Joël Macoir

Joël Macoir,

Full professor

Early detection of neurodegenerative diseases by language tests and other cognitive tests

Professor Joël Macoir's research aims to develop and validate tests to detect or diagnose language and cognition disorders associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, progressive primary aphasia and other forms of dementia. Recently, projects in this area of ​​research have led to the development of a quick and simple test that can be administered by frontline health care professionals to detect the presence of language disorders commonly observed in pathological aging.

Research projects conducted by Dr. Macoir's team also aim to develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of therapeutic approaches, in which new technologies are used, to treat language and cognition disorders. His team has recently shown the effectiveness of a remote rehabilitation approach (tele-telephony), and of self-administered treatments using an electronic tablet, to improve the language skills of people suffering from aphasia following a stroke or progressive primary aphasia.

Finally, some of Macoir's research aims to better understand the origin of acquired language and cognition disorders, affecting, for example, the ability to find words in memory, to read, to write, to count.

My research work relates to the study of language and number processing deficits, as well as on the relationship between long-term memory, language and calculation in brain-damaged patients (aphasia, Alzheimer's disease, other forms of dementia, Parkinson's disease, etc.).

My research studies are conducted in the following areas:

  1. Long-term memory (procedural and semantic), language and number processing (procedural origin of language and numerical deficits; organization of semantic memory, characterization of semantic deficits in mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia; impact of semantic deficits on reading, spelling, and numerical abilities);
  2. Characterization of language and cognitive deficits in atypical dementias (primary progressive aphasias);
  3. Cognitive approach and use of new technologies for the treatment of acquired deficits of language and cognition.

Macoir, J., Audet, T. & Breton, M-F. (1999). Code-dependent pathways for number transcoding: Evidence from a case of selective impairment in written verbal numeral to arabic transcoding. Cortex, 35 (5), 629-645.

Macoir, J. (2009). Is a plum a memory problem? Longitudinal study of the reversal of concreteness effect in a patient with semantic dementia. Neuropsychologia, 47, 518-535.

Bier, N. & Macoir, J. (2010). How to make a spaghetti sauce with a dozen of small things that I can not name: A review of the impact of semantic memory deficits on everyday action. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 32 (2), 201-211.

Macoir, J., Fossard, M., Nespoulous, J-L, Demonet, J-F & Bachoud-Lévi, A-C (2010). The application of rules in morphology, syntax and number processing: A case of selective deficit of procedural or executive mechanisms? Neurocase, 16 (4), 358-376.

Macoir, J., Fossard, M., Saint-Pierre, M-C. & Auclair-Ouellet, N. (2012). Phonological or procedural dyslexia: Specific deficit of complex grapheme-to-phoneme conversion". Journal of Neurolinguistics, 25 (3), 163–177. doi:10.1016/j.jneuroling.2011.11.002.

Bier, N., Bottari, C., Hudon, C., Joubert, S. Paquette, G. & Macoir, J. (2013). The impact of semantic dementia on everyday actions: Evidence from an ecological study. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 19, 162-172. doi:10.1017/S1355617712001105

Macoir, J., Fossard, M., Mérette, C., Langlois, M., Chantal, S. & Auclair-Ouellet, N. (2013). The role of basal ganglia in language production: evidence from Parkinson's disease. Journal of Parkinson's disease, 3, 393-397.

Routhier, S., Bier, N., & Macoir, J. (2015). The contrast between cueing and/or observation in therapy for verb retrieval in post-stroke aphasia. Journal of Communication Disorders, 54, 43-55.

Macoir, J., Leroy, M., Routhier, S., Auclair-Ouellet, N., Houde, M. & Laforce, R. Jr. (2015). Improving verb anomia in the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia: the effectiveness of a semantic-phonological cueing treatment. Neurocase, 21:4, 448-456.

Macoir, J., Laforce, R. Jr, Brisson, M. & Wilson, M. (2015). Preservation of lexical-semantic knowledge of adjectives in the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia: Implications for theoretical models of semantic memory. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 34, 1-14. doi:10.1016/j.jneuroling.2014.11.003

Lavoie, M., Routhier, S., Légaré, A. & Macoir, J. (2016). Treatment of verb anomia in aphasia: efficacy of self-administered therapy using a smart tablet. Neurocase, 22(1), 109-118. DOI:10.1080/13554794.2015.1051055.

Routhier, S., Bier, N., & Macoir, J. (2016). Smart tablet for smart self-administered treatment of verb anomia: Two single-case studies in aphasia. Aphasiology, 30 (2-3), 269-289. doi:10.1080/02687038.2014.973361.

Macoir, J., Gauthier, C., Jean, C. & Potvin, O. (2016). BECLA, a new assessment battery for acquired deficits of language: Normative data from Quebec-French healthy younger and older adults. Journal of Neurological Sciences, 361, 220-228.

Boumaraf, A. & Macoir, J. (2016). The influence of visual word form in reading: single case study of an Arabic patient with deep dyslexia. Reading and Writing, 29 (1), 137-158. doi: 10.1007/s11145-015-9583-y.

Auclair-Ouellet, N., Macoir, J., Laforce, Jr. R. & Fossard, M. (2016) Regularity and beyond: impaired production and comprehension of inflectional morphology in semantic dementia. Brain and Language, 155-156, 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2016.02.002

Lafay, A., St-Pierre, M-C. & Macoir, J. (2016). The mental number line in dyscalculia: Impaired number sense or access from symbolic numbers? Journal of Learning Disabilities, Online First doi: 10.1177/0022219416640783.

Auclair-Ouellet, N., Fossard, M., Laforce, Jr. R., Bier, N. & Macoir, J. (2016) Conception or *concevation? The processing of derivational morphology in semantic dementia. Aphasiology. First published online April 8, 2016. doi: 10.1080/02687038.2016.1168918

Language impairment
Semantic memory
Alexia and agraphia
Cognitive rehabilitation
New technologies

Joel Macoir


2601 Chemin de la Canardière
Québec (Québec)
G1J 2G3



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