Neuropsychology Laboratory

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

We work in the School of Psychology with our colleagues. We are in Vanier Hall, in the heart of the main campus.

Our local colleagues and affiliations:

Resources for research:

  • Undergraduate participant pool (ISPR) and several community (C-ISPR) and patient pools
  • Participant parking (with research appointment)
  • INSPIRE for physiology and eyetracking
  • uOttawa LRT station outside our door!
  • 3T MRI/PET scanner at the Royal Ottawa Hospital

Major Projects

1) Emotional responses to, and memory for, brief video clips

2) Neuropsychology of episodic memory and cognitive control      

  • Acetylcholine
  • Sex hormones and oral contraceptives
  • Possible interventions


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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).


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).


Brain Training Guide
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Research Participants
Recruiting ad for OAs_Canva_MODIFIEDWe are always seeking volunteers for research, especially seniors, people with Parkinson’s disease, and people who have recently had a stroke or brain surgery (regardless of whether they have memory problems or not). Please contact us if you live in the Ottawa area and are interested in taking part.
Undergraduate Studies

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.


Researching Memory - Medical student's share what they know - CTV News Ottawa

Contact the Lab


School of Psychology
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Ottawa
136 Jean-Jacques Lussier
Vanier Hall, Room 3021C
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5

Tel.: 613-562-5800 ext. 8757