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Maximiliano A. Wilson,
Ph. D.

Associate Professor - Regular researcher

Investigating the effects of aging on language

Professor Maximiliano Wilson studies the effects of aging on language, and specifically its effects on reading and understanding the meaning of words, known as semantics.

By combining behavioral studies with advanced imaging techniques of the brain, he studies how the brain processes language, and its modification with age and under the effect of diseases such as progressive primary aphasia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Wilson's studies also aim to determine the importance of the factors that influence the way language is treated, such as the frequency of word use, the age of acquisition, the morphology of words, and the characteristics of the person (presence or absence of aphasia or other condition, and bilingualism, for example)

In collaboration with researchers Joël Macoir and Laura Monetta, from the CERVO Research Center, Dr. Wilson's team recently developed a test for detecting language disorders associated with neurodegenerative diseases. This test, which can be administered by a general practitioner in five minutes, allows early diagnosis of the warning signs of diseases, and thus interventions to slow or even stop its evolution.

Dr. Wilson is interested in the study of reading and semantic processing during normal and impaired (such as mono- and bilingual aphasic patients and primary progressive aphasias) aging.

He is also interested in the influence of lexical (e.g., frequency of use) and semantic (e.g., age-of-acquisition, imageability, morphology) psycholinguistic variables in visual word processing.

He uses an approach that combines behavioral methodologies taken from psycholinguistics and neuropsychology and brain imaging (fMRI and aMRI) techniques to study normal and impaired language processing.

PhD Students:
• Josefina D'Alessio
• Niobe Haitas
• Marilyne Joyal

Master's Students:
• Anne-Émilie Chamberland
• Jean-Daniel Guay
• Jessy Morin
• Florence Pelchat-Fortin
• Ariane Pétel-Despots
• Catherine Vallières

Research Assistants:
• Kathleen Côté
• Gabrielle Déry
• Roxanne Paris-Blais
• Maude Pouliot

Selected articles / Articles choisis


Bergeron, S., Pichette, D., Ciquier, G., Dubé, C., Brambati, S. M., & Wilson, M. A. (2014). La sémantique, la lecture de mots irréguliers et les lobes temporaux antérieurs [Semantics, irregular word reading and the anterior temporal lobes]. Rééducation Orthophonique, 260, 83-102.

Boukadi, M., Davies, R., & Wilson, M. A. (2015). Bilingual lexical selection as a dynamic process: Evidence from Arabic-French bilinguals. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(4), 297-313. doi: 10.1037/cep0000063

Boukadi, M., Zouaidi, C., & Wilson, M. A. (2016). Norms for name agreement, familiarity, subjective frequency, and imageability for 348 object names in Tunisian Arabic. Behavior Research Methods, 48(2), 585-599. doi: 10.3758/s13428-015-0602-3

Boukadi M., Potvin, K., Macoir, J., Laforce, R. J., Poulin, S., Brambati, S. M., & Wilson, M. A. (2016). Lexical decision with pseudohomophones and reading in the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia: A double dissociation. Neuropsychologia, 86, 45-56. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.04.014

Bourgeois-Marcotte, J., Wilson, M. A., Forest, M., & Monetta, L. (2015). TEFREP: Épreuve de répétition de phrases en franco-québécois. Développement, validation et normalisation [TEFREP: Sentence repetition test in French-Canadian. Development, validation and norms]. Canadian Journal on Aging, 34(3), 1-6. doi: 10.1017/S0714980815000173

Chapleau, M., Wilson, M. A., Potvin, K., Harvey-Langton, A., Montembeault, M., & Brambati, S. M. (2015). Word reading aloud skills: Their positive redefinition through ageing. Journal of Research in Reading, 1–16. doi: 10.1111/1467-9817.12065

Chedid, G., Wilson, M. A., Provost, J. S., Joubert, S., Rouleau, I., & Brambati, S. M. (2016). Differential Involvement of the Anterior Temporal Lobes in Famous People Semantics. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(1333). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01333

Davies, R., Wilson, M. A., Cuetos, F., & Burani, C. (2014). Reading in Spanish and Italian: Effects of age of acquisition in transparent orthographies? The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67(9), 1808-1825. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2013.872155

Jaichenco, V., & Wilson, M. A. (2013). El rol de la morfología en el proceso de aprendizaje de la lectura en español [The role of morphology in reading acquisition in Spanish]. Interdisciplinaria, 30(1), 85-99.

Macoir, J., Laforce, R. J., Monetta, L., & Wilson, M. A. (2014). Language deficits in major forms of dementia and primary progressive aphasias: An update according to new diagnostic criteria. Gériatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement, 12(2), 199-208. doi: 10.1684/pnv.2014.0466

Provost, J. S., Brambati, S. M., Chapleau, M., & Wilson, M. A. (2016). The effect of aging on the brain network for exception word reading. Cortex, 84, 90-100. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.09.005

Wilson, M. A., Cuetos, F., Davies, R., & Burani, C. (2013). Revisiting Age-of-Acquisition Effects in Spanish Visual Word Recognition: The Role of Item Imageability. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 39(6), 1842-1859. doi: 10.1037/a0033090

Wilson, M. A., Ellis, A. W., & Burani, C. (2012). Age-of-acquisition affects word naming in Italian only when stress is irregular. Acta Psychologica, 139, 417–424.

Wilson, M. A., Joubert, S., Ferré, P., Belleville, S., Ansaldo, A. I., Joanette, Y., . . . Brambati, S. M. (2012). The role of the left anterior temporal lobe in exception word reading: Reconciling patient and neuroimaging findings. NeuroImage, 60, 2000-2007. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.02.009

Wilson, M. A., & Martínez-Cuitiño, M. (2012). Semantic dementia without surface dyslexia in Spanish: unimpaired reading with impaired semantics. Behavioural Neurology, 25(3), 273-284. doi: 10.3233/BEN-2012-119009


Selected book chapters / Chapitres de livre sélectionnés


Oliveira Cardoso, C., Wilson, M. A., & Fonseca, R. P. (2014). Evidências de Fidedignidade da Bateria MAC Breve - MAC B. In F. Casarin Schwengber, L. C. Scherer, M. A. Mattos Pimenta Parente, P. Ferré, H. Côté, B. Ska, Y. Joanette & R. P. Fonseca (Eds.), Bateria Montreal de Avaliação da Comunicação Breve – versão abreviada - Bateria MAC Breve – MAC B (pp. 45-49). Sao Paulo, Brazil: Pró Fono.

Joanette, Y., Ferré, P., & Wilson, M. A. (2013). Right-Hemisphere Damage and Communication. In L. Cummings (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Communication Disorders (pp. 247-265). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Wilson, M. A., Kahlaoui, K., & Weekes, B. S. (2012). Acquired dyslexia and dysgraphia in bilinguals across alphabetical and non-alphabetical scripts In M. R. Gitterman, M. Goral & L. K. Obler (Eds.), Aspects of multilingual aphasia (pp. 187-204). UK: Multilingual Matt

Dr. Wilson holds a Ph.D. in Health Sciences (profile in Neuropsychology), Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has done a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (ISTC) in Rome (2007-2009) and a second postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre de recherche de l’IUGM (2009-2011). He is currently Associate Professor at the Speech-Language Pathology program, Département de réadaptation, Faculté de médecine, Université Laval, associate researcher at the Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM) and regular researcher at the Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec (CRIUSMQ).


neuropsychology, psycholinguistics, cognitive neuroscience, language, aging, neurodegenerative diseases, reading, morphology

Maximiliano Wilson

(418) 663-5741


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



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