Master's Students

Olivia Richards

I completed my Bachelors degree from Carleton University, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. Following this I continued my studies at Carleton and in 2018 completed my MA in Experimental Psychology in the Social Diversity Lab under the supervision of Dr. Kim Matheson. In my thesis I assessed the validity of the newly created Unintentional Racism Scale (URS) that would address the nuances of racism (by differentiating intent from harm, and being sensitive to situational complexities and variations) towards Indigenous Peoples in Canada. After I graduated, I worked for the Government of Canada as a Policy Analyst for the Department of Women and Gender Equality as well as a Data Analyst at the Public Health Agency of Canada. I moved to UWO and joined the CONCH Lab in 2021 to work with Dr. Johnsrude as a student in the Clinical Science and Psychopathology program. My current research is focused on developing and validating a tool incorporating subjective and objective measures of mental fatigue to capture the experience of individuals in specific neurological populations including people with epilepsy, those with hearing loss, and people who have suffered from concussions. A secondary goal of this research is to explore the underlying physiological and neurological processes that underpin fatigue after mentally strenuous tasks

Bruno Mesquita

Coming soon...

Nima Zargarnezhad

I obtained my Bachelor's degree from the Sharif University of Technology in Electrical Engineering (specializing in Biomedical Engineering). Currently, I'm a Master's student in the Neuroscience and Music Cognition programs at Western University. I'm mostly interested in the perceptual organization of sound and music in complex auditory scenes (such as orchestras and music ensembles) and how the auditory system uses spatial information to organize perception. I'm approaching this question with a naturalistic setup where I simulate the free-field hearing experience in my experiments using the Audio Dome we have at Western. I'm also interested in neuroimaging and what we can learn from naturalistic task paradigms in the fMRI scanner (Movie-Watching paradigm) compared to resting state fMRI data. Currently, I'm working on the Human Connectome Project (HCP) data to address a few questions about the synchrony between different participants' brains and the dynamics of functional connectivity during watching movies in the scanner.

Ali Tafakkor

I finished my Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering (with a Biomedical Engineering focus) at the Sharif University of Technology. Then, I started my Master's in Neuroscience under Dr. Mohsenzadeh's and Dr. Johnsrude's supervision at Western University in September 2021. I was awarded the Vector Institute scholarship in Artificial Intelligence (2021-2022) for research in cognitive neuroscience employing artificial intelligence approaches. Human perception: how the brain represents and perceives the world and how the information from different sensory modalities are integrated, in particular, inspires my curiosity. The question I'm pursuing in my current research project is about the temporal and spatial dynamics of semantic category's representation in audition and whether it is similar to vision. Aspiring to gather more evidence in favor of hierarchical processing in the auditory cortex and a modality-independent representation of semantic categories in the brain, I'm conducting an EEG and fMRI fusion study to address the question. Further, I am intrigued by modeling the brain with Artificial Neural Networks and investigating what these models imply about brain processes besides how inspirations from the brain can improve AI.

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.

Jonah Nemiroff

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.