Stefanie Blain-Moraes

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor

Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Consciousness and Personhood Technology

Stefanie Blain-Moraes
Contact Information

Davis House, Room DB6-B

3654 Prom-Sir-William-Osler

Montreal, Quebec

H3G 1Y5

Email address: 
stefanie.blain-moraes [at]
Associate Professor

B.A.Sc. (Engineering Science), University of Toronto

Ph.D. (Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Sciences), University of Toronto

Postdoctoral fellowship (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Anesthesiology), University of Michigan

Teaching areas: 

Design of Assistive Technology: Principles and Praxis

Current research: 

Consciousness, neuroprognosis, critical care, personhood, assistive technologies, minimally communicative individuals

Prof. Blain-Moraes runs the Biosignal Interaction and Personhood Technology (BIAPT) lab at McGill.  Her lab applies physiological signal processing techniques and assistive technology design principles to address the needs of non-communicative individuals and their care providers.  The objectives of the BIAPT lab are:

1.       To advance the understanding of the neurophysiological and physiological basis of human consciousness and interaction
2.       To translate this understanding into technologies that improve the quality of life of non-communicative persons and their caregivers


Prof. Stefanie Blain-Moraes is the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Consciousness and Personhood Technology (2019-2024). Since starting at McGill University in 2016, she has been principal or co-applicant on 29 successfully funded grant proposals that have brought a total of $9.6M to Canadian researchers; including $3.3M in operating funds awarded directly to her lab. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of her research program, she has been a Principal Investigator on grants awarded from all three branches of the Canadian Tri-Council (NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC). She has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers on the detection of consciousness and the development of technologies to maximize the personhood of non-communicative individuals. Her inventions are protected under one US Patent, and several Notices of Invention. Prof. Blain-Moraes’ research was recognized with McGill University’s Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers in 2022, and has been featured in National Geographic, STAT news, the New Scientist and CTV National News.

To date, Prof. Blain-Moraes has trained 51 highly qualified personnel (5 postdoctoral fellows, 4 PhD, 11 MSc and 24 BSc thesis students), and supervised an additional 56 undergraduate students for their capstone design projects. Collectively, her students have been awarded over $1.3 million through 33 scholarships and fellowships, and have received national and international recognition for their research and contributions to academia. The excellence of Prof. Blain-Moraes’ teaching and training was recognized with the 2020 Faculty of Medicine Teaching Innovation Award from McGill University and by the 2023 Carrie M. Derrick Award for Graduate Teaching and Supervision.

Areas of expertise: 

Consciousness, neuroprognosis, critical care, personhood, assistive technologies, minimally communicative individuals

Selected publications: 

Notation. McGill research trainees supervised by myself are identified by italics; § indicates equal authorship contributions, * indicates corresponding or co-corresponding authors, and ° indicates authorship from a community partner (e.g. not affiliated with an academic institution).


  • Plez, L., Holland, M.°, Kulasegarampillai, P., Sieu, T-C. & Blain-Moraes, S. (2023) “’I made you a small room in my heart’: How therapeutic clowns meet the needs of older adults in nursing homes”. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being. (accepted).
  • Maschke, C., Duclos, C., Owen, A.M., Jerbi, K. & Blain-Moraes, S. (2023) “Aperiodic brain activity varies in altered states of consciousness”. NeuroImage. 275:120154. Doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2023.120154
  • Brennan, J., Kelleher, M., Motta-Ochoa, R., Blain-Moraes, S. & Specker Sullivan, L. (2023) “Situated personhood: Insights from caregivers of behaviorally unresponsive individuals”. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics. (accepted).
  • Kuhlmann, N., Robert, J., Thomas, A. & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2023) “Piece of Mind: Mobilizing scientific and experiential knowledge of Parkinson’s Disease through the arts”. Leonardo. Doi:10.1162/leon_a_02371.
  • Frantz, A., Incio-Serra, N., Lopez Almendariz, A., Duclos, C., Owen, A.M. & Blain-Moraes, S. (2023) “Assessing cognitive outcome in coma survivors: A literature review.” Brain Sciences. 13(1): doi:10.3390/brainsci13010096.
  • Kuhlmann, N., Lecuyer, J., Thomas, A. & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2023) “Piece of Mind: Mobilizing scientific and experiential knowledge of dementia through the arts”. Leonardo. (accepted).


  • Ocay, D.D., Teel, E.F., Luo, O.D., Savignac, C., Mahdid, Y., Blain-Moraes, S. & Ferland, C.E.* (2022) “Electroencephalographic characteristics of children and adolescents with chronic musculoskeletal pain”. PAIN Reviews. 7(6):e1054. Doi: 10.1097/PR9.0000000000001054.
  • Teel, E.F., Ocay, D.D., Blain-Moraes, S.* & Ferland, C.E.*. (2022) “Accurate classification of pain experiences using wearable electroencephalography in adolescents with and without chronic musculoskeletal pain”. Frontiers in Pain Research. 3.
  • Maschke, C., Duclos, C., Blain-Moraes, S. (2022) “Paradoxical markers of conscious levels: Effects of anesthesia on patients in disorders of consciousness”. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 16.
  • Sample, M., Boehlen, W., Sattler, S., Blain-Moraes, S. & Racine, E.* (2022) “Brain-computer interfaces, inclusive innovation, and the promise of restoration: A mixed-methods study with rehabilitation professionals”. Engaging Science, Technology and Society. 8(2).
  • Holland, M.°, Fiorito, M.E., Gravel, M., McLeod, S., Polson, J., Incio Serra, N. & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2022) “’We are still doing some magic’: Exploring the effectiveness of online therapeutic clowning”. Arts and Health.
  • Croteau, F., Thénault, F., Blain-Moraes, S., Pearsall, D., Paradelo, D. & Robbins, S.M. (2022) “Automatic detection of passing and shooting in water polo using machine learning”. Sports Biomechanics.
  • Fu, D., Incio Serra, N., Mansion, H.°, Tamko Mansion, E. ° & Blain-Moraes, S. (2022) “Assessing the effect of nature on physiological states using wearable technologies”. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 19(3), 1231: doi:10.3390/ijerph19031231.
  • Labonte, A., Kafashan, M.M., Huels, E.R., Blain-Moraes, S., Basner, M., Kelz, M.B., Mashour, G.A., Avidan, M.S., Palanca, B.J.A.*, ReCCognition Study Group. (2022) “The posterior dominant rhythm: An electroencephalographic surrogate for cognitive recovery following general anesthesia”. British Journal of Anesthesia.


  • Azevedo, N., Crestol, A., Berkun, K., Papthanasopoulos, A., Yamani, L., Rokos, A., Kehayia, E. § & Blain-Moraes, S.* § “(2021) A N400 event-related potential elicitation paradigm for native French speakers”. Mental Lexicon. (in press).
  • Rokos, A., Misic, B., Berkun, K., Duclos, C., Tarnal, V., Janke, E., Picton, P., Golmirzaie, G., Basner, M., Avidan, M.S., Kelz, M.B., Mashour, G.A. & Blain-Moraes, S. (2021) “Distinct and dissociable EEG networks are associated with recovery of cognitive function following anesthesia-induced unconsciousness”. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
  • Rokos, A., Mah, R., Boshra, R., Harrison, A., Choy, T.L., Blain-Moraes, S.* § & Connolly, J.F. § “Eliciting and recording event related potentials (ERPs) in behaviorally unresponsive populations: a reflective commentary on critical factors”. Brain Sciences. Doi:10.3390/brainsci11070835.
  • Savignac, C., Ocay, D.D., Mahdid, Y., Blain-Moraes, S. & Ferland, C.* “Clinical use of electroencephalography in the assessment of acute thermal pain: A narrative review based on articles from 2009 to 2020”. Clinical EEG & Neuroscience. (accepted)
  • Duclos, C., Maschke, C., Mahdid, Y., Berkun, K., Da Silva Castanheira, J., Tarnal, V., Picton, P., Vanini, G., Golmirzaie, G., Janke, E., Avidan, M., Kelz, M., Liuzzi, L., Brookes, M., Mashour, G. & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2021) “Differential classification of states of consciousness using envelope- and phase-based functional connectivity”. NeuroImage. 237:118171 Doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118171.
  • Mashour, G.A.*, Palanca, B., Basner, M., Li, D., Maier, K., Wang, W., Blain-Moraes, S., Lin, N., Muench, M., Tarnal, V., Vanini, G., Ochroch, E., Schwartz, M., Maybrier, H., Hardie, R., Janke, E., Golmirzaie, G., Picton, P., McKinstry-Wu, A., Avidan, M.S. § & Kelz, M.B. §. (2021) “Recovery of consciousness and cognition after general anesthesia in humans”. eLIFE. Doi:10.7554/eLife.59525.
  • Huels, E., Kim, H., Lee, U., Bel-Behar, T., Colmenero, A., Nelson, A., Blain-Moraes, S., Mashour, G.A., Harris, R.E.* (2021) “Neural correlates of the shamanic state of consciousness”. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Doi:10.3389/fnhum.2021.610466
  • Motta-Ochoa, R., Incio-Serra, N. §, Frantz, A.§ & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2021) “Enacting agency: Movement, dementia and interaction”. Arts and Health.
  • Motta-Ochoa, R. §, Incio-Serra, N. §, Boulet, A.°, Fu, D., Frantz, A., Williams, M.° & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2021) “Mouvement de passage: Creating connections through movement among persons with dementia”. Dementia.
  • Motta-Ochoa, R., Leibing, A., Bresba, P.°, William, M.°, Shaffer, S.°, Julien, O.°, Racine, E. & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2021) “You’re Part of Us and We’re Happy to Have You Here”: Practices of Social Inclusion in a Community-Based Organization for Persons with Dementia”. Clinical Gerontology. 44(4): 471-480.
  • Duclos, C. §, Nadin, D. §, Mahdid, Y., Tarnal, V., Picton, P., Vanini, G., Golmirzaie, G., Janke, E., Avidan, M.S., Kelz, M.B., Mashour, G.A. & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2021) “Brain network motifs are markers of loss and recovery of consciousness”. Scientific Reports. 11:3892.


  • Mahdid, Y., Lee, U. & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2020) “Assessing the quality of wearable EEG systems using functional connectivity”. IEEE Access. 8:193214-193225. doi:10.1109/ACCESS.2020.3033472
  • Duclos, C., Norton, L., Laforge, G., Frantz, A., Maschke, C., Owen., A.M. & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2020) “Protocol for the prognostication of consciousness recovery following a brain injury”. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 12.
  • Motta-Ochoa, R., Bresba, P.°, Da Silva Castanheira, J., Kwan, C.L., Shaffer, S.°, Julien, O.°, William, M.° & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2020) “‘When I hear my language, I travel back in time and I feel at home’: Intersections of culture with social inclusion and exclusion of persons with dementia and their caregivers”. Transcultural Psychiatry.
  • Nadin, D., Duclos, C., Mahdid, Y., Rokos, A., Badawy, M., Letourneau, J., Arbour, C., Plourde, G. & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2020) “Brain Network Motif Topography May Predict Emergence from Disorders of Consciousness: A Case Series”. Neuroscience of Consciousness. 2020(1):niaa017.
  • Cascio, M.A., Motta-Ochoa, R., Teachman, G., Grond, F., Tembeck, T., Blain-Moraes, S. & Park, M.* (2020) “What’s at stake with biomusic? Engaging the humanities and social sciences in the ethical reflections on an emerging technology.” Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation. 5(20):1-20.
  • Cascio, M.A., Grond, F., Motta-Ochoa, R., Tembeck, T., Van Teen, D.°, Blain-Moraes, S.* (2020) “Working together – ethnographic observations on participatory design involving adults with autism”. Human Organization. 79(1):1-12.


  • Sample, M., Sattler, S., Blain-Moraes, S., Rodriguez-Arias, D. & Racine, E.* (2019) “Do publics share experts’ worries about brain-computer interfaces? A trinational survey on the ethics of neural technology”. Science, Technology, and Human Values.
  • Kwan, C.L., Mahdid, Y., Motta Ochoa, R., Lee, K., Park, M. & Blain-Moraes, S.* (2019) “Wearable technology for detecting significant moments in individuals with dementia”. Biomed Research International. Vol. 2019, Article ID 6515813, 13 pages.
  • Renda, E., Karmali, S.A., Yordanova, I., Schwartz, S., Mahdid, Y., Blain-Moraes, S.§ & Boudrias, M.H. §* (2019) “Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on an individual’s ability to learn to control a brain-computer interface”. McGill Journal of Medicine.
  • Sample, M., Aunos, M., Blain-Moraes, S., Bublitz, C., Chandler, J., Falk, T., Friederich, O., Groetzinger, D., Jox, R.J., Koegel, J., McFarland, D., Neufield, V., Rodriguez-Arias, D., Sattler, S., Vidal, F., Wolbring, G., Wolkenstein, A. & Racine, E.* (2019) “BCIs and personhood: Interdisciplinary deliberations on the impact of neural technology”. Journal of Neural Engineering. doi:10.1088/1741-2552/ab39cd
  • Moraes, C.§, Blain-Moraes, S.§, Morell-Tomassoni, S. & Gorbet, R.B.* (2021) “The W-model: A pre-college design pedagogy for solving wicked problems”. International Journal of Technology and Design Education. 31(1): 139-164.
  • Grond, F., Motta-Ochoa, R., Miyake, N.°, Tembeck, T., Park, M. & Blain-Moraes, S. (2019) “Participatory design of affective technology: Interfacing biomusic and autism”. IEEE Transactions of Affective Computing.
  • Connolly, J.*, Reilly, J., Fox-Robichaud, A., Britz, P., Blain-Moraes, S., Sonnadara, R., Hamielec, C., Herrera-Diaz, A. & Boshra, R. (2019) “Development of a point of care system for automated coma prognosis – a prospective cohort study protocol”. BMJ Open.
  • Shortal, B.P., Hickman, L.B., Mak-McCully, R.A., Wang, W., Brennan, C., Ung, H., Litt, B., Tarnal, V., Janke, E., Picton, P., Blain-Moraes, S., Maybrier, H., Muench, M., Lin, N., Avidan, M., Mashour, G., McKinstry-Wu, A., Kelz, M., Palanca, B., & Proekt, A. (2019) “Duration of electroencephalogram suppression does not predict recovery time from general anesthesia”. British Journal of Anaesthesia. Doi:
  • Lee, H., Golkowski, D., Jordan, D., Berger, S., Ilg, R., Lee, J., Mashour, G.A., Lee, U., Avidan, M., Blain-Moraes, S., Golmirzaie, G., Hardie, R., Hogg, R., Janke, E., Kelz, M.B., Maier, K., Maybrier, H.R., McKinstry-Wu, A., Muench, M., Ochroch, A., Palanca, B.J.A., Picton, P., Schwarz, E.M., Tarnal, V., Vanini, G., Vlisides, P.E. (2019) “Relationship of critical dynamics, functional connectivity, and states of consciousness in large-scale human brain networks”. NeuroImage. 188:228-238. Doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.12.011


  • Blain-Moraes, S.*, Racine, E. & Mashour, G.A. (2018) “Consciousness and Personhood in Medical Care”. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 12. 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00306
  • Thiery T, Lajnef, T, Combrisson E, Dehgan A, Rainville P, Mashour G, Blain-Moraes, S. & Jerbi K.* (2018) "Long-range temporal correlations in the brain distinguish conscious wakefulness from induced unconsciousness", NeuroImage 179: 30-39. Doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.05.069
  • Koller, D.*, McPherson, A.C., Lockwood, I., Blain-Moraes, S. & Nolan, J. (2018) “The impact of Snoezelen in pediatric complex continuing care: A pilot study”. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine: An Interdisciplinary Approach. 11:31-41.


  • Walsh, A.*, Evans, J.E., Sims, E., Goldberg, R.L., Peters, K.L., Globerson, K., Drossel, C., Blain-Moraes, S., Merbitz, N.K. (2017) “Bedside audio storytelling for hospital patients: A program overview”. The Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation. Fall 2017, pp. 1-24.
  • Blain-Moraes, S., Tarnal, V., Vanini, G., Bel-Behar, T., Janke, E., Picton, P., Golmirzaie, G., McKinney, A., Palanca, B.J.A., Avidan, M.S., Kelz, M.B. & Mashour, G.A.* (2017) “Network efficiency and posterior alpha patterns are markers of recovery from general anesthesia: A high-density electroencephalography study in healthy volunteers”. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00328.
  • Maier, K.L., McKinstry-Wu, A.R., Palanca, B.J.A., Tarnal, V., Blain-Moraes, S., Basner, M., Avidan, M., Mashour, G.A., Kelz, M.B.* (2017) “Protocol for the reconstructing human consciousness and cognition study”. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00284.


  • Blain-Moraes, S., Boshra, R., Ma, H.K., Mah, R., Ruiter, K., Avidan, M. Connolly, J.F. & Mashour, G.A.* (2016) “Normal brain response to propofol in advance of recovery from unresponsive wakefulness syndrome” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00248
  • Kim, M., Mashour, G., Blain-Moraes, S., Vanini, G., Tarnal, V., Janke, E., Hudetz, A.G. & Lee, U. (2016) “Functional and topological conditions for explosive synchronization develop in human brain networks with the onset of anesthetic-induced unconsciousness” Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. doi:10.3389/fncom.2016.00001


  • Moon, J., Lee, U., Blain-Moraes, S. & Mashour, G.* (2015) “General relationship of global topology, local dynamics, and directionality in large-scale brain networks”. PLoS Computational Biology. 11(4):e1004225. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004225.
  • Lee, U., Blain-Moraes, S. & Mashour, G.* (2015) “Assessing levels of consciousness with symbolic analysis”. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. 373:20140117.
  • Blain-Moraes, S., Tarnal, V., Vanini, G., Alexander, A., Rosen, D., Shortal, B., Janke, E. & Mashour, G.A.* (2015) “Neurophysiological correlates of sevoflurane-induced unconsciousness”. Anesthesiology. 122(2):307-316. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000000482


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