Marc Pell

James McGill Professor

Associate Dean and Director, SCSD

marc.pell [at] (Email)

Neuropragmatics and Emotion Lab


BA Linguistics/Slavic Studies, University of Ottawa
MSc & PhD Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University

Research interests

Research in the Pell Lab is motivated by the following goals: to understand how adults communicate nonverbal and nonliteral meanings in spoken language, especially those meanings which refer to a speaker's emotions, attitudes, or other social intentions while speaking; to establish how acquired diseases of the brain, such as stroke or Parkinson's disease, affect these communicative functions and related pragmatic skills; and to describe the neuro-cognitive substrates which appear to support these expressive and receptive language abilities.

We are approaching our goals through behavioural and acoustic studies of healthy adults and through neuropsychological evaluation of brain-damaged adults with suspected difficulties in emotional communicaton and pragmatic language processing. Currently, much of our research is focussed on the role of emotional prosody (i.e. voice tone) in speech communication, although related work on how adults process emotional facial expressions and certain nonliteral forms of language (e.g. sarcasm, metaphors) is also underway. (More info ....Neuropragmatics and Emotion Lab)

Representative Publications

Liu, P., Rigoulot, S., & Pell, M.D. (2015). Cultural Differences in on-line sensitivity to emotional voices: comparing East and West. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 311.

Jiang, X. & Pell, M. D. (2015). On how the brain decodes vocal cues about speaker confidence. Cortex, 66, 9-34.

Rigoulot, R., & Pell, M.D. (2014). Emotion in the voice influences the way we scan emotional faces.  Speech Communication, 65, 36-49.

Rigoulot, S., Wassiliwizky, E., & Pell, M. D. (2013). Feeling backwards? How temporal order in speech affects the time course of vocal emotion recognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 1-14.

Paulmann, S., Titone, D., & Pell, M.D. (2012). How emotional prosody guides your way: evidence from eye movements. Speech Communication, 54, 92-107. 

Pell, M.D. & Kotz, S.A. (2011). On the time course of vocal emotion recognition.PLoS ONE, 6 (11): e27256.

Pell, M.D., Monetta, L.,Paulmann, S., & Kotz, S.A. (2009). Recognizing emotions in a foreign language. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 33 (2), 107-120.

Monetta, L., Grindrod, C., & Pell, M.D. (2009). Irony comprehension and theory of mind deficits in patients with Parkinson's disease. Cortex, 45 (8), 972-981.

Cheang, H.S. & Pell, M.D. (2008). The sound of sarcasm. Speech Communication, 50 (5), 366-381.

Pell, M.D. & Leonard, C.L. (2003). Processing emotional tone from speech in Parkinson’s disease: a role for the basal ganglia. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 3 (4), 275-288.

View more publications