Our Team

Principal Investigator

Dr. Claude Alain

Dr. Claude Alain is a senior scientist at the Rotman Research Institute. His research is in the field of cognitive neuroscience and focuses on the brain processes supporting auditory scene analysis. He uses a combination of neuroimaging techniques (e.g., EEG, MEG and fMRI) to investigate which, and how, different brain areas work together when we perceive, attend to and remember auditory objects. He is interested in how these processes changes as we age and how these age-related changes may be impacted by experience such as bilingualism and musicianship. His lab is also investigating the interplay between attention and memory, speech in noise comprehension and new EEG measures of perception and cognition for possible clinical applications. He has mentored and continue to train students and postdoctoral fellows from around the world, with many of his trainees having successfully moved on to careers in academic or health care facilities.

Cross-Appointments

  • Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto
  • Music and Health Sciences, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto
  • School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The University of Memphis, Tennessee
To view a full list of his publications, visit his Rotman Research profile here.

Research Fellows

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Dr. Dawei Shen

Dawei is a research associate working with Dr. Claude Alain and Dr. Bernhard Ross to investigate the temporal characteristics of attentional processing (e.g., auditory attentional blink), the effects of background noise on speech perception, and auditory spatial working memory by using EEG, MEG and fMRI measures. She received her Ph.D. in 2006 from the University of Manitoba. In her free time, she likes to read history and science fiction books.

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Dr. Vivek Sharma

Vivek has obtained his PhD in Music and Health Sciences at the Faculty of Music at University of Toronto using EEG and behavioral methods in his research. Currently, Vivek is studying the neuroplasticity of the brain from musical training along with enhancements in the cortical representation of sound and executive inhibitory control when responding to musical and linguistic information. He is an avid professional musician who also enjoys martial arts, swing dancing, and computer programming in his free time.

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Dr. Rachel Rabi

Rachel is a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Claude Alain, Dr. Nicole Anderson, and Dr. Lynn Hasher to examine changes in sensory and cognitive inhibition that accompany healthy and pathological aging (e.g., mild cognitive impairment) using ERP. She received her Ph.D. in 2016 from the University of Western Ontario. There, her research examined category learning across the lifespan, with a particular focus on how age-related changes in executive functioning impact categorization performance. In her free time, Rachel likes to cook, spend time with her family, and travel.

Graduate Students

Manda Fischer

What is the relation between awareness, attention, and memory? Currently, I am investigating the dynamic interplay between attention and memory. My work uses EEG and behavioural measures to examine how auditory experience and memory can optimize attention and performance during online perception of real-world scenes. Specifically, I am interested both in how everyday auditory experience and implicit memory can bias spatial attention in complex scenes and in how these effects appear in different populations, for example, in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and in congenitally blind individuals. This area of research is fascinating, and constantly pushes me to see the complexity of things.

My background in psychoacoustics and auditory cognitive neuroscience includes, also, examinations of 1) the role of timbre and attention in the perceptual organization of sound (auditory scene analysis) and 2) the neural encoding and cross-modal plasticity of audio-motor sequences in music learning.

My work is co-supervised by Dr. Claude Alain and Dr. Morris Moscovitch.

Professionnel MP 2

Maxime Perron

Maxime is a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the laboratory, he completed a master’s degree in Clinical and Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Rehabilitation at Université Laval, in which he studied the structural neuroplasticity induced by amateur singing and its effects on speech-in-noise in aging. Currently, his doctoral projects focus on the impact of hearing loss and hearing devices on auditory perception, cognitive processing, and brain function in older adults using behavioural, EEG, and MRI methods. When Maxime is not in the lab, he enjoys baking, playing board games and spending time with friends.

Veronica Vuong

Veronica is a PhD student in Medical Science and a research coordinator at the Music and Health Science Research Collaboratory, University of Toronto. Through her research, she aims to use various neuroimaging techniques to gain a greater understanding of the neural mechanisms by which long-known music listening may promote changes in the brain and result in cognitive improvements, such as memory, in persons with dementia. Veronica is a professional musician (pianist) and enjoys travelling, hiking, gardening, art, and exploring new and diverse food.

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Amisha Ojha

Amisha is a graduate student in the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. She completed her BSc. Hons. in Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Toronto where she studied attention control and working memory capacity as components of the n-back task. Currently, her research project focuses on the impact of hearing loss and cochlear implants on reflective visual and auditory short-term memory in older adults using behavioural and EEG methods. When Amisha is not in the lab, she enjoys cooking, reading, and hiking.

Myriam Lesage

Myriam is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. She completed her undergraduate studies at McGill University, graduating with a major in Psychology and minors in biochemistry and behavioural science. Her current research aims to further our understanding of the link between incidental learning, memory-guided attention, and auditory scene analysis using behavioural and EEG methods. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, hiking and discovering new TV shows.

Collaborating Students & Scientists

Steven Baker – Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Dr. Shayna Rosenbaum
Rohila Hashimi – Sam & Ida Ross Memory Clinic, Dr. Morris Freedman
Dr. Rachel Rabi – Anderson Lab, Dr. Nicole Anderson
Dr. Annette Schumann – MEG Lab, Dr. Bernhard Ross
Dr. Jennifer Bugos – Cognitive and Neurophysiology of Aging Lab,  University of South Florida
Dr. Tysen Bauer – Herrmann Lab, Dr. Björn Herrmann
Ricky Chow – Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Dr. Shayna Rosenbaum

Research Assistants

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Shahier Paracha

Shahier is an undergraduate student in the Specialist Co-op Neuroscience program at the University of Toronto. He is passionate about understanding the functional significance of different brain areas and how differences at the neural level contribute to uniqueness between individuals. He hopes to pursue medicine in the future with a specialization in neurosurgery. In his free time, Shahier likes to play the guitar and spend time with his friends. He also enjoys playing sports, especially soccer and cricket.

Mello Mo

Mello is an undergraduate student in the Psychology Specialist program at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about neuroimaging techniques, cognition, and memory. She is currently assisting with the experiment on auditory memory-guided attention under the supervision of Manda Fischer. In her free time, Mello likes to spend time with her friends, read, and play video games.

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Martin Soto

Martin is an undergraduate student in the Specialist Co-op Psychology program at the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus. He aims to expand his knowledge of neuroimaging and research techniques and is doing a co-op internship under the supervision of Manda Fischer and Dr. Claude Alain. He is currently analyzing the encoding stage in auditory memory-guided attention using both EEG and behavioural measures. In his free time, Martin likes to play sports, hike, and spend time with friends.

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Miriam Taza

Miriam is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto with a double major in neuroscience and psychology. She is passionate about neuroimaging techniques, brain mapping, cognition, and human behavior. She is currently investigating the interplay between auditory contextual memory and auditory attention using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Outside of the lab, Miriam’s interest also include photography and reading.

Staff

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Ashna Imran

Ashna is a Research Assistant, as well as the Lab Manager for the ERP lab at the Rotman Research Institute, working with Dr. Claude Alain. She is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto’s Specialist Co-op Psychology program, using her prior knowledge of cognitive psychology, and mental health, as well as research experience in neuroimaging  to coordinate studies within the ERP lab. In her spare time, Ashna enjoys needlework, exploring new restaurants, and spending time outdoors.

Staff Alumni

Victoria Nieborowska – Lab Manager
Jeffrey Wong – Lab Manager
Claire Salloum – Lab Manager
Patricia Van Roon – Lab Manager
Yu He – Lab Manager
Ayomide Fakuade – Research Assistant
Alix Noly-Gandon – Research Assistant

Student & Scientist Alumni

Parnian Tajbakhsh
Research Assistant, University of Toronto
2019-2020

Karishma Ramdeo
Research Assistant, University of Toronto
2019-2020

Vanessa Chan
Ph.D Student, University of Toronto
2016-2020

Phil Johnston
M.A. Student, University of Toronto
Collaborating Student, McIntosh Lab
2019

Farnosh Hakimy
Volunteer
2019

Emily Alexander
M.A. Student, University of Toronto
2018 – 2019

Vivek Sharma
Ph.D. Student, University of Toronto
Co-supervised, Music and Health Research Collaboratory
2019

Leah Monson
Summer Volunteer
2019

Chloe Orsini
Visiting Student, Imperial College London, UK
2019

Katharina Goeke
Visiting Student, University of Cologne
2019

Cassandra Skrotzki
Summer Practicum, Ryerson University
2019

Olivia Podolak
Ph.D. Student, University of Toronto
Co-supervised, Music Cognition Lab
2017-2019

Alexandra Beltran Montoya
Volunteer
2019

Susan Gillingham
Ph.D. Student, University of Toronto
2013-2019

Jing Lu
Visiting Scientist, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
2019

Joan Ngo
Ph.D. student, University of Toronto
Co-supervised, Hasher Aging & Cognition Lab
2013-2018

Jacqueline Zimmerman
Ph.D. Student, University of Toronto
2014-2018

Gabrielle Katz
Summer Volunteer
2018

Ayomide Fakuade
Volunteer and Summer Student
2017-2018

Linda Garami
Postdoctoral Fellow, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
2015-2017

Nasim Sham
Ph.D. student, University of Toronto
Co-supervised
2011-2016

Jiaxin Peng
Visiting Ph.D. student, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
2016

Karen Banai
Visiting Professor, University of Haifa, Israel
2015-2016

Thijs Barten
Visiting Student, Radboud Univsersity, The Netherlands
2015

Yanmei Feng
Visiting M.D. Professor, Shanghai University
2015

Stefanie Hutka
Ph.D. student, University of Toronto
2012-2015

Yi Du
Ph.D. Student & Postdoctoral Fellow, Pekin University
2012-2015

Madeline Cusimano
Summer NSERC Create Student, University of Toronto
2014

Zsuzsanna Kocsis
Visiting Student, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
2014-2015

Hannah Stewart
Ph.D. Visiting Student, Nottingham University, UK
2014

Bettina Habelt
Visiting Student, Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany
2014

Laura Oliva
Visiting Student, University of Victoria, BC
2014

Guillaume Cheung
Summer Student
2013

Sandra Campeanu
Ph.D. Student
University of Toronto
2008-2014

Kristina Backer
Ph.D. student, University of Toronto
2009-2014.

Alice Kim
Ph.D. student, University of Toronto
2008-2013

Anja Roye
Ph.D. Student & Postdoctoral Fellow, Leipzig University
2011-2013

 Claudia Freigang
Visiting Student, Leipzig University
2012-2013

Adam Cadesky
Summer Student
2012-2013

Dean Carcone
Summer Student
2012

Laura Sokka
Visiting Student, Helsinki University
2012

Gavin M. Bidelman
Postdoctoral Fellow
Co-supervised
2011-2012

Stefanie Hutka
M.A. student, University of Toronto
2010-2012

Ben Zendel
Ph.D. Student, University of Toronto
2006-2011

Sylvain Moreno
Postdoctoral Fellow
Co-supervised
2008-2011

Ada Leung
Postdoctoral Fellow
2008-2011.

Olga Kciuk
4th year Undergraduate Thesis Student
University of Toronto
2009-2010

Kuang Da Zhu
M.A. student, University of Toronto
2008-2009

Boaz M. Ben-David
Postdoctoral Fellow
2007-2008.

Alina Gheorghe
M.A. student, University of Toronto
2007-2008

Sandra Campeanu
M.A. student, University of Toronto
2007-2008.

Zofia Wodniecka
Postdoctoral Fellow
Co-supervised
2007-2008

Dawei Shen
Ph.D. Student & Postdoctoral Fellow
2006-2009

Laura Vecchio
4th year Undergraduate Thesis Student, University of Toronto
2006-2007.

Jessica Quan
4th year Undergraduate Thesis Student
University of Toronto
2006-2007

Ben Zendel
M.A. student
University of Toronto
2005-2006

Anthony Shahin
Postdoctoral Fellow
2005-2006

Roxanne Itier
Postdoctoral Fellow
Co-supervised
2005-2008

Sandra Priselac
M.A. student, University of Toronto
Co-supervised
2004-2006

Ranil Sonnadara
Ph.D. student, McMaster University
Co-supervised
 2002-2006

Asaf Gilboa
Postdoctoral Fellow
2004-2005

Stephen Arnott
Ph.D. student, University of Toronto
1998-2005

Joel Snyder
Postdoctoral Fellow
2003-2005

Ben Dyson
Postdoctoral Fellow
2003-2005

Aaron Izenberg
Summer Student
2002

Karen Reinke
Postdoctoral Fellow
Co-supervised
2001-2004

Kelly McDonald
M.A. student, University of Toronto
2002-2004

Heather McNeely
Postdoctoral Fellow
1999-2001

Janine Hay
Postdoctoral Fellow
Co-supervised
1998-2000

Jodi Ostroff
Postdoctoral Fellow
1998-1999

Alessandra Schiavetto
Postdoctoral Fellow
Co-supervised
1997-1999.

Robert West
Postdoctoral Fellow
Co-supervised
1997-1999

 

 

LOCATION

Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Health Sciences
3560 Bathurst St. Toronto, ON  M6A 2E1

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