Cognition, Aging, and Psychophysiology (CAP) Lab

Dr. Natalie Phillips
Department of Psychology, Concordia University.

Lab Personnel

Lab Director/Principal Investigator

Dr. Natalie Phillips

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.

Research Coordinator

Samantha Bishundayal

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.

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Angela Grant, Ph.D.

I am a Horizon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Cognition, Aging, and Psychophysiology lab. Prior to joining the lab, I completed my B.A. in Psychology from Bucknell University and my Ph.D. in Psychology and Language Science from the Pennsylvania State University. My research focuses on bilingual language processing and its interplay with individual differences in non-linguistic cognitive systems, including executive control and memory. I have investigated these issues using both behavioral and fMRI methods, and will continue this line of research using time-frequency EEG analysis at Concordia. I am also interested in the effects of context on language processing, and am currently examining the effect of discourse context on the psychophysiological correlates of bilingual language processing.

Graduate Students

Alexandre Chauvin, M.A.

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.

Faisal Al-Yawer, M.A.

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 PhD dissertation, I will be looking into how different sensory impairments, particularly hearing loss, impact cognitive function. Using data from the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in aging (CCNA), I will be examining how scores on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment scale (MoCA) are affected by hearing loss relative to more comprehensive neuropsychological measures.

Kristina Coulter

I completed my B.Sc. in Psychology with the behavioural neuroscience option at Concordia University. During my undergraduate degree, I did an Honours thesis in Dr. Phillips’ lab, in which I examined speech error processing in bilinguals. After graduation, I worked as a research assistant on various projects in the lab. For my Master’s, I will be investigating the relation between bilingualism and cognitive reserve in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

Undergraduate Honours Students

Jean-Louis René, M.A.

After completing my M.A. in Museum and Curatorial Studies at UQAM and a graduate diploma in Arts Management at HEC Montréal, I have worked for more than 10 years in several cultural institutions that focus on contemporary visual arts. I decided to reorient my career goals and I am now an undergraduate student in Psychology. Since 2016, I have been volunteering at the Cognition, Aging, and Psychophysiology Lab. For my Honours project, I am investigating the interplay of bottom-up and top-down processes involved in speech perception during noisy conditions in young bilingual adults with varying levels of proficiency in their second language, and how the combination of audio and visual cues might impact speech comprehension in one’s second language.

Chelsea Pozzebon

This year, I am completing my undergraduate honours thesis project (B.Sc. Behavioural Neuroscience) under the supervision of Dr. Natalie Phillips, whom I have been volunteering for since April 2016. In the context of my honours thesis, I will be looking at certain psychometric properties of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), which include the computation of a reliable change index for this screening measure. I have also contributed to several projects as an NSERC summer student and a volunteer, having assisted in stimulus development, EEG data collection and analysis.

Maude Brisson-McKenna

I am a third-year psychology student and I am currently completing my undergraduate degree and Honours thesis in the CAP laboratory. My thesis is an ERP study that focuses on discourse processing in bilinguals. Over the summer, I completed a Concordia Undergraduate Student Research Award during which I had the opportunity to work on a research project that investigated audio-visual speech perception in bilinguals.

CAP Lab Alumni

Graduate Students

  • Vivian Akerib CV
  • Dr. Sarah Auchterlonie
  • Dr. Luisa Cameli CV
  • Dr. Hilary Duncan
  • Dr. Jana Baranyaiova Frtusova
  • Dr. Philippe Goffaux
  • Max Hébert
  • Dr. Erin Johns
  • Dr. Shanna Kousaie
  • Dr. Denise Milovan
  • Dr. Marco Sinai
  • Dr. Axel Winneke

  • Undergraduate Honours or Specialization Thesis Students

  • Giuseppe Alfonsi
  • Diala Arzouni
  • Nesrine Awad
  • Katie Boodhoo
  • Mariya Budanova
  • Jennifer Chan
  • Jessica Chapman
  • Steve Cicione
  • Laura Copeland
  • Alexandra Covey
  • Annie-Claude David
  • Stephannie Davies
  • Stephanie Einegal
  • Brunella Gonzalez Cautela (NSERC summer student)
  • Miglena Grigorova
  • Ron Hooper
  • Lezley Ingenito
  • Jennifer Jarvis
  • Natalia Jozwiak
  • Lila Karpowicz
  • Maude Lagué-Beauvais
  • Anna Leshinskaya (NSERC summer student)
  • Dayle Lesperance
  • Marjolaine Masse
  • Rosa Matousek
  • Cristina McHenry
  • Julie Mercier
  • Nadia Merulla
  • Heather Pim
  • Guido Powell
  • Arrchsana Ratnarajah
  • Lenka Rybnikar
  • Arnaud St. Pierre (NSERC summer student)
  • Tanya Szammer
  • Veronique Taylor (NSERC summer student)
  • Lianne Trigiani
  • Phylicia Verreault
  • Camille Williams
  • Esther Yakobov (NSERC summer student)

  • Volunteer Students

  • Andrée-Anne Berthiaume
  • Julia Pinheiro Carvalho