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

Graduate Students

Anuya Patil

2nd 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

Alexandra Decker

1st Year PhD Student

I am a PhD student in the psychology program at U of T, and am co-supervised by Katherine Duncan and Amy Finn. Before joining the lab, I received my BA in psychology from McGill University, and an MA in psychology in the Mabbott lab at the Hospital for Sick Children. My current research focuses on how fluctuations in sustained attention affects memory in both healthy adults and children.

Kyle Nealy

MA Student

Before joining the Duncan lab, I received my BSc in Psychology, Economics, and Mathematics from the University of Toronto. My current research uses 3D virtual environments to better understand the neural representations of space and time in the hippocampus.

Ariana Youm

MA Student

I am a graduate student in the Psychology department at the University of Toronto co-supervised by Dr. Katherine Duncan and Dr. Melanie Cohn (Krembil Research Institute). Before joining the lab, I completed my BSc degree in the Psychology Research Specialist Program at U of T. I am interested in the interaction of memory and attention — specifically, how acetylcholine impacts memory, and what its role is in the dysfunction of memory in normal and pathological aging.

Lab Managers

Katie MacIntosh

Lab Manager/Research Assistant

I am currently a fourth-year undergraduate student, working on a double major in psychology and linguistics. I’m particularly interested in cognitive, abnormal, and positive psychology. In my free time I like taking photos and studying foreign languages. I am hoping to pursue graduate studies in psychology in the future.

Azara Lalla

Lab Manager/Research Assistant

I am a current second degree at the University of Toronto pursuing a Honours Bachelor of Science in the Research Specialist Psychology Program. I completed my first degree at McGill University in molecular biology and history. I am broadly interested in the area of memory from a perspective that integrates biology, psychology, and neuroscience. I will be pursuing graduate studies in cognitive neuroscience in Fall 2018.

Undergraduate Thesis Students

Hannah Tarder-Stoll

Undergraduate Thesis 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.

Research Volunteers

Sara Campitelli

Research Volunteer

Currently a third-year student pursuing a specialist in Neuroscience, I hope to continue in neuropsychological research before pursuing a career in education. While I am highly motivated by the mechanisms of learning and memory, I have a special fascination with psychological trauma and its neurological effects. In my spare time, I’m working on learning Italian and Cantonese.

Helen Liu

Research Volunteer

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.

Monique Sousa

Research Volunteer

I’ve just finished my undergraduate degree at Wilfrid Laurier University completing a BA in psychology with a research specialization. I’m fluent in both English and French, and run a weekly peer support group on healthy relationships for individuals suffering from addiction and mental illness. I hope to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology.

Wangjing Yu

Independent Study Project Student

I am currently a second year student at the 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.

Shijing Wang

Research Volunteer

I am currently a fourth year student taking Psychology specialist and Neuroscience major at the University of Toronto. My interests are in the construction of memory and how it helps understanding some psychopathologies related to memory. I plan on pursuing graduate studies related to clinical psychology or psychiatry.

Chiheng Zhou

Research Volunteer

I am currently a third-year undergraduate student, pursuing a combination of psychology specialist, neuroscience major and physiology minor. I wish to explore the mechanisms underlying gender differences in memory and reward systems. Also, I’m interested in the pharmacogenetics of substance use disorders. I do Karate and take photos in my free time.

Enri Boshti

Research Volunteer

I am currently a third year student at the University of Toronto studying neuroscience and biochemistry. I plan to pursue graduate studies that combine both fields in order to further contribute to our understanding of complex neurological mechanisms.

Victoriya Kozhemyakina

Research Volunteer

I am a third year student completing a double major in cell and molecular biology and psychology. I’m interested in cognitive psychology and how different factors influence memory encoding and retrieval. Currently I’m volunteering at Sunnybrook hospital in the physiotherapy clinic.


Alexander Gordienko

Lab Programmer/Research Volunteer

I am a first year Computer Science and Neuroscience double major at the University of Toronto. Both fields interest me greatly and I aim to pursue a career that integrates them well. My current work involves building virtual 3D environments to facilitate relevant research in the hippocampus.

Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Fellows
Andrew Bauer, Data Scientist at Feedzai

Undergraduate Thesis Students
  • Sara Pishdadian, Masters - Clinical Neuropsychology, York University
  • Dylan Tucker, Medical School, McMaster University
  • Shafquat Arefeen, Financial Data Analyst, Ontario Securities Commission
  • Eugenia Barkova, Software Engineer

Individual Project Students
  • Yaxin Liu, Graduate Student, Emory University
  • Freda Jian, Graduate Student, Queen's University

Research Opportunity Project Students
  • Isis So
  • Nastasia Kujbid
  • Nika Zahedi Neysiani

Lab Managers/Research Volunteers
  • Louisa Man, Masters - Clinical Psychology, Queen's University
  • Rachel Downey, PhD - Clinical Psychology at Concordia University
  • Freha Mian, Masters - Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University
  • Samin Khan

Lab Programmers
  • Jihad El Sheikh, Software Developer Intern, CaseBank Technologies
  • Aatina Munir