Lab Director: John Paul Minda

John Paul Minda, Ph.D.  

Department of Psychology & Brain and Mind Institute
The University of Western Ontario
London Ontario Canada N6A 5C2
tel 519 661-2111 ext 84689
fax 519 661-3961

Current Graduate Students:

Emily Nielsen  – Curriculum Vitae  – Website

Emily is a fourth year Ph.D. student. Her research focuses on the effects that environmental, situational, and individual factors can have on cognition. As a master’s student, Emily investigated the effects of background noise on creativity and cognitive flexibility. Currently, she is exploring the effects of mindfulness meditation on decision making, attentional focus, and category learning. Emily is also interested in how mindfulness meditation may be applied in the workplace.


Joshua Hatherley –  Curriculum Vitae – Blog – Email

Josh is a second-year Ph.D. graduate student at the Brain and Mind Institute. His research currently focuses how disrupting the phonological loop in working memory can impact rule-defined categorization. His research interests include, mindfulness meditation, local/global processing and cognitive models of working memory and depression.


Ana Ruiz Pardo – Curriculum Vitae

Ana is a second year Ph.D. graduate student in Cognitive Psychology is currently investigating how smartphone use effects cognition (e.g. sustained attention, working memory, etc.). Her present research aims to replicate current findings in the literature and then extend these findings to other cognitive domains.

Tianshu (Toka) Zhu – Curriculum Vitae

Toka Zhu

Toka is a first year Ph.D. graduate student in Cognitive Psychology.  Her main research interests lie in the field of decision research concerning rational reasoning, as well as the underlying neural circuitry behind these processes. She enjoys playing accordion and reading for leisure.


Bailey Brashears – 

Bailey is a second year Master’s student in Cognitive Science. She is currently working on a study investigating how implicit and verbal category learning strategies are employed by individuals when given indirect feedback. She is also interested in the use of interactive applications and video games in category learning.

Lab Alumni


Rachel Rabi (2016 Ph.D.) – Curriculum Vitae – Research Gate

Rachel is a postdoctoral fellowship at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute, where she will be studying the cognitive biomarkers of mild cognitive impairment.

Karen Zhang (2017 Ph.D.)

Karen is a clinician at St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton and hopes to continue with research in a clinical setting.


Ruby Nadler (2016 Post Doc) – Curriculum Vitae – Email

Ruby is a Talent Edge Postdoctoral Fellow at Sigma Assessment Systems.  Ruby’s doctoral work investigated the effects of mood and regulatory focus on cognitive processing and category learning. As a postdoc, Ruby works in conjunction with Sigma Assessments in London to help to understand cognitive processes involved in faking on tests and assessments. Her research interests include mindfulness, leadership, creativity, positive psychology, cognition, and decision-making.

Sarah Miles ( 2013 PhD) – Curriculum Vitae – Research Gate

Sarah has recently finished her Ph.D. program in 2013. Her research investigates the role of executive functions in different types of category learning. Her current projects examine the types of executive functions that are used in category learning, and whether executive functions mediate the interactions between category learning systems.

Sarah Devantier (2008 MSc) –

Sarah investigated differences between expert and novice physicians in clinical thinking and reasoning and the relevance of goal oriented categories to patient management.