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The Lab


Brian Levine, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Rebecca Todd, Ph.D.

My doctoral research focused on mapping brain activation patterns underlying emotional processing in young children, as well as studying individual differences in temperament and the development of self-control in childhood. Current research interests include investigating the effects of emotional arousal on the subjective experience of perceptual vividness following traumatic experience, and links between perceptual vividness and emotional memory. I am also interested in the influence of positive emotional states on both perceptual and conceptual processing, and the neural mechanisms underlying such influences.

Louis Renoult, Ph.D.

My general interest is in the field of cognitive neuroscience of memory and more precisely in the characterization of the similarities, differences and interactions between the semantic and episodic systems. Recent interests include personal semantic memory and how this type of memory may be situated in relation to the two broad systems of declarative memory. This involves investigating the neural bases of personal semantic memory with event-related potentials (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and comparing them with those of general semantic and episodic memory. Other interests include the nature of semantic representations in the brain, the neural correlates of consciousness, and the similarities between perception and imagination.

Graduate Students (Primary)

Charlene O'Connor

More to come...

Nadine Richard

I still pretty much look like this. But these days, in addition to my love of Lego and comfy sleepwear, I’m also into cognitive and clinical neuropsychology. I’m especially interested in the idea of adaptive neural networks, and the impact of white matter injury on networks involving the frontal lobes. To study brain changes associated with injury, recovery, and neuroplasticity, I work with people who have had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or have multiple sclerosis (MS). I have used fMRI, and am now using EEG, to look at the brain bases of attention and executive abilities in these populations, particularly as these relate to self-regulation and goal-driven behaviour. As part of the Levine Lab Rehab Sub-Committee, I am also running a RCT comparing two programs we have designed for people with MS who have deficits in attention and executive abilities. All of which leaves me little time to play with my Lego, but I guess that's (part of) the price of a PhD...

Daniela Palombo

I have been a part of Levinia for a few years, which have been lots of fun (and lots of work!). When I joined the lab, my experience had been in non-human research, but I became more interested in facets of memory that are difficult to study in rodents, so I switched to human research. I am primarily interested in episodic autobiographical memory (AM), which is a particular type of memory that allows individuals to subjectively “re-live” personal events. There is great deal of variability of this capacity among healthy people. While some individuals have superior episodic AM, others show great difficulty in remembering personal events. For my PhD research, I am exploring some of the factors that relate to these individual differences, using a combination of methods. The first part of this study investigates cognitive factors that relate to episodic AM, using an online questionnaire that we have recently developed. Click here if you want to learn a bit more about this study. In the second part of this study, I am using functional neuroimaging to exploring the neural correlates of these individual differences. The final part of this research program involves exploring genetic variants that influence episodic AM. Click here to learn more about the DNA Affect and Memory Project (D.A.M.P). Aside, from my PhD work, I am part of a research team that investigates the neural correlates of traumatic memory in near plane crash survivors. Click here for more information on this study. In my spare time, away from Levinia, I enjoy fine (student) dining, travelling, going to concerts, playing Nintendo, redecorating my office, and daydreaming! 

Michael Armson

I recently graduated from McGill University with a B.A. & Sc. in Psychology, Anthropology, and English. For my undergraduate thesis, I conducted research to find out if the beta-blocker propranolol could disrupt the reconsolidation of a morphine place preference in rats. In the Levine lab, I plan on continuing my study of memory, but in humans rather than animals. In particular, I will be using functional neuroimaging and behavioural methods to explore individual differences in autobiographical memory. Outside of the lab, I enjoy listening to all genres of music, jamming on my saxophone, playing soccer, hockey, basketball and tennis, going for runs, eating good food, and watching good movies.

Graduate Students (Affiliated)

Anjali Raja

Anjali's research focuses on investigating neural networks underlying attention and language in healthy and brain-injured subjects (primarily TBI and stroke). More generally, she is interested in how measures of integration of neural processes (multiscale entropy, coherence) can be related to recovery from brain injury.

Research Assistants

Priya Kumar

I have recently graduated from the University of Toronto, with an Honours B.Sc. in Neuroscience and Psychology. For my honours thesis, I studied the conceptual representation of abstract concepts. In the future, I hope to pursue this line of research and be the first woman to go where no man has gone form a complete, embodied and grounded theory of abstract concepts! In the Levine lab, my current responsibilities include assisting with the cognitive rehabilitation project for MS patients and scoring autobiographical memories. When I'm not in the lab, I'm either volunteering at CAMH, adding to my massive book collection, or watching reruns of Battlestar Galactica.

Wayne Khuu

I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto in 2009 in Human Behavioral Biology and Psychology. My undergraduate project in the Levine Lab focused on the electrophysiology of sustained attention in healthy individuals. This project was part of a larger on-going study on cognitive rehabilitation for diffuse brain injury (MS, TBI, and  Stroke) patients. Currently, my work involves a diverse array of tasks that sample the spectrum of the world of research from participant recruitment to data analysis and many things in between for almost all on-going projects in the lab. When I'm not in the lab you can find me at TKMT learning the science of the eight limbs, running laps around downtown Toronto, the Baycrest gym, performing edible experiments in my kitchen, or on the 7 Bathurst bus. Humans are creatures of habit, right?

Leann Lapp

I’ve recently returned to Toronto after completing my Masters degree in Brain & Mind Sciences in London & Paris. Through my research experience abroad as well as at CAMH, I’ve developed a passionate interest in autobiographical memory, investigated through genetics and neuroimaging, and its relationship to identity, personality, and psychopathology. My work in the Levine lab involves assisting with the various autobiographical memory projects. Outside of lab land, I spend (almost all of) my time running, swimming, or yoga-ing, interspersed with lots of listening to experimental & electronic music, watching Mad Men, indulging in vegetarian cuisine, and dreaming up future travels.

Alums (Grads/Postdocs)

Anjali Raja, M.A. (Rotman)

Gary Turner, Ph.D. (Berkeley/Sunnybrook)

Hedvig S�derlund, Ph.D. (Uppsala University)

Nathan Spreng, Ph.D. (Rotman/Harvard)

Eva Svoboda, Ph.D. (Baycrest)

Alexandra Percy, M.A. (UBC)

Esther Fujiwara, Ph.D. (U Alberta)

Danielle Tisserand, Ph.D. (Montreal)

Margaret McKinnon, Ph.D. (McMaster)

Lauren A. Dade, Ph.D. (Bloorview)

Janine F. Hay, Ph.D. (Bloorview)