We study memory, executive functions, and emotion in healthy people and those with brain injuries or diseases. We combine perspectives and methods from cognitive psychology, cognitive aging, and cognitive neuroscience. We are also interested in cognitive training and rehabilitation.
About the Lab
Some alumni and visitors
Marielle Young-Bernier, PhD (with Francois Tremblay)
1) Emotional responses to, and memory for, brief video clips
2) Neuropsychology of episodic memory and cognitive control
- Sex hormones and oral contraceptives
- Possible interventions
DEVO (Database of Emotional Videos from Ottawa)
We have collected a set of ~300 realistic video clips portraying a variety of content from open sources on the web, 3- to 15-sec long (to facilitate event-related physiological designs). They have been rated on Valence, Arousal, And Impact and are generally unfamiliar to participants. They can be used to answer the same questions as still images, but are dynamic and more externally valid. To access the Database of Emotional Videos from Ottawa (DEVO) just email us.
We are currently assembling a larger set (DEVO-2). Stay tuned!
Semantically-related emotional images
The degree of semantic inter-relatedness among stimuli can affect memory for them, and this tends to be higher in sets of emotional stimuli (causing a potential confound).
We have begun to work on this, and would be happy to share out stimulus lists from this paper:
Ack Baraly, K.T., Morand, A., Fusca, L. et al. Semantic relatedness and distinctive processing may inflate older adults’ positive memory bias. Mem Cogn 47, 1431–1443 (2019). https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-019-00943-3
Expectation Assessment Scale
When people take part in "brain training" and brain stimulation studies, they may often have positive expectations for the outcome. This optimism may be increased (even if inadvertently) by recruiting materials or instructions.
To measure (and potentially nudge) people's expectations, Dr. Sheida Rabipour has developed a brief scale. If you're running a cognitive enhancement study, it would be a good idea to ask your participants about this! Details on the different possible versions of the scale can be found in the appendix here:
Rabipour, S., Davidson, P.S.R. & Kristjansson, E. Measuring Expectations of Cognitive Enhancement: Item Response Analysis of the Expectation Assessment Scale. J Cogn Enhanc 2, 311–317 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41465-018-0073-4
Every year we welcome students to help us with our research via their Honours Thesis.
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Prospective graduate students and postdocs can be supported by scholarships and fellowships from NSERC, CIHR, OGS, les fonds de recherche du Québec, the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Societies, and other organizations. Potential students can find information on the graduate programmes in Experimental (preferably) or Clinical Psychology, but should also contact Dr. Davidson directly in the fall.