CURRENT RESEARCH

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MEMORY IN THE REAL-WORLD

The ability to learn, retain, and retrieve information is vital to our ability to function. Remembering appointments, keeping track of expenses, and recalling passwords are just some of the ways we use our memory to meet the demands of modern-day life. Our lab explores the intersection between basic cognitive psychology research and more naturalistic, real-world settings in order to inform both fundamental theories of cognition and clinical practice. We are currently conducting research on topics such as prospective memory, and the utility of computerized cognitive tasks for clinical assessment.

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MEMORY, METACOGNITION, AND FUTURE THINKING

Recent evidence suggests that our ability to remember past events (i.e. episodic memory) is closely linked with other abilities, such as our ability to imagine future events, or our ability to reflect on our own cognitive abilities (i.e. metacognition). Having an accurate estimate of our cognitive abilities is important for judging whether we think there has been a change in our cognition. However, we are not always accurate in judging our own cognitive skills in general, and we can also be inaccurate in predicting how well we will perform on a given cognitive task (e.g. a memory test). We are currently exploring topics related to metamemory judgments, aging, and subjective cognitive impairment.

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DIVERSITY AND COGNITIVE HEALTH

Despite being a multiculturally-diverse nation, Canada has large disparities in terms of conducting health research with visible minorities (Khan et al., 2015). Racialized populations have often been excluded in basic and clinical research (Babulal et al., 2019) related to cognitive health, aging, and neurodegenerative disorders. Our lab is beginning to explore a) how to better include racialized communities in research on cognitive health, aging, and neurological disorders; and b) what are the specific needs and issues facing specific racialized groups in terms of their cognitive health?

 

A second line of research focuses on developing cognitive health/neuropsychology services for linguistic minorities (i.e. les communautés francophones en situation minoritaire). More specifically, we seek to develop cognitive assessment and intervention services for franco-Ontarians to work towards the overall goal of l’offre active in neuropsychology.

Babulal, Ganesh M. et al. (2019). Perspectives on ethnic and racial disparities in Alzheimer’s disease and
related dementias: Update and areas of immediate need. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 15, 292-315

Khan, Mushira; Kobayashi, Karen; Lee, Sharon M.; and Vang, Zoua (2015) "(In)Visible Minorities in Canadian Health Data and Research," Population Change and Lifecourse Strategic Knowledge Cluster Discussion Paper Series/ Un Réseau stratégique de connaissances Changements de population et parcours de vie Document de travail: Vol. 3 : Iss. 1 , Article 5.

Funding sources
 

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