I am an assistant professor in the Psychology department at Wilfrid Laurier University. I received an Honours BSc from Laurier in 2010 and a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Laurier in 2015. I completed postdoctoral training in the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Lab at Simon Fraser University, as well as the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University.
In 2022, I returned to Laurier as an assistant professor. I have received research support from the Ontario Government, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF).
My research combines behavioural and electrophysiological techniques to investigate sensory processing in both typically and atypically developing people. Our senses are constantly bombarded with information as we navigate our daily environments. How we process this sensory information influences our ability to learn, move, and communicate, among other things. My research aims to further our understanding of the factors that influence sensory processing heterogeneity. I am particularly interested in how the abnormal processing of sensory information may have downstream effects on the development of higher cognitive processes such as speech communication and language, motor control, social competence, and emotion regulation. A major goal of my research is to bridge theory and application. By increasing our understanding of how sensory processing changes across the lifespan in healthy children and adults and comparing this typical development to that of children and adults with developmental disabilities, my research will help to identify targets for intervention when developing speech, language, motor, social, and emotional processing interventions and treatments.
Along with my sensory research I have been working to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion through community engagement and support. This has led me to develop projects that (1) examine the language preferences of autistic and non-autistic people (person-first “person with autism” vs. identity-first “autistic person”) and how these preferences relate to self-identity, internalized stigma, mental health, and camouflaging; (2) explore autism stigma by looking at cognitive biases; (3) examine the pathways and barriers to an autism diagnosis.
Volunteer and research assistantships are available for highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students. Contact me for more information.
The Department of Psychology at Laurier has both a MSc and a PhD program in Cognitive Neuroscience, and accepts new graduate students each year.