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R. Nathan Spreng, PhD
Principal Investigator
James McGill Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery

The Laboratory of Brain and Cognition is directed by Dr. Nathan Spreng, a Full Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. The lab examines large-scale brain network dynamics and their role in cognition. Currently, we investigate attention, memory, cognitive control, and social cognition, and the interacting brain networks that support them. We are also actively involved in the development and implementation of multivariate and network-based statistical approaches to assess brain structure, connectivity and activity. In doing so, we aim to better understand the properties of brain networks underlying cognitive processes as they change across the lifespan in health and disease

Postdoctoral Researchers


Alfie Wearn, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

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Research interests: Structural brain changes in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, quantitative MRI, longitudinal modelling, ApoeE, neuroinflammation, neuropsychological testing

Current project: Quantitative MRI of the isodendritic core

Personal hobbies:
Summer: Hiking & camping, jumping in lakes, birdwatching.
Winter: Playing games, cooking good food, planning for summer.


Veronica Diveica, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

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Research interests: Functional neuroimaging, functional brain networks, memory, cognitive control, social cognition

Current project: 1) Default network activity and interactivity in support of goal-directed access to prior knowledge, 2) Neural and behavioural correlates of wisdom

Personal hobbies: Board gaming, reading, hiking, cat worshipping, squirrel watching

Graduate Students


Giulia Baracchini

PhD candidate in Neuroscience

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Research interests: Macroscale brain dynamics, connectomics, multivariate modeling, healthy aging, cognitive control

Current project: From regional BOLD variability to functional network dynamics: characterizing the brain’s spatial architecture over time

Personal hobbies: Always running or cycling, training to become the next Serena Williams (Iol), looking for the next art/music show, and writing about what I love doing most


Emily Davidson

PhD student in Neuroscience


Shanny Foo

PhD candidate in Neuroscience

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Research interests: Functional and structural neuroimaging, longitudinal modelling, big data analysis, multivariate statistics, dementia, aging, social cognition, clinical populations

Current project: Longitudinal modelling of disease progression and social cognitive functioning for early detection of genetic frontotemporal dementia

Personal hobbies: Inventive baking, vegetarian foodie, travelling, cat custodian, making pretty plots, reading, coffee, puzzles, curious wandering


Miriam Taza

PhD student in Neuroscience


Jing Zhou

PhD candidate in Neuroscience

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Research interests: Quantitative susceptibility mapping, episodic memory, Alzheimer’s Disease, healthy aging

Current project: We aim to evaluate hippocampal iron using quantitative susceptibility mapping in a cohort of healthy older individuals at elevated risk for Alzheimer's Disease, and relate iron content to pattern separation and completion

Personal hobbies: Badminton, pilates, film, traveling


Adam Hull

MSc student in Neuroscience

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Research interests: Network neuroscience and functional connectivity, cooperation and competition of networks. More broadly, cognitive science and philosophical approaches to the mind and brain

Current project: An investigation into the temporal dynamics of anticorrelated networks in the human brain

Personal hobbies: Martial arts, SCUBA diving, strategy games (always looking for new chess opponents!). I also mix a mean drink

Research interests: Network neuroscience, functional and structural neuroimaging, blood-brain-barrier, Alzheimer’s disease, healthy aging, consciousness 

Current project: Studying the role of the basal forebrain in healthy aging and Alzheimer's Disease. Specifically, I investigate the relationship between multi-modal neuroimaging data (structural/functional MRI, H-MRS, PET) and cognitive/behaviour measures. 

Personal hobbies: Cooking, photography, reading/writing philosophy, plant caring, playing strategy boardgames, consuming coffee

Research interests: Brain dynamics, cognition 

Current project: Using MEG and time-series entropy measures to study the relationship between then complexity of brain activity and cognition.

Personal hobbies: Listening, thinking, and writing. Also muay thai


Daniel O'Sullivan

MSc Student in Neuroscience

(Co-supervised by Dr. Christine Tardif)


Patrick Hewan

MA student in Clinical Neuropsychology

York University
(Primary supervisor: Dr. Gary Turner)

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Research interests: White matter MRI, Alzheimer’s disease, loneliness, socially relevant brain networks

Current project: Implications of loneliness in brain network structure and Alzheimer’s progression

Personal hobbies: Socializing, the great outdoors, reading and writing philosophy, weightlifting, art of all forms, and a life of expedition

Research interests: Aging and decision-making, functional and structural neuroimaging, brain networks, neuropsychological disease, emotions and their neural correlates, how music impacts the brain and music therapy

Current project: We are trying to understand how decision-making changes across the lifespan and in neuropsychological disease by looking at exploration vs. exploitation style decisions and their neural underpinnings. We are combining comprehensive structural and functional MRI, with a large battery of decision-making tasks, with the goal of understanding the brain structures and networks that are involved in decision-making and how they change throughout life and in diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Personal hobbies: Jazz and classical piano, photography, computer programming, tennis, swimming, reading, drinking coffee

Research Assistants & Undergraduate Students


Kayla Williams

Research Assistant

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Research interests: Internally-directed cognition, affective cognition, autobiographical memory, motivation, apathy, emotional disorders, perseverative cognition, large-scale functional connectivity

Current project: (1) Neural activation of five dimensions of perseverative thought during states of worry vs. mindfulness. (2) Investigating the effect of motivation and apathy on explore-exploit decision-making across the lifespan.

Personal hobbies: Avid puzzler, gym goer, podcast listener, full-time kitty mama


Nathalie Prenevost

Research Assistant

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Research interests: Functional and structural connectivity, mood disorders, self-referential processing and autobiographical memory

Current project: Functional and anatomical variabilities in the prefrontal cortex

Personal hobbies: Painting, reading, and dressing my dog in knitted sweaters (he is debatably not a fan of this, but forgives me). I also love combining art and science by creating medical illustrations!


Corina Lazarenco

BA student in Psychology

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Research interests: Cognition and behaviour, brain connectivity, aging

Current project: (1) Social cognition and functional brain networks in pre-symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease; (2) Functional and anatomical variabilities in the medial frontal cortex

Personal hobbies: Dog, food and chocolate enthusiast. Writing and reading the rest of the time

LBC Alumni

Postdoctoral Fellows
  • Colleen Hughes, PhD

  • Taylor Schmitz, PhD

  • Michael A. Ferguson, PhD

Graduate Students
  • Manesh Girn, PhD

  • Aïda B. Fall
    Visiting PhD student

  • Alexander Bailey
    Visiting PhD student

  • Jamie Snytte
    Visiting PhD student

  • Laetitia Mwilambwe-Tshilobo, PhD

  • Roni Setton, PhD

  • Amber Lockrow, MA

  • Anne Laurita, PhD

  • Elizabeth DuPre, MA

Undergraduate Students
  • Yigu Zhou

  • Sophie Hübner (Visiting student) 

  • Eliana Muszynski


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