We are committed to research and training in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Our work is aimed primarily at learning more about the development of higher-order cognitive processes like attention and mental flexibility and their association with age-related changes in brain functioning through the use of converging cognitive-behavioural neuroimaging and computational research methods.


 

 

J. Bruce MortonJ. Bruce Morton
Primary Investigator   (bmorton@uwo.ca)

Dr. J Bruce Morton completed his PhD at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Sandra Trehub and Dr. Philip David Zelazo, and then worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Yuko Munakata. He has served as a Professor in Department of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario since 2002, and is now a faculty member of the Graduate Programme in Neuroscience and a member of the Centre for Brain and Mind. Dr. Morton’s research interests concern the development of cognitive control and its association with changes in prefrontal cortex function. 

 


 

Bea Goffin

Bea Goffin

Laboratory Manager   (mortoncdnl@gmail.com)

I have been extremely fortunate to have spent the last 7 years working behind the scenes with an amazing research team that keeps me young(er) and on-my-toes! I have been involved in the development of study procedures, particularly the preparation of child participants for neuroimaging experiments, preparation of research ethics applications, data management, teaching of standardized testing procedures, administration of laboratory finances and proofreading of manuscripts and grant applications. On occasion, I have been known to step in when needed for recruitment and testing of participants.  Every day brings something different and one of the highlights of my time spent in the lab is watching the students develop into strong, accomplished researchers.

 


 

Samantha GoldsmithSamantha Goldsmith
Graduate Student, PhD Candidate   (sgoldsm@uwo.ca)

Hello! I am a Master’s student in the Developmental Psychology Program working with Dr. Bruce Morton and the rest of the wonderful laboratory team! I completed my undergraduate degree at Queen’s University, where I majored in psychology and minored in chemistry.

My research interests revolve around emotion regulation – our ability to monitor, evaluate, and modify our emotional reactions. I am particularly interested in how these self-regulatory skills develop over the course of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. During my undergraduate career at Queen’s, I studied the emotion regulation abilities of children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sparking my desire to approach this complex psychological construct from a developmental perspective. 

I am also very interested in exploring the intersection of emotion and cognition, looking specifically at how emotion regulation abilities may be intertwined with executive functions, such as the ability to manipulate our attention and to inhibit impulsive responses. I am currently working on my Master’s thesis, where I will be exploring these questions in more detail, and investigating how the emotion-cognition relationship may differ over the course of development. I am very excited about this project, and I hope to contribute to a growing understanding of the mechanistic relationship between emotion and self-regulation.

 


 

Daniel J. LewisDaniel J. Lewis
Analytics Consultant   (daniel.jacob.lewis@gmail.com)

I am an analytics and scientific research consultant, specializing in machine learning and data modelling, experimental design, micro-fabrication, and molecular biology.  I am currently consulting on two projects in the Morton lab: developing novel numerical methods for modelling and fitting delay-discounting data, and designing correlation and distance metrics to assess the relationship between structural connectivity and functional dynamics of the brain.

I have a multidisciplinary background in engineering, biology, and public policy; I have a BASc in Nanotechnology Engineering from the University of Waterloo, an MASc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of British Colombia, and an MPhil in Technology Policy from the University of Cambridge.  My research interests are broad and include structural policies for innovation and entrepreneurship, science policy, microfabricated biosensors and diagnostics, microbial population dynamics, modelling behaviour, and functional dynamics of the brain.

 


 

Alumni

 

Lisa Hartman

Lisa Hartman

My name is Lisa Hartman and I am a 4th year Honors student majoring in Psychology at Western University. This year I have the privilege of completing my undergraduate thesis under the supervision of Dr. J. Bruce Morton, with the help and support of the entire team in the Cognitive Development and Neuroimaging Laboratory. My research is investigating the influence of infant attachment style on later cognitive processes, specifically reward-based learning and decision making in children that are 7-8 years of age. I am very interested in unravelling some of the potential early social-emotional influences on later cognitive functioning.

In my spare time I love to volunteer, travel, spend time with my family and friends, play sports, and give back to the community however I can. A couple of years ago I went on a mission trip to Kenya that truly changed my life forever and spiked my interest in developmental research. For the past 4 years I have worked and volunteered with children and adults who have mental and physical disabilities and have found a true passion for helping others. Through my research and future aspirations I hope to make a difference in the world someday!

 


 

Sonia Kong

Sonia Kong

My name is Sonia Kong and I am currently in my fourth year of study in the Honors Double Major in Consumer Behavior and Psychology program at Western University. This is the fourth year I stay in Canada and to be honest, except for the weather in winter, I love everything here! I am a research assistant in the Cognitive Development and Neuroimaging Laboratory. My research interests include child development, bilingualism, and youth delinquency. I have had a few volunteer experiences with children and I enjoyed staying with them and observing their behaviors. I hope my research results can be used in practicing areas in order to help more children in the future. In my spare time, I like to collect things, such as labels of water bottles and cigarette cases (although I am not a smoker). I also like travelling and volunteering!

 


 

Mazen El-BabaMazen El-Baba

Hello, thanks for stopping by. I am a Master’s student in the Neuroscience program at the University of Western Ontario. I completed my Bachelor of Science (honours) at the University of Guelph in the Brain and Cognition program. Here at Western, I am privileged to be working with Dr. J. Bruce Morton and Dr. Adrian Owen.

My research interests vary widely and I am motivated by all of them. Generally speaking, I am interested in understanding the underlying functional mechanisms that govern the human brain, in applying research findings to better our health, and in understanding how socio-cultural factors mediate our cognition, emotions and actions.

More specifically, I am interested in understanding brain dynamics by examining the dynamic functional connectivity of the brain in different states of consciousness. Different states of consciousness can be a result of anesthetics (e.g., propofol), can arise naturally (e.g., sleep), or can be the result of a brain lesion (e.g., vegetative states).

In addition, I am also keen to understand how socio-cultural factors and language status (i.e., bilingualism versus monolingualism) influence self-regulation.

Lastly, I am strongly interested in global health and health equity around the world. Destigmatizing addiction and mental health in the Middle East and Africa has become my passion. This pushed me to establish an international non-profit organization that funds/supports research abroad, and applies grass-root projects to eliminate the stigma that is associated with addiction and mental health illness (h-appi.org).