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.

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

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.

Undergraduate Thesis Students

Azara Lalla

Undergraduate Thesis Student

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 am hoping to pursue graduate studies in cognitive neuroscience in Fall 2018.

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 Assistants

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.

Nika Zahedi Neysiani

Research Opportunity Program Student

I am a third year Psychology Research Specialist student at University of Toronto. Fascinated by different areas of psychology, such as cognition and clinical psychology, I plan to pursue graduate studies. I hope to learn more about memory and cognitive disorders.

Nastasia Kujbid

Research Opportunity Program Student

I am currently a second year student at the University of Toronto completing a double major in Physiology and Biochemistry, with a minor in Psychology. I am interested in developmental and cognitive psychology. In the future, I hope to pursue graduate studies in science.

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.


Alexander Gordienko

Lab Programmer/Research Assistant

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

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