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Myra Fernandes


Myra Fernandes Headshot

BSc (Waterloo), MA, PhD (Toronto)

Contact information

Recipient, Canadian Psychological Association New Researcher Award

Recipient, Ontario Early Researcher Award

Recipient, Outstanding Performance Award 2016, 2013, 2009

Associate Editor – Memory & Cognition (Psychonomic Society journal)

Myra Fernandes’ curriculum vitae (PDF)

Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

Waterloo Research in Aging Participants

Research interests

My research program involves developing an understanding of the cognitive processes, and brain regions, involved in memory and language. I am interested in knowing how we encode new information, how it is organized and represented in the brain, and how we reactivate the information during retrieval. I am particularly interested in how these change as people age. I evaluate the ability of young adults and seniors to carry out a memory task under conditions in which there is another on-going task competing for their attention. I also use neuroimaging (functional magnetic resonance imaging: fMRI) to identify the brain regions and networks mediating memory processing; these are used to determine how the strategy and brain regions contributing to memory change as we age. A related research interest lies in understanding how different types of information (words, numbers, symbols, spatial layouts) are represented and organized in the brain, through the use of behavioural paradigms and fMRI. My other line of research examines the relationship between neuropsychological and neuroimaging methods of evaluation of language localization.

Funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation.

Publications (past 3 years only)

Articles in Refereed Journals 

  • Fernandes, M. A., Wammes, J. D., Priselac, S. & Moscovitch, M. (in press). Interfering with free recall of words: Detrimental effects of phonological competition. Neuropsychologia.
  • Wammes, J.D., Meade. M.E., & Fernandes, M.A. (2016). The Drawing Effect: Evidence for Reliable and Robust Memory Benefits. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69:9, 1752-1776
  • Meade. M.E., & Fernandes, M.A. (2016). The role of semantically related distractors during encoding and retrieval of words in long-term memory. Memory, 24, 6, 801-11.
  • Wammes, J.D., & Fernandes, M.A. (2016). Interfering With memory for faces: The cost of doing two things at once. Memory 24, 2, 184-203.
  • Ozen, L.J., Fernandes, M. A., Clark, A. J., & Roy, E. A. (2015). Evidence of cognitive decline in older adults after remote traumatic brain injury: an exploratory study. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 22, 5, 517-533.
  • Ahmad, F., Fernandes, M.A., Hockley, W. (2015). Improving associative memory in older adults with unitization. Aging Neuropsychology and Cognition, 22, 4, 452-472.
  • Delleman, B. & Fernandes, M.A. (2015) Individual Differences in Anxiety Influence Verbal Long-term Memory Accuracy and Confidence. Journal of Individual Differences, 36, 2, 73-79.
  • Fernandes, M.A (2014). Specifying the link between brain integrity, cognitive, and affective functioning in aging individuals. The Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences The Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 69, 6, 823-825.
  • Skinner, E.I., Manios, M., Fugelsang, J., & Fernandes, M.A. (2014). Reinstatement of Encoding Context During Recollection: Behavioural and Neuroimaging Evidence of a Double Dissociation. Behavioural Brain Research 264, 51–63.
  • Tomaszczyk, J., & Fernandes, M.A. (2014). Age-related Differences in Attentional Bias for Emotional Faces. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 21 (5), 544–559.
  • Fernandes, M.A. (2013). Strategies and Factors That Help or Hinder Memory. The Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 68 (6): 859-861.
  • Fernandes, M.A., Wammes, J., & Hsiao, J. (2013). Representation of Linguistic Information Determines its Susceptibility to Memory Interference. Brain Sciences, 3, 1244-1260.
  • Ozen, L.J., Itier, R.J., Preston, F.F., Fernandes, M.A. (2013). Long-term Working Memory Deficits After Concussion: Electrophysiological Evidence. Brain Injury, 27 (11), 1244-1255.
  • Fernandes, M.A., Miller, E., & Michela, J. (2013). Alpha Meals: Using Cognitive Psychology to Boost Restaurant Server Performance. Sage Open, April-June, 1-6.
  • Tomaszczyk, J., & Fernandes, M.A. (2013). A Positivity Effect in Older Adults’ Memorability Judgments of Pictures. Experimental Aging Research, 39, 254-274.


  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery grant
  • Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) operating grant
  • Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award grant

Editorial boards

  • Memory & Cognition (Associate Editor)
  • Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences (Associate Editor)
  • Psychology & Aging
  • Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition


  • Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory (Psychology 461)
  • Case Studies in Neuropsychology (Psychology 461b)
  • Research Methods in Memory (Psychology 398)
  • Case Studies in in Neuroscience (Psychology 790)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory & Aging (Psychology 781)
  • Introduction of Physiological Psychology (Psychology 261)
  • Introduction to Cognition (Psychology 207)
  • Fundamentals of Neuroscience (Psychology 677A)
University of Waterloo

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