People in the lab




Principal Investigator


Marc Joanisse, Ph.D.

Marc has been at Western since 2000, studying the cognitive and brain bases of language and reading. His research emphasizes the importance of studying multiple aspects of language ability, in a variety of populations, using a range of techniques. This includes studing phonology, reading and grammar abilities in adults and children, using everything from traditional behavioural techniques to eyetracking and neuroimaging.  
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Postdoctoral Fellows

Christina Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden, Ph.D.

Christina is a BMI postdoctoral fellow working with Jessica Grahn and Marc Joanisse to examine how children with and without dyslexia entrain to speech and song. She received her Ph.D. in 2016 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. There, her research examined how music and language are processed throughout the lifespan, with a particular focus on the acoustic characteristics that differentiate speech and song. She also examined auditory scene processing in childhood by characterizing factors involved in change deafness, the auditory analogue of change blindness.


Graduate Students

Nicolette Noonan 

Nicolette is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Psychology investigating statistical language learning. Her research is interested in whether statistical language learning involves language-specific or domain-general contributions. Part of her research focuses on what differentiates a typical language learner from someone with a language learning impairment, and how abilities in statistical learning may contribute to these differences. Her work uses behavioural measures and ERPs to exam behavioural and neural correlates of language learning.

Alex Cross 

Alex is a third year student in the combined M.Cl.Sc. and Ph.D. program in Speech-Language Pathology, studying reading and language impairments in children. She uses behavioural methods, eyetracking, and MRI to examine reading and language development and response to intervention. She completed her M.Sc. in Psychology at the University of Western Ontario and her B.Sc.H. in Psychology at Queen's University.


Joe Nidel 

Joe is a second year MSc student in Psychology, studying reading comprehension differences between monolinguals and bi-/multilinguals. He is interested in how differences in ease-of-reading (e.g., font and linguistic fluency v. disfluency) affect processing within and between speakers of varying linguistic backgrounds. Additionally, he has an interest in affective differences between mono- and bi-/multilinguals. Joe received his BA in Psychology from Youngstown State University.


Leah Brainin 

Leah is a first year M.Sc. student in psychology interested in studying developmental language impairments and neural differences of language processing between children and adults. Ultimately, she hopes her research will contribute to providing earlier intervention for children with language impairments. She completed her B.A. in Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of Toronto.


Christine Moreau 

Christine is a first year MSc student in Psychology, under the supervision of Dr. Marc Joanisse. She recently completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Ottawa. In her undergraduate career, she worked under Dr. Christopher Fennell to investigate the influence of mobile devices on mono- and bilingual infants language acquisition.


Honours Students


Jessica Lammert

Jessica is a fourth year student completing an Honors Specialization in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. She is currently completing her undergraduate thesis under the supervision of Dr. Marc Joanisse on structural and functional brain correlates of reading comprehension skills in children. She hopes to pursue both clinical and research-based work in the field of language development.

Research Assistants


Maria Leis

Maria is currently working as a research assistant for Dr. Marc Joanisse. She recently completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts at McGill University, where she investigated: i) the associations between symptoms of depression, anxiety, aggression and sensitivity to vocal cues of socio-emotional expressions, and; ii) a model of prenatal maternal stress, dermatoglyphic markers, changing hippocampal volumes and psychotic-like symptoms in adolescence.


Lisa Archibald, Ph.D.

Before completing her doctoral degree, Dr. Archibald worked as a clinical speech-language pathologist for 15 years providing services to children and adults with all types of communication disorders. In response to the considerable heterogeneity observed among children with developmental language disorders, Dr. Archibald has pursued a research program in the University of Durham, UK to understand childrens learning profiles and the deficits underlying them. In particular, her work has examined the relationship between linguistic performance and cognitive abilities such as working memory. Findings from Dr. Archibalds research have important implications for the assessment and remediation of developmental language disorder, as well as other communication and learning disabilities.
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