) Phase-amplitude Coupling and Epileptogenesis in an Animal Model of Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, Neurobiol Dis [∗]
  11. Donhauser P, Florin E, Baillet S (2018) Imaging of Neural Oscillations with Embedded Inferential and Group Prevalence Statistics, PLoS Comput Biology 14(2):e1005990 [∗]
  12. Chadnova E, Reynaud A, Clavagnier S, Baker DH, [Baillet S & Hess RF] (2017) Interocular Interaction of Contrast and Luminance Signals in Human Primary Visual Cortex, Neuroimage [∗]
  13. Morillon B & Baillet S (2017) Motor Origin of Temporal Predictions in Auditory Attention, Proc Natl Acad Sci 114 (42): E8913-E8921 [∗]
  14. Samiee S & Baillet S (2017) Time-Resolved Phase-Amplitude Coupling in Neural Oscillations, Neuroimage 159:270–79 [∗]
  15. Florin E, Vuvan D, Peretz I & Baillet S (2017) Pre-Target Neural Oscillations Predict Variability in the Detection of Small Pitch Changes, PLoS ONE, May 12(5): e0177836 [∗]
  16. Albouy P, Weiss A, [Baillet S & Zatorre RJ] (2017) Selective Entrainment of Theta Oscillations in the Dorsal Stream Causally Enhances Auditory Working Memory Performance, Neuron, Apr 94(1):193–206 [∗]
  17. Baillet S (2017) MEG for Brain Electrophys. & Imaging, Nature Neuroscience, 20(3): 327–339
  18. Hinault T, Badier JM, Baillet S & Lemaire P (2017) The Sources of Sequential Modulations of Control Processes in Arithmetic Strategies: A Magnetoencephalography Study, J Cognitive Neuroscience, Feb 14:1– 11 [∗]
  19. Graves WW, Boukrina O, Mattheiss SR, Alexander EJ & Baillet S (2017) Reversing the Standard Neural Signature of the Word-Nonword Distinc- tion in Lexical Decision: A Multimodal Neuroimaging Study, J Cognitive Neuroscience, 29(1):79–94 [∗]
  20. Coffey EBJ, Herholz SC, Chepesiuka QP, Baillet S, Zatorre RJ (2016) Cortical Contrib. to the Auditory Frequency-Following Response Revealed by MEG, Nature Communications, 7: 11070
  21. Niso G, Rogers C, Moreau JT, Chen L-Y, Madjar C, Das S, Bock E, Tadel F, Evans AC, Jolicoeur P, Baillet S (2016) OMEGA: The Open MEG Archive, Neuroimage
  22. Florin E, Baillet S (2015) The Brain’s Resting-State Activity is Shaped by Synchronized Cross-Frequency Coupling of Neural Oscillations, Neuroimage, May, 111:26–35 [∗]
  23. Florin E, Bock E, Baillet S (2014) Targeted Reinforcement of Neural Oscillatory Activity with Real-time Neuroimaging Feedback, Neuroimage, Mar, 88:54-60 [∗]
  24. Evans AC, Janke AL, Collins DL, Baillet S, (2012) Brain Templates and Atlases, Neuroimage,
  25. Baillet S, Friston KJ & Oostenveld R (2011) Academic Software Applications for Electromagnetic Brain Mapping using MEG and EEG, Computational Intelligence & Neuroscience, 972050.
  26. Auzias G, Colliot O, Glaunes J, Perrot M, Mangin JF, Trouve A & Baillet S. (2011), Diffeomorphic Brain Registration Under Exhaustive Sulcal Constraints, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 30, 1214-1227. [∗]
  27. Lefèvre, J. & Baillet, S. (2009), Optical flow approaches to the identification of brain dynamics. Human Brain Mapping, 30:1887–97. [∗]
  28. Salmelin, R. & Baillet, S. (2009), Electromagnetic brain imaging, Human Brain Mapping,
  29. Lefèvre, J. & Baillet, S. (2008), Optical Flow and Advection on 2-Riemannian Manifolds: a Common Framework, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence
  30. Del Cul, Baillet S & S. Dehaene (2007), Brain Dynamics Underlying the Nonlinear Threshold for Access to Consciousness, PLoS Biology, 25:5(10):e260 (online).
  31. Jerbi K, Lachaux JP, N’Diaye K, Pantazis D, Leahy RM, Garnero L, Baillet S (2007), Coherent Neural Representation of Hand Speed in Humans Revealed by MEG Imaging, PNAS, 104(18):7676–81. [rated as ‘recommended’ by Faculty of 1000–Medicine] [∗]
  32. Sergent C, Baillet S & Dehaene S (2005), Timing of the Brain Events Underlying Access to Consciousness during the Attentional Blink}, Nature Neuroscience, 8(10):1391--1400.
Research areas: 
Neuroimaging and Neuroinformatics

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The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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