Brian Levine, Ph.D., C.Psych., ABPP-cn
Senior Scientist, Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Health Sciences
Professor of Psychology and Medicine (Neurology), University of Toronto
Dr. Brian Levine obtained his Ph.D. in 1991 from the University of South Florida and completed fellowships in clinical neuropsychology at McLean Hospital in Boston and cognitive neuroscience at the Rotman Research Institute. He has published over 150 peer reviewed scientific articles and chapters on memory, frontal lobe function, traumatic brain injury, aging, dementia, and rehabilitation as well as Mind and the Frontal Lobes: Cognition, Behavior, and Brain Imaging (2012, Oxford University Press) and Goal Management Training® intervention for executive deficits (with Ian Robertson and Tom Manly). He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and Association for Psychological Science and recipient of the 2015 International Neuropsychological Society's Benton award for mid-career research achievement. His research has been funded by federal agencies (CIHR, NIH) continuously for the past 20 years, receiving nearly $7 million in funding as a principal investigator. Dr. Levine, a board-certified neuropsychologist, is clinically active, providing expert opinions in cases involving brain injury, dementia, and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Levine is frequently called upon to communicate research findings to health professionals and the general public. He has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBC radio, USA Today, Psychology Today, Scientific American Mind, Wired, New York Magazine, and Discovery Health.
Lynn Zhu, Ph.D.
I am an epidemiologist and gerontologist by training, and my interests are in health services and technology-based interventions for older adults. I joined Baycrest to work with Drs. Levine, Angela Troyer and Susan Vendermorris on evaluating the online versions of the Goal Management Training and the Memory and Aging programs. We also are scaling up the in-person and online delivery of these programs, and exploring new delivery methods so more people can benefit from them. Before Baycrest, I was at the Women's College Hospital researching medication prescribing for older adults, and dementia experiences using social media data. During that time, I completed my PhD dissertation in Epidemiology, focusing on evaluating wearable sensors in older adults with Parkinson's disease (Western University;https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/4877/). I also completed a MSc. in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (Health & Aging stream, Western University), and HBSc. in Neurosciences, Integrative Biology and Health Studies (University of Toronto). For fun, I like longboarding, keeping up with current affairs, and laughing with family and friends.
Moriah Sokolowski, Ph.D.
I am a Developmental Cognitive Neuroscientist by training, seeking to better understand how people learn, and why some individuals excel at learning while others find learning so challenging. I received my PhD from the University of Western Ontario in the Brain and Mind Institute in 2019, supervised by Dr Daniel Ansari. During my PhD, I focused on uncovering how the human brain supports numerical and mathematical thinking, and how this ability emerges across developmental time. Unravelling the cognitive and neural underpinnings that support mathematical thinking holds promise for understanding why particular individuals enter and succeed in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In this uncertain global economy, STEM skills are fundamental to Canada’s global competitiveness, economic growth, and overall standard of living. Although progress has been made in linking math ability to success in STEM careers, the many other traits associated with an individual’s career choice have been largely ignored. Consequently, I became interested in uncovering what factors, beyond math ability, influence whether a person enters and succeeds in a STEM career. During my post-doc with Dr Brian Levine, I intend to build on my previous work by exploring specific cognitive and neural factors that predict whether an individual will have a successful career in a STEM discipline. My present projects in the Levine lab are focused on probing whether there is a behavioural and/or neural trade-off between trait abilities in episodic autobiographical memory and non-episodic strategic reasoning and identifying whether individual differences in these trait abilities relate to having a STEM occupation. Outside of the lab, I enjoy travelling, trying new fitness classes around the city, and reading fiction while hanging out on the couch with my cat.
Graduate Students (Primary)
I graduated from McGill university with a B.Sc. in Honours Psychology. At McGill, I worked on two main research projects: a behavioural and neuroimaging study investigating age-related changes to autobiographical memory and open-ended problem solving abilities, and a behavioural study examining the contributions of episodic memory processes to clinical decision making (i.e., diagnoses). Throughout high school and undergrad, I also spent several summers conducting research in a cerebrovascular physiology lab at the University of Calgary, studying the effects of aerobic exercise on brain blood flow and cognitive function in older adults. These combined experiences have led to a broad interest in how memory functions in the real world and contributes to other cognitive processes, and in how all this changes with age — and these are interests that I hope to explore during my graduate studies in the Levine Lab. Outside of research, I love reading, running, playing and listening to music, and finding obscure activities to explore around the city!
I recently graduated from Western University, with an Honours B.Sc. in Neuroscience. For my undergraduate thesis, I examined the effects of a low-grade bacterial endotoxin on anxiety-like behaviours in adolescent rats. Throughout my university career, I especially enjoyed working in a cognitive neuroscience lab as well as volunteering with the Canadian Mental Health Association. Now, at the Levine lab, my primary duties include participant recruitment, neuropsychological and neuroimaging testing as well as data management. I am currently involved in a study examining brain health in high-level athletes. In my spare time, I enjoy baking, travelling and watching movies.
I graduated from McGill University with a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Neuroscience. During my undergraduate studies I was part of a psycholinguistic lab where I've investigated the attentional effects of emotional words on French bilingual speakers during reading. For my graduate thesis my research was focused on the visual system and the nonlinear visual processing of contrast and colour information. Now, I am very excited to be working in the Levine lab as a technical research assistant and explore memory impairment and cognitive function in various populations. Some of my hobbies outside of the lab include drawing, photography, and dance.
I graduated from University of Toronto, with an Honours B.Sc. in Psychology Research Specialist in June 2019. In my undergraduate thesis project, I used EEG to establish a link between Attention and Visual Working Memory precision. Throughout my education, I have contributed to various research projects and have an interest in Quantitative Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, and mental health related research. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, photography, and practicing Kamancheh (an Iranian musical instrument).
I am currently pursuing my Honours B. Sc. in Psychology and Human Biology at the University of Toronto. In my undergraduate years, I became interested in research, especially looking at memory, psychiatric disorders and their physiological bases. Working in cognitive neuroscience and social psychology labs on campus has provided me with the opportunity to further explore my academic interests. Now, at the Levine Lab, my primary duties as a summer student include participant recruitment and assisting in various studies investigating episodic autobiographical memory. When not in the lab, I can be found frequenting the library, painting, or watching true crime documentaries!