Brownbag Talk Series

Department areas organize informal seminar series annually. The information about talks is below.

CRAM (Cognitive Research at McGill)

Time and Location: 2001 McGill College, Room 735, 12:00pm to 1:00pm

October 12, 2018: the CRAM is replaced by a Hebb lecture.
November 9, 2018: the CRAM is replaced by a Bindra lecture.
Click here for details.





September 21, 2018 Hebb Lecture
Laura Stapleton
University of Maryland
September 28, 2018 Grad Data Blitz
(featuring Kevin da Silva Castanheira, Rebecca Scheurich, Mael Mauchand and Mehrgol Tiv)
Kevin: Thinking Fast and Fast Thinkers: The effect of time pressure and processing speed
on risky decision-making

Rebecca: Behavioural and neural measures of synchrony during 2-person auditory-motor synchronization

Mael: Teasing apart content and prosody in ironic speech processing

Mehrgol: Isn’t it Ironic? Individual differences in bilingual first language irony comprehension
October 5, 2018 No CRAM  
October 12, 2018 Hebb Lecture
Caroline Palmer
McGill Psychology
October 19, 2018 Staff meeting, no CRAM  
October 26, 2018 Dr. Marina Doucerain
UQAM Psychology
Immigrating and negotiating one’s cultural engagement: The role of context and social relationships

Abstract: When people settle in a new country, they face a host of challenges and changes, including for example learning a new language, learning new ways of doing things, or renegotiating their cultural identities. A lot of research has focused on intra-individual factors at play in this process of acculturation. In contrast, this presentation takes the idea that acculturation does not take place in a vacuum as a starting point, and emphasizes the role of contextual factors in acculturation. People are embedded in a range of contexts, ranging from biological dispositions to the cultural composition of their neighbourhood, that strongly influence how they can or decide to handle acculturative changes. This presentation focuses in particular on social aspects of people’s contexts (social interactions, relationships, and networks).
November 2, 2018 Dr. Aparna Nadig
McGill Communication Sciences & Disorders
Proficient bilingualism and children with autism – is it possible?
Can it alleviate executive function difficulties?

Children with autism often experiences language delays. In this context, it is a common belief that bilingualism may be too challenging for them and may harm their language development. (1) We examined whether proficient bilingualism is possible in school-age children with autism growing up in Montreal, by assessing their language skills as well as by examining the relationship between their amount of language exposure and skills in that language. Our findings demonstrate that proficient bilingualism is possible for some children with autism. (2) Children with autism demonstrate significant executive function (EF) difficulties. Enhanced EF performance has been reported in typically-developing bilingual children relative to monolinguals. We hypothesized that proficient bilingualism may alleviate EF impairments in autism, and tested this using set-shifting and verbal fluency tasks. In both cases, proficient bilinguals with autism outperformed well-matched monolinguals with autism. These findings build on previous research demonstrating that bilingualism is not detrimental for language development in autism. Moreover, they provide novel evidence indicating that bilingualism may even hold benefits with respect to mitigating some executive function impairments in this population.
November 9, 2018 Bindra Lecture
Scott Waddell
Oxford University
November 16, 2018 Dr. Natasha Rajah
McGill Psychology
Age-related differences in episodic memory-related brain function

Age differences in brain activity have been reported during both encoding and retrieval of past events. Yet, it remains unclear whether these differences are due to age, performance, or age*performance effects. In the current presentation, I will discuss our results from an event-related fMRI study of spatial and temporal context encoding and retrieval in the adult lifespan in which we examined age and performance effects. We conducted a multivariate behavior partial least squares (B-PLS) analysis of fMRI data to differentiate age (as a continuous variable), performance (accuracy) and age*performance effects on brain activity across the adult lifespan. This analysis identified three significant effects: 1) activity in fusiform, middle occipital temporal and inferior parietal cortices increased with age and decreased with performance; 2) Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and limbic activity increased with age at encoding, and increased with performance at retrieval; and 3) Right ventrolateral prefrontal and bilateral hippocampus (HC) increased with age during retrieval and was differentially related to performance during encoding versus retrieval. We then conducted a seed voxel PLS analysis to test the hypothesis that age-related increases in DLPFC and posterior HC activity may be related to altered patterns of functional connectivity between these two brain areas, and with ventral visual and fronto-parietal areas. Our findings show that advanced age was related to increased positive connectivity amongst DLPFC, posterior HC, ventral visual and parietal regions. In contrast younger adults exhibited positive connectivity between DLPFC, ventral visual and parietal regions, and negative connectivity between these regions and posterior HC. We conclude that age-related increases in positive DLPFC-HC connectivity may reflect unconstrained encoding and retrieval, which negatively impact memory performance in older adults.
November 23, 2018 Dr. Heungsun Hwang
McGill Psychology
November 30, 2018    
December 7, 2018 Dr. Signy Sheldon
McGill Psychology

**To receive information about Cognitive Area seminars via email, subscribe to 'coggroup' listserve here

Quantitative Brownbag Series

The quantitative psychology brown bag series intends to serve as an informal forum to promote recent technical developments in quantitative psychology and other related disciplines and to discuss methodological issues that substantive researchers may encounter in their research.

Location: TBA
Time: TBA

          Date          Presenter                                            Title           Affiliation

Location: TBA
Time: TBA

          Date          Presenter                 Title           Affiliation

**To receive more information about Quantitative Brownbag Series, contact heungsun.hwang [at]





January 12, 2018 Grad Data Blitz
Naomi Vingron (Titone lab)
Kevin da Silva Castanheira (Otto lab)
Mehrgol Tiv (Titone lab)
Naomi: What The Eyes Tell Us About
How Bilinguals Encode Linguistic Landscapes

Kevin: Confidence in Risky Value-Based Choice
Mehrgol: Using Eye Tracking to ‘Figure Out’
Verb Particle Construction Reading in L1 and L2
January 19, 2018 Grad Data Blitz
Todd Vogel (Roy lab)
Lauri Gurguryan (Sheldon lab)
Paulie Palma (Titone lab)
Todd:  The effects of reward on the trade-off
between task performance and pain perception

Lauri:  Pushing boundaries: The effect of
boundaries on temporal memory

Paulie: Cross-language lexical ambiguity
processing during bilingual reading:
an eye-tracking study
January 26, 2018 Hebb Lecture
Steven Hollon
Vanderbilt University
February 2, 2018 No CRAM  
February 9, 2018 Marc Pell
McGill University SCSD
Communicating emotion and interpersonal
stance through tone of voice
February 16, 2018 Carl Falk
McGill Psychology
A Method for Modeling Response Styles
on Likert-Type Items
February 23, 2018 Nathan Spreng
McGill University
Neurology and Neurosurgery

Network Dynamics and Neurocognitive Aging
March 2, 2018 Meredith Young
McGill University
Faculty of Medicine
Cognition in Applied Settings:
Theories of Categorization
and Medical Diagnosis
March 9, 2018 Reading Week  
March 16, 2018 No CRAM  
March 23, 2018 Hebb Lecture
Wendy Berry Mendes
University of California,
Santa Barbara
March 30, 2018 Holiday  
April 6, 2018 Cristian Zaelzer
Convergence Initiative
A Science-Art Reunification:
Using the Brain to Speak about Science