Dr. Allison Sekuler
VICE PRESIDENT, RESEARCH, BAYCREST
SANDRA A. ROTMAN CHAIR IN COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
Managing Director and SENIOR SCIENTIST, ROTMAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE
MANAGING DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR AGING + BRAIN HEALTH INNOVATION
PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY, NEUROSCIENCE & BEHAVIOUR, MCMASTER UNIVERSITY
(BA in Mathematics and Psychology, Pomona College; PhD in Psychology, University of California, Berkeley; @asek47)
My research focuses on how we perceive the world around us, and how those perceptions are influenced by aging, context, and experience. We conduct research in a variety of research areas, asking questions such as:
- how do aging, experience, context, and perceptual learning impact the perception and neural processing of visual information?
- how do we process and interpret faces, spatial vision, depth perception, motion perception, perceptual organization and shape perception?
- how does information across our senses (e.g., vision and hearing) interact and influence our perception of the world, both in the lab, and in everyday activities such as driving?
- what are the behavioural and physiological links between vision and higher level cognitive functions, such as attention and memory?
- and, how can we develop and use technologies (including augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and mind-machine technologies) to improve perception, attention, and memory?
We conduct research with adults across the lifespan, and have laboratories in the Rotman Research Institute (RRI; VisAge Lab, run with Dr. Eugenie Roudaia) and at McMaster University (Vision & Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, run with Dr. Patrick Bennett). I accept graduate students both through the University of Toronto (Department of Psychology) and McMaster University (Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, Graduate Programs in Neuroscience, and Graduate Program in Computational Science & Engineering), and students can be focused in one lab or span both labs. Current research at the RRI focuses on understanding how vision changes across the lifespan in both healthy older adults and individuals with mild cognitive impairment and dementia, and how vision, memory, and attention interact in those populations. We also are conducting a number of intervention studies related to falls prevention, mindfulness training, and the effectiveness of social robots. Our research uses a combination of behavioural, computational, and imaging techniques, including EEG, and we welcome and encourage students to apply to our lab from a range of disciplinary backgrounds (e.g., psychology, neuroscience, computer science, mathematics, artificial intelligence, engineering, kinesiology, etc.).