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Canada Excellence Research Chair in neuroplasticity

Chaires d’excellence en recherche du Canada


  • Sciences de la santé et de l’alimentation
Steven Laureys

Steven Laureys

Full clinical professor – physician

Faculty of medicine

For the past 25 years, Prof. Laureys has dedicated his professional life to the study of human consciousness and translating that neuroscientific knowledge to better clinical care. Together with his team, colleagues, and industrial partners, he explores the human mind (healthy and disordered) using the latest neurotechnologies (structural and functional MRI, PET, EEG), neuromodulation techniques (tDCS, TMS, vagal nerve stimulation) and wearables assessing cognition, neuroplasticity, brain injury, coma and related states, concussion, sleep, and meditation.

Chair expertise

Integrative neuroscience
Cognitive neurology
Quality of life
Mental wellbeing
Integrative neurology


The overarching goal of the CERC in neuroplasticity is to understand how lifestyle interventions affect the brain, while documenting their potential usefulness (or absence thereof), and ultimately improving their effectiveness in healthy and disordered brains. 

Building on Dr Laureys earlier ground-breaking research, this CERC proposes to use advanced brain imaging techniques to validate the mechanisms underlying integrative medicine and understand its impact on neuroplasticity i.e. the changes in the brain’s wiring. 

Such a holistic approach to assess and treat mental health involves collaboration between experts in cognitive neuroscience, psychology, neurobiology, engineering, informatics as well as clinicians, healthcare providers, social workers, and patient groups.

Mental health is a major societal burden. A growing challenge is the division between biomedical and alternative medicine approaches. Integrative neurology and neuroscience are evolving evidence-based specialties that use complementary therapies in concert with medical treatment to enhance its efficacy, improve symptom control, alleviate insomnia, patient distress, reduce pain, suffering, substance abuse and overuse.


As the Canada Excellence Research Chair in neuroplasticity, neurologist and brain scientist Steven Laureys will use the latest neurotechnologies to understand how neuromodulation and lifestyle interventions (e.g. sleep interventions, physical activity) and mind-body practices (e.g. meditation, hypnosis) can enhance cognition, mental health, and wellbeing in a sustainable way.


Research impacts

This prestigious CERC will help consolidate Université Laval and Québec City’s position as international leaders in neuroscience and mental health research. By combining the unique expertise and vision of Dr Laureys with the multidisciplinary research strengths of Université Laval toward a single research focus, this timely and innovative initiative seeks to empower Canada’s citizens and bridge the gap between “traditional” and “alternative” healthcare, both preventive and curative, for better integrated and sustainable mental care.

Canada Excellence Research Chair in neuroplasticity