Meet our lab

Principal Investigator

Katherine Duncan

Principal Investigator, PhD

Katherine competed her PhD at New York University, studying how hippocampal subfields contribute to memory formation and retrieval. She then moved uptown to Columbia University where she studied interactions between the hippocampus and dopaminergic system. In the summer of 2015, she returned to the University of Toronto, where she had studied as an undergraduate student. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the St. George campus.

Katherine’s CV

Contact information: duncan@psych.utoronto.ca

Postdoctoral Fellows

Andrew Bauer

Postdoctoral Fellow

I received my Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University. My research aims to characterize how and where knowledge is neurally represented in the brain, and how the brain changes as new concepts are learned. I am also interested in applications of this research to education and instructional design.

Andrew’s CV

Contact information: andrew.bauer@utoronto.ca

Graduate Students

Anuya Patil

1st Year PhD Student

I am a graduate student in the psychology department at the St. George campus of University of Toronto. Before coming to UofT, I completed a Postbaccalaureate Psychology Certificate Program from Columbia University, after which I served as a lab manager in the Davachi Lab at New York University. Currently, I am using behavioural and neuroimaging techniques to investigate the effect of novelty and reward on episodic memory.

Anuya’s CV

Contact information: anuya.patil@mail.utoronto.ca

Thalia Vrantsidis

Outside Project Graduate Student

My interests are in using interdisciplinary methods of neuroscience and psychology to address questions of how to live a good life. More specifically, I am interested in curiosity, and the intrinsic rewards for the development of understanding. My research in the lab approaches this by looking at reward-seeking and goal-directed action, as well as the cognitive processes involved in understanding the complexities of the real world.

Lab Managers

Azara Lalla

Lab Manager/Research Assistant

I am a current second degree student at the University of Toronto in the Research Specialist Psychology Program. I did my first degree at McGill University in Molecular Biology and History, and am looking to pursue graduate studies in research psychology in the future. I’m hoping to integrate my interests in biology, neuroscience, and psychology.

Katie MacIntosh

Lab Manager/Research Assistant

I am currently a third-year undergraduate student, working on a double major in psychology and linguistics. I have a particular interest in cognitive and positive psychology, as well as in East Asian languages and writing systems. I am hoping to pursue graduate studies in psychology in the future.

Undergraduate Thesis Students

Helen Liu

4th Year Undergraduate Thesis Student

I am currently completing a Psychology Research Specialist and a minor in Physiology at the University of Toronto. My past research experiences include using eye-tracking to understand the influence of temporally coherent and incoherent information as well as investigating statistical learning. I will be conducting my thesis in Dr.Duncan’s lab as a continuation of my mini-thesis project on the influences of statistical learning towards language acquisition.

Research Assistants

Isis So

Research Assistant

I am an incoming second year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, enrolled in a Neuroscience specialist and a Psychology minor. I am interested in how memories are consolidated and retrieved in the brain, and how the malfunction of these processes lead to behavioural changes and neurodegenerative diseases. I hope to study medicine in the future, and integrate both research and clinical skills towards treating people with neurodegenerative diseases.

Freda Jian

Individual Study Project Student

I am currently a third year undergraduate student in the Psychology specialist and Cognitive Science major programs. I’m interested in investigating the factors that influence memory encoding and retrieval processes. I’m hoping to pursue graduate studies in cognitive psychology.


Hannah Tarder-Stoll

Individual Study Project Student

I am currently a second degree student at the University of Toronto, taking courses in Psychology and Human Biology. I also hold a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Toronto, work as a freelance singer, and teach music to children. I plan on pursuing graduate studies in clinical psychology in the future, and hope to one day combine my interests in psychology and music to improve the lives of those diagnosed with neurodegenerative diseases.


Yaxin Liu

Individual Study Project Student

I am currently a fourth year undergraduate student in psychology specialist and cognitive science major programs. I have a broad interest in most areas of psychology, both areas involved in understanding basic cognitive processes and areas involved in more applied fields intrigue me. My current independent project focuses on reinforced learning and memory. During my leisure time, I like observing cats and playing piano.


Wangjing Yu

Research Assistant

I am currently a second year student in University of Toronto, taking neuroscience and psychology double major. I am very interested in cognitive and developmental psychology. Therefore, I plan on pursuing graduate studies in related areas in the future. I also volunteer at ICU departments in Toronto General Hospital doing paper-cutting art for patients.


Candice Tay

Research Assistant

I am a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, studying neuroscience and psychology.  I am interested in cognitive and clinical psychology, and I hope to learn more about the implications of memory in various cognitive disorders.  I plan to pursue medical school in the future.


Yin Liao

Lab Programmer
I am a second degree student with major in computer science. I did my first degree in Chemical Engineering with minor in Biomedical Engineering, also at U of T. It was quite an abrupt change. I hope to apply my mathematical and programming skills to help researchers at Duncan Lab carry out their studies.

Lab Alumni

Previous: Research Assistant Current: Masters - Clinical Psychology, Queen's University

Previous: Undergraduate Thesis Student Current: Masters - Clinical Neuopsychology, York University

Previous: Undergraduate Thesis Student

Current: First Year Medical School, McMaster University

Previous: Lab Programmer

Current: Software Developer Intern, CaseBank Technologies

Previous: Undergraduate Thesis Student

Current: Financial Data Analyst, Ontario Securities Commission

Previous: Lab Manager/ Research Assistant

Current: 4th year Psychology Specialist, Biology Minor

Previous: Undergraduate Research Student

Previous: Lab Manager/Research Assistant Current: PhD in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University

Previous: Research Assistant Current: M.A. in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University