I am a cognitive neuroscientist with primary research expertise in: (i) Ageing & Neurodegeneration: investigation of structural and functional brain changes associated with ageing, Alzheimer's dementia, and Parkinson's disease; (ii) Plasticity in Recovery: investigation of brain reorganisation following post-stroke aphasia, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury; (iii) Memory & Language: investigation of brain organisation of long-term memory, working memory, and language production.

For more information click my ResearchGate, GoogleScholar or Brain Plasticity Lab pages.

  • BSc (Hons), Psychology, University of Toronto
  • MA, Perception, Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Toronto
  • PhD, Perception, Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Toronto

Areas of Expertise

  • cognitive neuroscience
  • memory & language
  • ageing
  • functional & structural MRI imaging
  • brain stimulation

Publications

  1. & Proactive Recruitment of Frontoparietal and Salience Networks for Voluntary Decisions. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11
  2. & Altered functional connectivity in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsy Research 137, 45-52.
  3. & The method of educational assessment affects children’s neural processing and performance: Behavioural and fMRI Evidence. npj Science of Learning 2(1)
  4. & Grey matter volume differences in the left caudate nucleus of people who stutter. Brain and Language 164, 9-15.
  5. & Functional brain networks involved in gaze and emotional processing. European Journal of Neuroscience 45(2), 312-320.

See more...

Teaching

  • PS-M09 Theoretical Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience

    Cognitive neuroscience is the study of how the brain gives rise to mind and behaviour. Using a variety of imaging and sensing techniques, it is now possible to measure the functional activity of the brain during mental processing. Married with good experimental design, and including insights from clinical populations, this approach holds great potential for illuminating mind and behaviour. This course will begin with a brief description of cognitive neuroscience techniques and an overview of basic structural and functional brain organization. Each week, a current research issue (e.g. the nature of consciousness, the link between perception and action, the representation of objects) will be discussed in detail via the use of recent journal articles. Class participation in presenting and critiquing these papers will be expected. The module will be assessed via written assignment.

  • PS-M11 Generic Research Skills

    These seminars give students grounding in the skills necessary to complete the programme. These skills include: research evaluation strategies, meta-analysis and literature reviews, writing research reports, communication and presentation skills, project planning and development, ethical and legal issues, the use of computer software, and teamwork. These skills will be developed through workshop-style seminars, the conduct of practical tasks, and constructive peer evaluation. Students¿ skills are assessed by their application in project work and a portfolio containing work reflecting the research skills developed over the year.

  • PS-M13 Empirical Projects

    This is the central teaching component of the Masters programme. It involves the practical application of skills acquired in the other components of the course. Across TB1 and TB2 students design, execute, analyse, and provide a written report on 3 projects of their own choosing drawing on their own interests. The students experience working in (a) a large group; (b) smaller groups of three to four, and (c) individually. Each project is supervised by a member of staff with appropriate research interests. Throughout TB1 and TB2 students attend a weekly one-hour seminar/workshop where they discuss all aspects of research design, data analysis and interpretation, and the project write-up.

  • PS-M15 Special Research Skills

    Specialists from a variety of fields in psychology discuss the methods used in their own research area. The subject areas will vary from year to year depending upon the current research interests and activities of the staff. Each seminar is grounded by showing the application of these methods to a particular theory or issue in psychology. Students select two options from those presented (one in TB1 and TB2) and write an essay after consultation with the presenter on a topic geared to their own research interests.

  • PS-M60 Practical Applications in Cognitive Neuroscience

    Students design, execute, analyze and report on projects of their own choosing based around a particular cognitive neuroscience application, drawing on the workshops/seminars which include cognitive psychology, cognitive neuropsychology, eye tracking, electrophysiological, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and brain stimulation techniques. This core module is appropriate to students wishing to pursue a career in cognitive neuroscience.

  • PSA113 Biological Psychology

    This module provides an introduction to biological psychology and the influence of the biological approach on the wider discipline of psychology. Through a series of lectures and tutorials this module will consider the structure and function of the brain and central nervous system and how they underpin human behaviour. The importance of understanding the role of hormones and neurotransmitters on physiology and behaviour as well as the biological basis of individual differences will be covered. These fundamental elements will be explored through by key topics such as emotions, motivated behaviour, language, sleep, learning and memory, and schizophrenia. The importance of understanding evolutionary psychology and gene environment interactions will also be integrated throughout the module.

  • PSY113 Biological Psychology

    This module provides an introduction to biological psychology and the influence of the biological approach on the wider discipline of psychology. Through a series of lectures and tutorials this module will consider the structure and function of the brain and central nervous system and how they underpin human behavior. The importance of understanding the role of hormones and neurotransmitters on physiology and behavior as well as the biological basis of individual differences will be covered. These fundamental elements will be explored through key topics such as emotions, motivated behavior, language, sleep, learning and memory, and schizophrenia. The importance of understanding evolutionary psychology and gene environment interactions will also be integrated throughout the module.

  • PSY303 Neuroimaging & Cognition

    The module provides a comprehensive overview of neuroimaging research investigating cognitive processes, such as memory, language, and emotion processing, with a specific focus on functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging. Topics covered in the lectures include: organisation and reorganisation of higher-cognitive processes in the brain, brain & behaviour interactions, and brain plasticity due to trauma.

  • PSY319 Final Year Independent Research Project

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. The research topic is decided in conjunction with supervisors and Research topics. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • PSY320 Dissertation

    This optional module provides students with the opportunity to conduct an extended literature review to discover what is currently known about an interesting, but less well known, area of psychology that is not taught as part of the psychology curriculum in Level 5 or 6. Students work independently, guided by their dissertation supervisor, to research a topic of their choice. In recent years students have written dissertations about `political psychology¿, `positive psychology¿ `why people take part in extreme sports¿, `does cannabis use cause schizophrenia¿ and many other diverse lines of enquiry.

Supervision

  • A Multimodal Investigation of the effects of fronto-cerebellar transcranial stimulation (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Hayley Young
    Other supervisor: Dr Frederic Boy
    Other supervisor: Dr Claire Hanley

Key Grants and Projects

  • Testing posterior parietal cortex contributions to human episodic memory 2018 - 2021

    Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant, with M. Irish, J. Hodges & L. Marstaller, £205,000

  • Identifying biomarkers of preclinical degeneration 2016 - 2017

    ($24,300 AUD), Rebecca L. Cooper Foundation Medical Research Grant

  • Development of a novel functional imaging protocol to investigate memory complaints in epilepsy patients 2016 - 2017

    ($40,000 AUD), with L. Marstaller, D.Reutens, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital Foundation Research Grant

  • Functional imaging of non-motor disturbance in Parkinson’s disease 2014 - 2016

    ($50,000 AUD), with M. Gray, C. Atay, K. McMahon, D. Copland, Asia-Pacific Centre for Neuromodulation Seeding Grant

  • Prevention of burn injury – The neural correlates of risk-taking behaviours 2015 - 2016

    ($58,247 AUD), with M. Muller, J. Paratz, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital Foundation Research Grant

  • Age-related reorganisation of cortical networks subserving memory retrieval 2013 - 2016

    ($375,000 AUD), Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2013 2016 Research Fellow University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
2009 2013 Postdoctoral Fellow Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

External Responsibilities

  • Affiliated Research Fellow, Centre for Advanced Imaging, University of Queensland, Australia

    2016 - Present

  • Member, Canadian Psychological Association

    2009 - Present

  • PhD Supervisor: Samuel Fynes-Clinton, Centre for Advanced Imaging, University of Queensland, Australia

    2015 - 2018

  • PhD Supervisor: Javier Urriola Yaksic, Centre for Advanced Imaging, University of Queensland, Australia

    2014 - 2017

  • PhD Supervisor: Ilvana Dzafic, Centre for Advanced Imaging, University of Queensland, Australia

    2013 - 2016

  • Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, The Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation

    2016 - 2017

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Website Lead - Department of Psychology

    2016 - Present

  • Director - MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience

    2017 - Present

Research Groups

  • Dementia Research Group

    The Psychology Department Dementia Research Group is composed of staff and PhD students actively engaged in a wide range of research investigating subjective cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment and various aetiologies of dementia.

  • Neuroimaging Group

    The Neuroimaging Group investigates brain function, structure, and neurochemistry of cognitive processes.