Morgan Barense, Ph.D.
Professor and Canada Research Chair
Max and Gianna Glassman Endowed Chair in Neuropsychology

Morgan received her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, UK. She remained in Cambridge for her postdoctoral work to undertake a Peterhouse Research Fellowship. She joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 2009, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014, and then to Full Professor in 2019. She currently directs the Toronto Neuroimaging Facility. Trained in animal neuroscience, human neuropsychology, fMRI, and cognitive psychology, she enjoys bringing these approaches together to study the neural underpinnings of memory.

She has been honoured with a number of domestic and international awards, including a Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, an Early Investigator Award and Lifetime Fellowship from the Society of Experimental Psychologists, an Early Career Award from the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science, a Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award, an Early Researcher Award from the Province of Ontario, and a Connaught Innovation Award. She currently holds the endowed Max and Gianna Glassman Chair in Neuropsychology.



Bryan Hong

Bryan Hong, Ph.D.

I am a postdoctoral fellow working in the Memory and Perception Lab. My research investigates how we remember—specically, how does the associative structure of memory affect how we encode, organize, and retrieve information? Additionally, I am interested in translating our current understanding of memory to develop technologies and interventions that can help mitigate memory loss. I previously completed my BSc and PhD at the University of Toronto. In my free time you can probably find me reading a good book, checking out new bands at a local show, or digging through old vinyl at a record store.



Nichole Bouffard

Nichole Bouffard, M.A.

I joined the lab as a graduate student in 2018 and am co-supervised by Dr. Morgan Barense and Dr. Morris Moscovitch. I graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Psychology in 2015. Before joining the lab, I worked as a lab manager in Dr. Charan Ranganath’s Dynamic Memory Lab where I used neuroimaging techniques, like fMRI, to study brain regions in the MTL and their function as it relates to episodic memory. As a graduate student in the Barense lab, I am looking forward to investigating how features like space and time act to structure our memories and what role they play during retrieval. When I’m not doing science I like to do yoga, drink coffee, try new foods, and to pretend that my Californian blood isn’t phased by winter.


Natalia Ladyka

Natalia Ladyka, M.A.

I joined the Barense lab as a new graduate student in 2018, after completing my Honours Specialization (B.A.) in psychology from the Glendon Campus of York University. I’m interested in understanding inter-individual variability of cognitive trajectories of aging, especially in the context of spatial perception and memory. In my free time I love reading mystery novels, watching movies, as well as running and hiking outdoors.


Nelly Matorina

Nelly Matorina, M.A.

I joined the Memory and Perception Lab as a PhD student in 2020. Before that, I completed my MSc at Queen’s University, where I worked with Dr. Jordan Poppenk investigating different kinds of gist memory and how they change over time and sleep. My current research examines the role of sleep and dreaming in the processing of complex memories, such as memory for autobiographical events and video clips. I am also working with a patient who has a unique form of amnesia that is exacerbated by sleep. Outside of the lab, I enjoy making video and installation art, visiting museums, and swing dancing.


Lauren Homann

Lauren Homann, B.Sc.

I joined the Memory and Perception Lab as a PhD student in 2022, after completing my Honours BSc in Psychology at the University of Waterloo. Generally, I am interested in investigating the ways in which individuals encode, modify, and retrieve complex real-world memories, leveraging behavioural and neuroimaging methodologies. Currently, my research explores methods of improving memory for one’s personal past. When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy playing the violin and piano, biking around Toronto, and honing my barista skills with my home espresso setup.


Catalina Mengyao Yang

Catalina Mengyao Yang, B.S.

I joined the lab as a graduate student in 2022 and I am co- supervised by Dr. Morgan Barense and Dr. Katherine Duncan. Before coming to UofT, I completed my B.S. degree in Neuroscience at Columbia University. I am interested in understanding the neural mechanisms by which prediction error drives memory updating, as well as how the hippocampus shifts between encoding and retrieval states. When I am not in the lab, I love to paint, make digital animations, and foxtrot on the dance floor.



Christina Saliba

Lab Manager

I joined the Barense lab in 2022 as a research assistant examining memory performance using desktop virtual reality. I am interested in exploring age-related differences in memory recall of object details. I am currently the lab manager and am passionate about fostering a research environment that encourages innovation and collaboration. Aside from my research and lab manager duties, I enjoy going for walks, baking desserts, and spending time with my family.



We have a large and vibrant group of undergraduates working on all manner of research conducted in the lab. If you are interested in joining our team, please complete an application form


Aedan (Yue) Li, Ph.D.

2016-2022: Graduate student. Now: BrainsCAN Computational Postdoctoral Fellow, Western University.

Melissa Meade, Ph.D.

2019-2022: Postdoctoral Fellow. Now: Assistant Professor, Huron University College.

Jackson Liang, Ph.D.

2015 – 2021: Postdoctoral Fellow. Now: UX Researcher, Google via BayOne Solutions.

Chris Martin, Ph.D.

2015-2020: Postdoctoral Fellow. Now: Assistant Professor, Florida State University.

Iva Brunec, Ph.D.

2014-2019: Graduate student. Now: Research Scientist, Babbly.

Alyssa Sinclair, Ph.D.

2015-2018: Research assistant and undergraduate honours thesis student. Now: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania.

Celia Fidalgo, Ph.D.

2013-2018: Graduate student. Now: Head of Product, Cambridge Cognition.

Danielle Douglas, Ph.D.

2011-2016: Graduate student. Now: Assistant professor, Mount Allison University.

Lok-Kin Yeung, Ph.D.

2010-2016: Graduate student. Now: Postdoctoral fellow, Columbia University.

Ryan Stevenson, Ph.D.

2013-2016: Postdoctoral fellow. Now: Associate Professor, Western University.

Rachel Newsome, Ph.D.

2010-2015: Graduate student, 2017-2020. Now: Senior Project Manager Product Manager, Winterlight Labs.

Jonathan Erez, Ph.D.

2009-2015: Graduate student. Now: Data Scientist, Loblaw Companies Ltd.

Alina Guna, Ph.D.

2011-2014: Lab manager. Now: K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Fellow, Caltech.

Victoria McLelland, Ph.D.

2013-2014: Postdoctoral fellow. Now: Research Coordinator, Advanced Gerontological Education.

Alexandra Trelle, Ph.D.

2011-2012: Lab manager. Now: Postdoctoral fellow, Stanford University.

Iris Groen, Ph.D.

2008-2009: Master’s student. Now: Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam.