Our Lab

In the Emotional Cognition Lab, our research is principally aimed at determining how dissociable neurocognitive systems integrate emotion with cognition and behaviour. The work is designed to provide fundamental knowledge about the functional neuroanatomy behind the experience and control of emotions such as fear, anxiety, depression, and anger. We are also simultaneously committed to translating this work to address clinical issues. We believe that in order to significantly improve the diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, it will be essential to delineate how the human brain functions to give rise to both adaptive and maladaptive emotions and moods. Accordingly, our efforts to address fundamental questions about emotion-cognition interactions serve as a critical springboard for our work involving clinical populations. For example, we apply emerging techniques and findings from Affective Cognitive Neuroscience to elucidate the pathophysiology of a range of psychiatric disorders from externalizing disorders, which can feature difficulties with empathy and aggression, to mood and anxiety disorders. We also use these techniques to identify and assess existing and novel treatments. Our approach includes fMRI, psychophysiological, and neuropsychological methods in healthy individuals, patients with developmental or acute mental illness, and neurological patients. We have received funding from both basic research and clinically focussed agencies, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Ontario Mental Health Foundation.