Graduate Students

Polina Andrievskaia

Polina is entering her first year of graduate studies at Ryerson, co-supervised by Dr. Behrang Keshavarz (MIVE Lab) and Dr. Julia Spaniol. She completed her undergraduate psychology education at Carleton University, where she investigated how changes in mental workload influenced electroencephalographic measures during virtual flight simulation. She hopes to continue using neuroimaging in her graduate studies, where she plans to investigate neural correlates of perceived self-motion in virtual environments, and how this may differ across younger and older adults.

Shadini Dematagoda

Shadini graduated from the University of Toronto Scarborough in December 2019, where she completed a double-major in neuroscience and health studies. She is interested in age-related differences in the cognitive processes of memory and decision-making between healthy older adults and older adults living with neuropathology. Shadini hopes to investigate various factors that affect memory recall in aging populations.

Mane Kara-Yakoubian

B.A. (Honours) University of Waterloo 2019

Brandy Murovec

B.Sc. (Honours) University of Waterloo 2018

Brandy is co-supervised by Dr. Behrang Keshavarz (MIVE Lab, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute) and by Dr. Julia Spaniol. Brandy is interested in age differences in self-illusory motion, a phenomenon known as ‘vection’. Vection is an important feature of virtual-reality environments, but very little is known about aging and vection. Brandy’s Master’s project examines the impact of visual, auditory, and haptic modalities on vection in younger and older adults. This work will contribute to innovation in the development of age-appropriate virtual-reality technologies.

Erika Sparrow

M.A. Ryerson University 2016
B.Sc. (Honours) Carleton Unversity 2013

Erika is interested in the influence of prosocial motives, such as altruism, on cognition across the lifespan. Erika’s current research examines the influence of altruism on reward learning and on value-based decisions about current and future rewards (i.e., intertemporal choice). Erika uses behavioural, computational-modelling, and physiological approaches (hormone assay, fMRI). Erika’s work is driving discoveries on how the motivation to help others affects thought and decision making as we age.

Liyana Swirsky

M.A. Ryerson University 2018
B.Sc. (Honours) University of Guelph 2014

Liyana is interested in cognitive and motivational selectivity across the lifespan. Selectivity – prioritizing goal-relevant over irrelevant stimuli and activities – is a hallmark of successful aging. Liyana’s work examines selectivity in the context of cognitive control and long-term memory, with a focus on the influences of novelty, reward, and intrinsic motivation on cognition. Liyana’s research helps identify motivational strategies for boosting cognitive performance in older adults.