CANLAB LOGOThe Child and Adolescent Neuropsychology Lab ("CAN Lab") is located in the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo. Research in the lab focuses on the development of executive control, a collection of inter-related skills that promote purposeful, goal-oriented behaviour. Intuition tells us that executive skills play an important role in our ability to navigate the changing demands of our everyday environments (as when, for example, we are required to juggle competing demands for our time, shift priorities, and keep track of important information). Although much work has been done examining how executive control develops, our understanding of executive skills in children and adolescents is still limited. How is executive control organized during development, how do specific executive skills improve as children age, and why might these skills be important in a developmental context? These are some of the questions that our studies aim to address in the context of typical and atypical development. The overarching goal of the CAN Lab is to find ways of intervening with children to produce more positive mental health outcomes via interventions that strengthen executive skills.

  1. July 20, 2020More on childhood adversity, executive functions, and health: Student Rebecca Trossman publishes in Psychological Trauma

    Rebecca Trossman is publishng more of her Master's work in which she establishes in both undergraduate students and a community sample of adults that EF-challenges mediate an association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and health.

  2. June 22, 2020More on mood, emotional reactivity, and executive function: Student Martyn Gabel publishes follow-up work in Motivation and Emotion

    In a follow-up to Gabel & McAuley (2018), we now provide more compelling evidence that negative mood has the potential to help or hinder performance on some kinds of EF tasks pending one's level of emotional reactivity. Our work suggests that emotional reactivity is an important moderator of the interplay between affect and cognition - perhaps because it influences whether a bad mood increases cognitive load (e.g., for low-reactive individuals) or serves as an informational cue that promotes analytic thinking (e.g., for high-reactive individuals).

  3. May 23, 2020Executive functions, childhood adversity, and health: Student Rebecca Trossman publishes in Applied Neuropsychology - Adult

    Student Rebecca Trossman has published the first of her Master's studies demonstrating that real-world challenges in the application of executive skills mediate an association between exposure to childhood adversities and the emergence of mental health concerns in young adults. Her work is an important step in elucidating underlying mechanisms that may explain why childhood adversity exposure (ACEs) exerts a deleterious impact on multiple facets of health in later life.

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Looking for teens with ADHD!

We are now running online interviews with 13-17 year-old teens who have been diagnosed with ADHD to learn more about their goals and experiences. The interviews are 1-hour long and teens are given a $25 electronic Amazon gift card in appreciation for their time. For more information about this research study, please take a look at this flyer and contact the lead researcher, Mahsa Sadeghi (m9sadegh@uwaterloo.ca), for more information and/or to participate.