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PhD Research:

The visual environments we live in are vastly complex, yet we are able to perceive, make sense of, and navigate through them with relative ease. How are we able to accomplish all this? What cognitive mechanisms are responsible, and what are the critical underlying, interactive processes?  My work centers on an answer to these questions through the study of selective attention, our ability to focus limited cognitive resources on select portions of the visual environment to allow for further processing. In particular, I am interested in how learning and episodic long-term memory can automatically guide our attention, as well as shape perception and object recognition. In order to accomplish this, my current work employs behavioural paradigms, as well as eye-tracking and brain imaging (i.e., EEG) methodology.

Beyond the development of cognitive models, I am interested in how we can make connections between basic research and real-world behaviours, in particular, how biases in visual cognition, through processes of learning and memory, guide the decisions we make in regards to sustainability (e.g., waste disposal, energy consumption, water use etc.). I believe that an understanding of basic cognitive processes and an experimental approach to questions of human behaviour can both inform policy structure and provide insight and evidence-based recommendations for industry leaders.

 

Advisors:

Naseem Al-Aidroos, University of Guelph

Mark J Fenske, University of Guelph

 

Collaborators:

Blaire Dube, University of Guelph

Emma B. Guild, Krembil Neuroscience Centre

Jiaying Zhao, University of British Columbia

Yu Luo, University of British Columbia

Brandon Tomm, University of British Columbia

Jennifer A Stolz, University of Waterloo

Scott Watter, McMaster University

Sandra J Thomson, St. Thomas University