Stephen G. Lomber

Academic title(s): 


Canada Research Chair in Brain Plasticity and Development


Contact Information:


Office: McIntyre Medical Building, Room 1223
Phone: 514.398.6024
Email: steve.lomber[at]


Mailing Address:
Department of Physiology
355 Promenade Sir William Osler
Montreal, QC
H3G 1Y6


Stephen G. Lomber

Stephen G. Lomber, Ph.D. is a Professor of Physiology, Psychology, and Neuroscience at McGill University where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Brain Plasticity and Development. Dr. Lomber received degrees in Neurobiology from the University of Rochester (B.Sc.) and the Boston University School of Medicine (Ph.D.). Dr. Lomber serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Academy of Audiology and the Editorial Board of Hearing Research, and is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.

Research Areas:

Behavioral Neuroscience | Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience

Research Summary:

Cortical plasticity is the neural mechanism by which the cerebrum adapts itself to its environment, while at the same time making it vulnerable to impoverished sensory or developmental experiences. Like the visual system, auditory development passes through a series of sensitive periods in which circuits and connections are established and then refined by experience. Current research is expanding our understanding of cerebral processing and organization in the deaf. In the congenitally deaf, higher-order areas of "deaf" auditory cortex demonstrate significant crossmodal plasticity with neurons responding to visual and somatosensory stimuli. This crucial cerebral function results in compensatory plasticity. Not only can the remaining inputs reorganize to substitute for those lost, but this additional circuitry also confers enhanced abilities to the remaining systems. Our lab uses an integrated approach of psychophysics, electrophysiological recording, neuroanatomical techniques, and functional imaging to examine processing in the auditory cortex. Our lab has pioneered the use of focal cooling to reversibly deactivate regions of the cerebrum. Work in the lab examines cortical plasticity in the presence and absence of acoustic input and following the initiation of auditory processing through the means of cochlear prosthetics.

Selected References:

Kruger, M.C., Sabourin, C.J., Levine, A.T., and Lomber, S.G. (2021) Ultrasonic hearing in cats and other terrestrial mammals. Acoustics Today 17: 18-25.

Wong, C. and Lomber, S.G. (2019) Stable delay period representations in the posterior parietal cortex facilitate working memory-guided obstacle negotiation. Current Biology 29: 70-80.

Stolzberg, D., Butler, B.E. and Lomber, S.G. (2018) Effects of neonatal deafness on resting-state functional network connectivity. NeuroImage 165: 69-82.

Kral, A. and Lomber, S.G. (2015) Deaf white cats. Current Biology 25: R351-353.

Hall, A.J. and Lomber, S.G. (2015) High-field fMRI reveals tonotopically-organized and core auditory cortex in the cat. Hearing Research 325: 1-11.

Lomber, S.G., Meredith, M.A., and Kral, A. (2010) Crossmodal plasticity in specific auditory cortices underlies visual compensations in the deaf. Nature Neuroscience 13: 1421-1427.

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