I am a Professor in the Department of Psychology and a member of the Centre for Research in Human Development and the Centre for Research on Brain, Language, and Music. I completed my doctorate in clinical psychology at Dalhousie University in 1996 and joined the Concordia faculty in the same year. I have been the Director of Clinical Training in the Clinical Psychology Graduate Program at Concordia and teach in the area of human and clinical neuropsychology. I am a licensed clinical neuropsychologist and have a small private practice in which I offer services in clinical neuropsychology.
I have authored 48 peer-reviewed academic publications. I lead two nationally-funded research laboratories, one at the Loyola Campus of Concordia University and the other in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, in the Jewish General Hospital/McGill University, where I examine the neuropsychology of healthy aging and Alzheimer Disease. My research utilizes state-of-the-art methods for examining electrical brain activity and focuses on language and cognitive processing in healthy young adults, older adults, and patients with or at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Current research interests include audio-visual speech processing, language processing in bilinguals, the interaction between language processing, working memory, and executive control. I have extensive expertise in using EEG and event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to study cognition. I am one of the principal developers of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), a brief cognitive screening instrument used around the world for the assessment of mild cognitive impairment.
In 2009, I graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor's of Art degree in Psychology. Soon after graduation, I began working in Dr. Phillips' lab as her research coordinator. I am responsible for all aspects of lab management, including participant recruitment, data collection, and training volunteers and students. I divide my time between Dr. Phillips' labs at Concordia University and the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital. I recently completed my graduate diploma in Public Relations and Communications Management at McGill.
I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Bruyère Research Institute (affiliated with the University of Ottawa) under the supervision of Dr. Vanessa Taler. I am a research collaborator in the Phillips lab, where I completed my Ph.D. My research interests include cognition and language processing in healthy aging and cognitive decline (i.e., mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease) with a focus on bilingualism and the consequences of bilingualism for cognition. I use both behavioural and electrophysiological measures in my research. Some of the current research projects that I am involved in include an examination of lexical ambiguity processing in monolinguals and bilinguals, examining the relationship between code-switching (language-switching) behaviour and executive function, and an examination of the effect of bilingualism on cognitive control in older adults using electrophysiological measures. research is funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Following completion of my undergraduate degree in Psychology at Dalhousie University (2006), I worked for two years as a research co-ordinator in Dr. Gail Eskes' Cognitive Health and Rehabilitation Laboratory at the Queen Elizabeth II hospital. In 2008, I decided to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University, where I have been working with Dr. Natalie Phillips. For my master's project, I compared the performance of older and younger monolinguals and bilinguals on a linguistic switching task. My results showed that, while monolingual a showed a switch cost for relational words, bilinguals did not. For my Ph.D., I am conducting two studies. One of the studies will examine EEG coherence in older and younger monolingual and bilinguals during executive function tasks. The second study will examine the differences in cortical thickness and voxel-size of monolingual and bilingual mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease patients.
Following completion of my B.Sc. in Psychology at Université de Montréal, I have been pursing graduate studies in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University under the supervision of Dr. Natalie Phillips. For my M.A., I investigated individual differences in aspects of the bilingual experience (e.g., proficiency in the second language, language-switching) and how these relate to individual differences in the use of proactive and reactive cognitive control strategies as revealed by behavioural and electrophysiological aspects of bilinguals’ performance on a cognitive control task. For my Ph.D., I will be extending the methodology used in my M.A. to include a monolingual comparison group. Additionally, I will be extending my research to include groups of monolingual and bilingual older adults.
I received my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Neuroscience from Carleton University in Ottawa. At the same time, my interest in mental health care/issues, especially in aging populations, led me to volunteer at the Royal Ottawa mental health institute, where I performed various functions at the geriatric in-patient unit. My research interests include aging-related cognitive decline, the early detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as the sensory functions affected by these disorders. For my Master’s project, I will be assessing how different cognitive training techniques impact older adults’ ability to perform divided attention tasks and how the ability to vary attentional allocation might play a role in improving cognitive performance not just in attention but also in other facets of executive function.