Cortical Changes Linked to Semantic Integration

In this project, we will use computerized games to teach second language material to adults. We will use neuroimaging and eye-tracking (a measurement of a person’s eye movements, which can provide information about reading and the processing of language). Adult learners will complete a 5-day game-based second language-training program. Their brain activity and eye movements will be monitored while they perform reading and auditory language tasks, before and after training.

Reproducibility of diffusion MRI white matter structural connectome

The ensemble of the human brain wiring configuration is known as the connectome. Using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, we can approximate the connectome and use it to increase our understanding of normal function and of neuro-diseases. However, the complex interactions between each steps from brain images to the final wires give rise to many potential sources of error. Using an array of modern simulations of these steps, we will study and disentangle the effect of their interactions to increase the accuracy of the connectome estimation in humans.

Exploring subliminal processing using instrumental hypnosis

Cognitive scientists typically divide cognition between controlled and automatic processes. This framework construes controlled processes as being voluntary and effortful and automatic processes as involuntarily and effortless. Automatic processes are therefore considered outside the scope of voluntary control. Undermining this notion, studies show that hypnosis – an enhanced form of mental absorption and self-regulation – can actually suppress automatic response. Hypnosis therefore provides a mean to alter mental processes that appear immune to cognitive control.

A general population study of Brazilian lottery players who engage in ‘Jogo do Bicho’ (Brazilian Animal Game) and their motivations

Jogo Do Bicho, also known as the Brazilian Animal Game (BAG), is an immensely popular illegal gambling game in Brazil. Indeed, BAG generates over 60% more in revenues than legal lotteries. This is a concern as the revenue from BAG is used to fund criminal activities. Further, draws for BAG occur more frequently than the official state lotteries, which may increase the probability of an individual developing a gambling addiction. Unfortunately, there have only been a few research studies on BAG, which have focused on gamblers in treatment who make up a small portion of gamblers overall.

Neural and autonomic correlates of post-traumatic stress disorder during processing of trauma-related stimuli

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) emerges after the exposure to an event that elicits horror or helplessness, including threat of injury or death to one's self or another person. Community-based studies have evaluated its occurrence with a lifetime prevalence of 9.2% in the Canadian population. This research project aims to develop innovative, neural-substrate based, and novel theoretical paradigms for understanding psychological trauma and its clinical outcomes, including problems in emotion regulation, self-awareness, social emotional and self-referential processing.

Perception and Action interactions (New)

The influence of experience on visually- and haptically-guided grasping.
Because the visuomotor system must update information, moment to moment, as the body and the visual world moves, it has been considered to operate ?online,? and its computations are performed without conscious awareness. Some studies however, have shown that reach-to-grasp movements are susceptible to the influence of practice or experience. In one study we showed that awkward grasps (grasps made using the thumb and ring finger) are initially sensitive to a visual illusion.

Global Special Interest Group (SIG) on Early Identification and Intervention in Autism

The project title is the Global Special Interest Group (SIG) on Early Identification and Intervention in Autism. Formed in 2012, the aim of this project is to enhance research impact in diverse communities through the iterative and dynamic process of knowledge translation: the synthesis, dissemination, exchange, and application of knowledge to improve quality of life for people affected by autism. The SIG is a knowledge translation network which brings together over 100 researchers, clinicians, and advocates from over 20 countries.

Role of metabolic inflammation in depressive behavior

Obesity and diabetes are significant risk factors for mood disorders. Diabetes doubles the incidence of depression and as many as 1 in 3 people with diabetes has depressed mood at a level that diminishes functioning, glycemic control, adherence to treatment and increases the risk of diabetes complications. Over consumption of energy-dense foods significantly contribute to the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Palatable high-fat foods are rewarding and can provide short-term relief from stress and negative emotional states.

The cognitive neuroscience of indeterminate language interpretation

A hallmark of linguistic communication is that 'what is said' often underdetermines 'what is intended' by a given utterance. Sentences such as 'The author began the book' or 'The boy finished the game' are semantically indeterminate because it is not clear what the author or the boy were really doing. When the activity is not specified, interpreting these common types of sentences might rely on different linguistic and cognitive processes.

Crosstalk between the two visual streams

We will vary the strength of a feature in one stream and measure perception (discrimination task), processing time, and action (eye movements) of a feature in the other stream.
Prior relevant research:
Tchernikov & Fallah (2010)
Perry & Fallah (2012) Awaiting more information from the professor. Please check back soon. Do not contact Globalink Research Internships.