Karisa Parkington

Ph.D. Candidate

Karisa ParkingtonCognitive Neuroscience

Bachelor of Science (Honours), Dalhousie University

Supervisor: Dr. Roxane Itier

Member of Face Processing & Social Cognition Lab

Contact information


Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (September 2014 – August 2015), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada


I received my Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Dalhousie University. During my time there I had the opportunity to work in several research labs, contributing to research in the fields of learning, executive functioning, social-emotional awareness, bullying and cyberbullying, bilingualism, as well as face and object perception, in typically developing and developmentally disabled populations. To date, most of my work has focused on evaluating individual variation in psychological processing, particularly in relation to autistic-like tendencies, to further elucidate the underlying mechanisms and characteristic patterns associated with behaviour. These research projects have significant applications for improving the well-being for children and adults alike, as well as having promising influences for educational and health practices for various clinical populations and/or individuals with social difficulties.

Research Interests

My research investigates the neural correlates of face processing and identity recognition, and how these processes are differentially affected by individual differences (particularly sub-clinical autistic-like tendencies). More specifically, my research focuses on identifying neural measures of eye-sensitivity and holistic processing using electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking technologies, and how these measures are related to identity recognition. This research is important for developing a clear understanding of the underlying neural and behavioural face processing mechanisms in neurotypical populations. Furthermore, identifying the role of individual differences in face perception and identity recognition is not only valuable for illuminating variation within the general population, but also provides valuable insight into how these processes may be similar or altered in clinical populations with social difficulties, such as those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or prosopagnosia.

Selected Publications

  • Broll, R., Burns, S., Parkington, K.B., Pandri, J., & Doucette, J. (in press). Challenges and lessons learned in cyber bullying research and education. In Pepler, D., Cummings, J., & Craig, W. (Eds.), Creating healthy relationships to prevent bullying. Ottawa: National Printers.
  • Parkington, K.B., Clements, R.J., Landry, O., & Chouinard, P.A. (2015). Visual-motor association learning in undergraduate students as a function of the autism-spectrum quotient. Experimental Brain Research, 233(10), 2883-2895. doi: 10.1007/s00221-015-4358-x.

Selected Conference Presentations

  • Itier, R. & Parkington, K. From eye to face: Support for neural inhibition in holistic processing. Vision Science Society (VSS) conference. May 2015. St. Pete's Beach, FL, USA.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E., Cain, K., MacLeod, A., Marinova-Todd, S., Scherba de Valenzuela, J., Genessee, F., Mirenda, P., Verhoeven, L., Pesco, D., Cleave, P., Segers, E., Parkington, K., Fawcett, S., & Stahl, H. Bilingualism, context & children with special needs: Insights from an international collaboration. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Annual Conference. Orlando, FL, USA. November 2014. Seminar presentation.
  • Clements, B.J., Parkington, K.B., Landry, O., & Chouinard, P.A. Evidence for dissociable visual perception and executive functioning processes in typically developing adults with varying degrees of autistic-like characteristics. International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) Annual Conference. Atlanta, GA, USA. May 2014. Poster presentation.
  • LeBlanc, J.C., Bilsbury, T., & Parkington, K. The epidemiology of cyberbullying and suicide. Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) Annual Conference. Edmonton, AB, Canada. June 2013. Oral presentation.
  • Parkington, K., Varatharasan, N., Donato, A., Bilsbury, T., & LeBlanc, J.C. Social-emotional learning programs for schools: An evidence-based toolkit for educators and school administrators. Dalhousie University Department of Pediatrics Annual Research Day Conference. Halifax, NS, Canada. April 2013. Poster presentation.
  • Bilsbury, T., LeBlanc, J.C., & Parkington, K. Programs for social and emotional learning in Nova Scotia Schools: A need for evidence-based programming. Dalhousie University Department of Pediatrics Annual Research Day Conference. Halifax, NS, Canada. April 2013. Oral presentation.
University of Waterloo

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