John Connolly
Professor Emeritus, Linguistics and Languages

Dr. John Connolly is the former Senator William McMaster Chair in the Cognitive Neuroscience having served the maximum two terms (2010-2015; 2015-2020) and founding Director of the ARiEAL Research Centre. He co-directs the Language, Memory & Brain Lab with Dr. Elisabet Service.

His areas of investigation include the investigation of cognitive processes including attention, memory, concentration, executive function and language. In this work, he employs a range of brain recording and imaging methods including magnetoencephalography (MEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, most of his work employs electroencephalographic (EEG) and event-related brain potential techniques. His research emphasizes applications of basic neurophysiological research to study brain injury. Currently, his group has projects dedicated to investigations of coma, disorders of consciousness after coma emergence, and concussion. Additional research is examining brain responses during surgery while under general anesthesia. His research has led to the development of brain recording tools to enable the assessment of cognitive functioning in patients who are unable to communicate due to neurological injury or have sustained a concussion. A project is in development (2020) to examine the neurocognitive consequences of COVID-19. Finally, his group is employing these same methods to provide objective brain measures of pain in those suffering from chronic pain conditions. His research serves as the foundation to a Hamilton-based start-up that was formed in 2017: VoxNeuro (see

Dr. Connolly has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals for 35 years. He has been an invited speaker at numerous scientific conferences in Europe, Asia, and North America. His research has been supported by Canadian, American, British, and European funding agencies. He has served on the Editorial Board and as an Associate Editor of Clinical Neurophysiology, on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Psychophysiology, and reviews regularly for a range of journals. He has also served as reviewer for North American, European and Asian agencies and institutions and as a panel reviewer for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Defense.
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