Cognitive Psychology

researcher explaining computer rythms to participant

Our Cognitive Psychology program provides students with an interactive and enriching environment in which to study mind and behaviour, where you will work closely with other students and with faculty members. The program emphasizes the development of your research skills in the service of carrying out high quality, independent research.  

In the Cognitive area, applicants are typically admitted to the MA program and continue directly to the PhD program afterward.

Cognitive Psychology is the branch of psychology that deals with understanding how the mind works – the mental events that underlie how people acquire, store, transform, and communicate information. Understanding cognition provides a unique window into who we are and why we behave the way we do.  Moreover, we can leverage this knowledge to improve our day-to-day lives in many ways.

Our graduate program in Cognitive Psychology is a research-intensive program that provides students with both a thorough understanding of cognitive psychology and the skills necessary to perform high quality independent research. We endeavour to provide students with the tools and opportunities that they need to pursue their scientific interests and to fulfill their long-term career goals, whether in academia or in industry. For example, with respect to the latter, students have the opportunity to spend time working in an industry position related to cognitive psychology through our Applied Practicum course. In addition, we encourage students to collaborate with other faculty both within cognitive psychology and across traditional area boundaries. For example, we have a close alliance with the 7 faculty in the department’s Cognitive Neuroscience area. This creates a fertile and enriching environment to explore the underlying nature of the human mind.

Students entering the Cognitive area join a large group of faculty (six) and graduate students (typically 12 to 15) with access to tools for conducting studies using event related potentials as well as desktop and mobile eye tracking.

The research interests of the faculty are diverse, encompassing issues in attention, awareness, consciousness, cognitive control, embodied/embedded cognition, evolutionary psychology, memory, neuropsychology, reading, reasoning, judgment and decision-making, skilled performance, and applied experimental psychology.

Our graduate students are competitive for external grants such as NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council), and have secured faculty positions (e.g., Memorial, Trent, Arizona State University, State University of New York), competitive post-docs (e.g., Yale, University of British Columbia, University of California-Davis), and industry positions (e.g., IBM International, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario) post-graduation.

Cognitive Core Faculty

Clara Colombatto*
Jonathan Fugelsang
Samuel Johnson
Derek Koehler* Area Head
Evan Risko*

*May be accepting new graduate students for Fall 2025