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Our Lab

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Dr. Ingrid Johnsrude

Principal Investigator

Dr. Johnsrude received her BSc in Psychology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She then trained at the Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University with pioneering neuropsychologist Brenda Milner, receiving her PhD in clinical psychology in 1997. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging in London UK, the home of Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM), she was recruited to the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK to help start a neuroimaging program there. In Cambridge, she worked with, and learned from, many wonderful auditory and cognitive scientists. After four years there, she returned to her alma mater, Queen's University, where she held a prestigious Canada Research Chair for 10 years. She was recruited to Western University in 2014, as the first Western Research Chair. Dr Johnsrude’s work has been recognized by awards and honours including NSERC’s EWR Steacie Award, and she is particularly proud of her IgNobel Prize, with Eleanor Maguire and others, for ‘the London taxi-driver study’. Dr Johnsrude has published over 100 papers and articles, which together have been cited over 22,000 times. Postdoctoral and graduate trainees have gone onto professional careers in audiology and clinical psychology, to industrial research careers at international and Canadian companies, and to academic positions in Canada, the US, the UK and Europe. More than half of Dr Johnsrude’s undergraduate trainees have gone on to professional training (audiology, business, law, medicine, speech pathology) or to graduate school.

Current Ph.D. Students

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Caroline Chadwick

I completed my Bachelors degree from Queens University, majoring in Political Studies, before moving to Ireland where I completed a Higher Diploma in Psychology. In University College Dublin's Media and Entertainment Lab under the supervision of Dr. Brendan Rooney, I studied the effects of perceptual and conceptual cues on feelings of presence in a virtual environment and the applications of virtual reality as a neuropsychological assessment tool. After working as an Assistant Psychologist at Highfield Healthcare, I moved to UWO to work with Dr. Johnsrude as a student in the Clinical Science and Psychopathology program. My current research examines functional brain restructuring in individuals with temporal lobe epilepsy and explores how these changes are related to cognitive functioning.

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Jaimy Hannah

In 2018, I completed my Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Physics from the University of Calgary. After that, I obtained a Master of Science in Psychology, also from the University of Calgary. My undergraduate thesis focused on hippocampal volumes and structural integrity in very poor spatial navigators. During my master's degree, I received NSERC funding to investigate how spatial metaphor processing is related to spatial cognition as measured by performance on spatial tasks. I joined CoNCH Lab in the summer of 2020 and officially started the Ph.D. program in cognitive, developmental, and brain sciences (CDBS) at Western University that fall. I was fortunate to receive an NSERC PGS-D to support my Ph.D. research. I plan to investigate individual differences in listening effort associated with audiovisual speech perception using behavioural and neuroimaging methods.

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Madison Tutton

coming soon.

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Olivia Richards

coming soon.

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Sonia Varma

I obtained my Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Ottawa, and my Master’s of Science here at Western. I am currently in the Neuroscience Doctoral program. During my MSc, I used electroencephalography (EEG) and a novel stimulus paradigm to simultaneously measure electrophysiological responses from subcortical and cortical auditory areas, and evaluate how responses are related across levels. Currently, my research focuses on identifying neural signatures in electrophysiological data that distinguish listeners who achieve high intelligibility while experiencing low effort in noisy listening conditions, from those who experience difficulty listening in noise. I aim to use these signatures to guide an EEG-based neuro-feedback training.

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Joseph Rovetti

I completed a BA in Psychology at Ryerson University, where my honours thesis—supervised by Dr. Frank A. Russo—was the first study to use functional near-infrared spectroscopy to measure listening effort in hearing aid users. After graduating, I spent a year gaining experience in an assortment of other psychology labs, with research topics ranging from decision neuroscience to quantitative methodology. I am currently working toward an MSc in Psychology (Cognitive, Developmental, and Brain Sciences) at Western University, supervised by Dr. Ingrid Johnsrude. Here, I continue to research listening effort, specifically how the recruitment of cognitive resources during listening may give rise to the subjective feeling of listening being effortful.

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Hana Abbas

I obtained a Bachelor's of Science from the University of Toronto at Scarborough in Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology, with a focus on visual object recognition processes. I then completed a Master of Arts at the University of Manitoba in the domain of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, focusing on obstacle avoidance during memory-guided reaching and grasping. Currently, I am a Master of Science student in the Clinical Science and Psychopathology program at UWO, with research utilizing a naturalistic fMRI stimulus to explore functional connectivity differences in the brains of people with medically refractory epilepsy compared to healthy controls.

Current Master's Students

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Alina Kuimova

I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Linguistics from York University (Toronto) in 2021 and then completed my Masters -- also in Linguistics, also at York -- in 2022. My Master's thesis focused on how attention and prior knowledge affect perception and misperception of degraded speech. Currently, I'm working towards a MSc in Neuroscience at Western, supervised by Dr. Johnsrude. My research will focus on how cognitive control and motivation affect speech comprehension and listening effort in difficult listening conditions.

I received a Bachelor’s of Medical Sciences at the University of Western Ontario in 2022 with a double major in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences and Pharmacology. I then went right into my Masters in Neuroscience also at Western, and am interested in the link between music and emotion, and our perception of reality. Outside of school I spend most of my time playing piano and guitar and writing music for my band—Moonflowers. I also love photography, mushroom foraging, and rock climbing.

Bruno Mesquita

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coming soon.

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Jonah Nemiroff

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Nima Zargarnezhad

coming soon.

Current Undergraduate Students

I am a fourth year student at Western completing an Honours Specialization in Neuroscience. I am currently working with Joseph and Ingrid on completing my thesis investigating the relationship between knowledge of speaker identity and intelligibility benefits during speech perception.

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Aditi Nayak

Shreyo Roy-Chowdhury

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Coming soon.

Andreia Rodrigues

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Coming soon.

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Juwairiya Ahmad

Coming soon.

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Robert Menzie

Coming soon.

Lab Alumni

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Dr. Vanessa Irsik

Post-Doc

Sounds are ubiquitous in most natural settings and are a fundamental part of basic perceptual experience. Yet, sound perception in real-world situations can be particularly challenging due to inherent processing constraints of the auditory system and the overall complexity of most listening environments. Thus far, my research has focused on using a combination of behavioral and physiological measures (i.e., EEG) to better understand how we perceptually organize complex auditory scenes, and the limitations of our scene analysis processes via investigating the phenomenon of change deafness. Currently, I am interested in identifying the neural substrates of the auditory processing deficits that occur as we age. In particular, I am interested in examining how processing in cortical and subcortical structures contribute to the temporal processing deficits observed in older adults.