Everyone is welcome here (except, of course, those who have borrowed books from me for and have not returned them yet 😉)


I am an aging homo-sapiens still drinking too much coffee.

Following the seminal work of scientific pionneer Anatole de l'Amelacque (see the picture below), I use brain imaging to try and understand the brain machinery that allows us to speak (even if not everybody needs a brain to speak).

brain imaging pionner

Current Position

  • Research scientist (Directeur de Recherche CNRS) at the INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit.

  • Postal address : INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging unit Neurospin center Bât 145, Point Courier 156 F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex FRANCE

  • Tel : +33 1 69 08 79 34, Fax : +33 1 69 08 79 73

  • Email: christophe@pallier.org

  • Link to my full Academic CV

  • The list of my published papers, as well as the pdf for most of them, is available on this page.


Professional Experiences

Awards, Prizes

  • 2013 "#1 Dad" (attested by a keychain)
  • 2018 Google Maps "Master Photographer" badge (more than 130.326.436 views on Oct. 29 2023)
  • 2021 Angry Bird Friends highest badge of honor ("Legend")

Teaching Experiences

Former and current trainees, Phd students, postdocs,...

Charlotte Jacquemot , Valérie Ventureyra , Narly Golestani , Anne-Dominique Devauchelle-Lodeho , Chavie Fiszer , Ylan Boureau , Kepa Erdocia , Elodie Cauvet , Begonia Diaz , Asaf Bachrach , Volker Ressel , Sophie Gallot , Doug Bemis , Chotiga Pattamadilok , Amaia Carrion , Corinne Jola , Yihui Hung , Claire Chang , Yi-Chen Lin , 劉允中 , MiXue Tan , Valentina Borghesani , Murielle Fabre , Martin Perez-Guevarra , Alexandre Pasquiou , Bosco Taddei , Corentin Bel

(Note: If I forgot you and you wish to added, please contact me)


When you study one neuron, it's Neuroscience. When you study two neurons, it's Psychology

How does the brain decode the acoustic signal of speech, recognize words and comprehend sentences? My research interests encompass speech processing, language comprehension, bilingualism and second language acquisition. I explore these questions using the tools of experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience.

My main findings are the following:

  • Listeners use language-specific constrains, and in particular the syllabic structure of their language, to parse the speech signal (Pallier et al, 1993; Dupoux et al, 1999, 2001).
  • Early and intensive exposure to a second language does not guarantee attainment of native-like perception (Pallier et al. 1997, Pallier et al. 2001)
  • Early and intensive exposure to a language does not guarantee stable and irreversible learning: on the contrary, a first language can be mostly forgotten as studies on adoptees attest (Pallier et al. 2003, Ventureyra et al. 2004)
  • Using sine-wave stimuli that can be perceived either as noise or as speech, we highlighted brain regions involved in speech perception (Dehaene-Lambertz et al. 2005)
  • Contrasting French and Japanese, we highlighted the brain regions involved in phonological processing (Jacquemot et al, 2003)
  • "Good" and "bad" learners of foreign language show different brain responses and have detectable differences in brain structures (Chee et al. 2004; Golestani et al. 2007)
  • We have explored the language understanding network with an emphasis on syntactic parsing (Devauchelle et al. 2009, Pallier et al. 2011). We are currently exploring similarities and differences between Music and Language syntactic processing.

Also, I have developed the "Lexique" database of French with my colleague Boris New.


Below is a picture of Antoni Valero Cabre zapping stimulating my Broca's area using transcranianial magnetic stimulation.

chrplr zapped with TMS

Who knows? One day, I might become a retrophrenologist.

Personal bio.