Dr. Lixia Yang


Dr. Lixia Yang, PhD.

Director of the Cognitive Aging Laboratory (CAL)
Department of Psychology, Ryerson University

Email: lixiay@psych.ryerson.ca email-icon google scholar
Tel: (416) 979 – 5000 Ext. 6522

Dr. Yang received her doctorate in psychology from the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2000. She then worked as a post‐doctoral research fellow at the Max‐Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, and later at the University of Toronto. In 2005, Dr. Yang joined the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University. Dr. Yang’s research interest covers three related areas: cognitive plasticity of the aging brain, cultural differences in attention and memory, as well as emotion-cognition interaction in aging.

Recent Contributions


I. Publications in Refereed Journals

  • Wong, B., Yin, S., Yang, L. Li, J., Spaniol, J. (in press). Cultural differences in memory for objects and backgrounds in pictures. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.
  • Mallya, S., Reed, M., & Yang, L. (in press). A theoretical framework for using humor to reduce the effects of chronic stress on cognitive function in older adults: An integration of findings and methods from diverse areas of psychology. HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research (HUMOR).
  • Judges, R. A., Gallnt, S. N., Yang, L., & Lee, K. (2017). The role of cognition, personality, and trust in fraud victimization in older adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 588. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00588. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00588
  • Gallant, S., Dyson, B. J., Yang, L. (2017). Local context effects during emotional item directed forgetting in younger and older adults. Memory, 25 (8),1129-1138. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2016.1274036.
  • Tallon, K., Koerner, N., & Yang, L. (2016). Working memory in Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Effects of verbal and image-based worry and relation to cognitive and emotional processes. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 7(1), 72-94. doi: 10.5127/jep.045714
  • Wilkinson, A.J., & Yang, L. (2016). Long-term maintenance of inhibition training effects in older adults: 1- and 3-year follow-up. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 71 (4), 622-629. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbu179.
  • Wilkinson, A. J., & Yang, L. (2016). Inhibition plasticity in older adults: Practice and transfer effects using a multiple task approach. Neural Plasticity, Volume 2016, Article ID 9696402, 12 pages. doi: 10.1155/2016/9696402
  • Gallant, S., & Yang, L. (2014). Positivity effect in source attributions of arousal-matched emotional and non-emotional words during item-based directed forgetting. Frontiers in Psychology. Volume 5, Article 1334, 1-10. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01334
  • Yang, L., Lau, K. P. L., & Truong, L., (2014). The survival effect in memory: Does it hold into old age and non-ancestral scenarios? PLoS ONE 9(5): e95792. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095792
  • Truong, L. & Yang, L. (2014). Friend or foe? Decoding the facilitative and disruptive effects of emotion on working memory in younger and older adults. Frontier in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00094.
    Wilkinson, A. J., Yang, L., & Dyson, B. J. (2013). Modulating younger and older adults’ performance in ignoring pictorial information during a word matching task. Brain and Cognition, 83(3), 351-359. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2013.10.001.
  • Ma, Z., Li, J., Niu, Y., Yu, J., & Yang, L. (2013). Age differences in emotion recognition between Chinese younger and older adults. The Psychological Record, 63, 629–640. DOI:10.11133/j.tpr.2013.63.3.015
  • Yang, L., Li, J., Spaniol, J., Hasher, L., Wilkinson, A., Yu, J., & Niu, Y. (2013). Aging, culture, and memory for socially meaningful item-context associations: An east-west cross cultural comparison study. Plos ONE. 8(4): e60703 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060703

II. Book Chapters

  • Gallant, S., & Yang, L. (2015). Directed Forgetting. The encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging (Ed., S. K. Whitbourne). Wiley Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781118521373.wbeaa324
  • Truong, L., & Yang, L. (2015). Dual Mechanisms of Cognitive Control. The encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging (Ed., S. K. Whitbourne). Wiley Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781118521373.wbeaa325
  • Wilkinson, A.J., & Yang, L. (2015). Cognitive Plasticity. The encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging (Ed., S. K. Whitbourne). Wiley Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781118521373.wbeaa327