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of Psychology


Cognitive & Neural Sciences


Area Faculty
Mario Liotti *
John McDonald
Ralph Mistlberger
Urs Ribary
Thomas Spalek
Neil Watson
Richard Wright
Associate Faculty
Mark Blair
Vincent Di Lollo *
Grace Iarocci
Don Read *
Allen Thornton *

* Indicates faculty members who are not currently recruiting honours or graduate students.


The Cognitive & Neural Sciences area is a multidisciplinary group encompassing several foundation disciplines, and offering a flexible training program that may be tailored to individual interests.

Concentration in Perception and Cognition offers research training in areas including:

  • memory,
  • attention,
  • origin of subjective states,
  • visual perception,
  • multisensory perception,
  • motion perception, and
  • evolution of language,

Concentration in Biological Psychology and Neuroscience offers research training in:

  • molecular neurobiology,
  • biological rhythms,
  • sexual differentiation of the nervous system and behaviour,
  • psychopharmacology,
  • olfaction,
  • asymmetry of body and brain,
  • neurobiology of reproductive behaviour,
  • behavioural neuroscience of sleep,
  • evolutionary psychology,
  • evolutionary significance of anorexic behaviour, and
  • behavioural neuroendocrinology

Research areas that span both disciplines include:

  • neuropsychology of memory,
  • cognitive neuroscience of attention and perception,
  • individual and sex differences in cognitive function,
  • consciousness,
  • scientific critiques of pseudoscience,
  • brain states and anomalistic subjective experiences, and
  • animal communication.

Research resources include access to normal and clinical human subjects, and several normal and mutant strains of small mammals. Research training takes place in laboratories offering a variety of equipment including:

  • a wide range of cognitive and neuropsychological testing materials,
  • high-density EEG/ERP systems,
  • extensive computer equipment,
  • standard lesion, pharmacology and histology facilities,
  • electrophysiology equipment,
  • equipment for measuring daily behavioural and physiological rhythms in small mammals,
  • a molecular neurobiology lab,
  • access to a salivary radioimmunoassay lab for measuring hormone levels in humans, and
  • microscopy and image analysis facilities.

In addition, researchers with interests in cognitive science participate in the interdisciplinary Centre for Cognitive Science, and its larger umbrella organization, SFU's Centre for Systems Science. Finally, the Cognitive and Biological Psychology area houses the clinical neuropsychology training specialization. Clinical students enrolled in the formalized Clinical Neuropsychology specialization receive extensive training in both the clinical practice of neuropsychology and in clinical neuropsychological research.

Clinical Neuropsychology Specialization webpage

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