Montréal: city of neuroscience

published on February 9, 2017
Tourisme Montréal: News and People What's New in Montréal

Montréal charms visitors with its Old World architecture, lush park spaces, hipster cafés and shops, and a feisty sense of Carpe diem all its own. But we’re more than just a pretty face. Montréal is the education and research capital of Canada, ensuring its place as a vibrant and multifaceted metropolis.

Ranking first in Canada for financial investment in university research, Montréal is home to the largest number of research centres in the country. Neuroscience is an area of local expertise, marking Montréal as one of the world’s most active nerve centres in the scientific study of the human nervous system.



Montréal’s universities offer highly respected programs in Neuroscience and behaviour studies, with degrees available at McGill University, Université de Montréal, Concordia, and NeuroQAM at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Each offers extensive opportunities for international students and researchers, all contributing to the world’s Neuroscience communities.

McGill University


Université de Montréal


Concordia University



  • Offering BSc, MSC, and PhD degrees in neuropsychology

Home of NeuroQAM, and the Cognitive Sciences Institute of UQAM


The Ordre des psychologues du Québec, reported over 240 neuroscience professionals active in Montréal, with more than 800 in Québec. The province is home to 39 companies related to Neurosciences, involved in research, medical, and pharmaceutical industries.


The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill – known across the globe as the Neuro – is a world leader in advanced patient care and brain research. Home to an internationally renowned group of researchers, the Neuro’s impact on neuroscience is inestimable.

Founded by Wilder Penfield in 1934, the Neuro has directly helped change humankind’s understanding of our brains and bodies. Some of the most celebrated figures in neuroscience (Brenda Milner and Nobel Prize winner David Hubel just two of a long list of Neuro luminaries) have added to the long list of achievements credited to the centre. These include:

  • The development of Dr. Penfield’s revolutionary Montreal Procedure in the treatment of epilepsy, and the first to map primary somatosensory cotex (the Penfield Homonculus)
  • The pioneering development of the field of neuropsychology
  • Formative use and development of neuroimaging technologies including CAT and MRI

International leader in the development of a comprehensive repository of brain imaging, samples of neurological disorders from centre patients, and other genetic and clinical data


September 2016: McGill wins $84 million grant for neuroscience
McGill University will launch an ambitious effort to advance understanding of the human brain and ease the burden of neurological and mental-health disorders, thanks to an $84 million, seven-year grant under the federal government’s Canada First Excellence Research Fund (CFREF). McGill neuroscientist Dr. Alan Evans is scientific director for this new CFERF grant to McGill.

August 2016: Measuring the brain to diagnose psychiatric or neurological diseases
Researchers at Université Laval and the Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec have developed a measurement model to identify variations in the size of brain structures in people with psychiatric disorders or neurological diseases. This model will confirm a diagnosis, especially when a patient’s symptoms ambiguous.

July 2016: “Big Data” study discovers earliest sign of Alzheimer’s development
Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital have used a powerful tool to better understand the progression of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD), identifying its first physiological signs. Ludmer researchers Dr. Alan Evans and and post-doctoral fellow Yasser Iturria Medina found that, contrary to previous understanding, the first physiological sign of Alzheimer’s disease is a decrease in blood flow in the brain.

June 2016: Researchers open new path of discovery in Parkinson’s disease
A team of scientists led by Dr. Michel Desjardins from the University of Montreal and Dr. Heidi McBride from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (MNI) at McGill University have discovered that two genes associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are key regulators of the immune system, providing direct evidence linking Parkinson’s to autoimmune disease.


[COVID-19] To keep informed about the current situation
Learn more