Contact information: 

The Brain and Mind Institute
Natural Sciences Centre, 
Room 227 
The University of Western Ontario 
London, Ontario N6A 5B7 

ph: 519-661-2111, ext. 84447 
fax: 519-661-3613 

e-mail: ijohnsru at
Ingrid Johnsrude, PhD.
Western Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience Full Professor                                      
School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Google Scholar Page

Dr. Johnsrude received her BSc in Psychology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She then trained at the Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University with pioneering neuropsychologist Brenda Milner, receiving her PhD in clinical psychology in 1997. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging in London UK, the home of Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM), she was recruited to the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK to help start a neuroimaging program there. In Cambridge, she worked with, and learned from, many wonderful auditory and cognitive scientists. After four years there, she returned to her alma mater, Queen's University, where she held a prestigious Canada Research Chair for 10 years. She was recruited to Western University in 2014, as the first Western Research Chair. Dr Johnsrude’s work has been recognized by awards and honours including NSERC’s EWR Steacie Award, and she is particularly proud of her IgNobel Prize, with Eleanor Maguire and others, for ‘the London taxi-driver study’. Dr Johnsrude has published over 100 papers and articles, which together have been cited over 16,200 times. Postdoctoral and graduate trainees have gone onto professional careers in audiology and clinical psychology, to industrial research careers at international and Canadian companies, and to academic positions in Canada, the US, the UK and Europe. More than half of Dr Johnsrude’s undergraduate trainees have gone on to professional training (audiology, business, law, medicine, speech pathology) or to graduate school.






Björn Herrmann, PhD.
Postdoctoral Fellow, 
Room: NSC 245

The range of sounds we experience varies greatly when we transition from, for example, a quiet mid-afternoon hike on an abandoned mountain to a loud rock concert in a group of thousands of fans. One scientific question of substantial importance to understanding human experience is how exactly our brains are capable of adjusting to contexts in which the sound experience varies so greatly. It is hard to imagine how our brains could cope with such extreme differences between soundscapes without substantial flexibility in the way they respond. My research makes use of electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, and functional imaging in order to investigate the flexibility with which neural activity and human perception adjusts to the acoustic properties of the environment, and whether flexibility in neural and perceptual adjustments change when growing older. I strongly focus on auditory sensory processes and investigate stimulus-evoked activity as well as neural oscillations as prime candidates for expressing flexible adjustments to, for example, spectral and temporal properties of the environment. See Björn's page...


  Emma Holmes, PhD.
Postdoctoral Fellow, 
Room: NSC 245
I am particularly interested in auditory perception and attention in challenging listening environments – for example, while listening in background noise. I moved to Western University in January 2015, after completing my PhD at the University of York, UK. An overarching theme of my current and previous research is to investigate the way in which attention modulates neural responses to acoustical stimuli, such as tones and speech. In addition, I am interested in how prior knowledge or familiarity with a talker can improve speech intelligibility when multiple talkers speak at the same time. During my time at Western University, I will use a combination of techniques (including fMRI, EEG, and behavioural measures) to address key questions in these areas.


Alex Billig, PhD.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Room: NSC 245

I am interested in the perception of speech, music, and complex acoustic scenes. My research focuses in particular on how the brain integrates prior experience with new sensory input to make sense of the auditory environment. To address this question I use behavioural techniques, scalp-based and intracranial recordings of electrophysiological activity, and fMRI. I work with listeners with normal hearing, as well as those whose hearing has been partially restored through a cochlear implant. Following my undergraduate training in mathematics at Oxford I worked for several years in finance, and as a musician. I took a masters in Music, Mind & Brain at Goldsmiths College, London, and then completed my PhD under the supervision of Bob Carlyon at the MRC Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. I began working as a postdoctoral fellow with Ingrid Johnsrude at the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University, Ontario, in March 2016. See Alex's page...




Rachel Wayne, MSc.

Clinical PhD. Student, Queen's University

I completed my Master's degree in Clinical Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Johnsrude and am currently continuing my studies as a PhD. student in the CoNCH Lab. My research examines the contribution of visual speech information to comprehension of speech in noisy or degraded environments. Improved knowledge of how visual speech information and other contextual cues can boost comprehension of speech may yield insight into rehabilitative strategies for hearing impairment.


Dora Ladowski, MSc.
Clinical PhD. Student, Room: NSC 245

I am a Clinical PhD. student supervised by Dr. Johnsrude. I've previously studied how individuals experiencing psychosis process ambiguous and degraded speech. My current research focus is on the neural correlates of speech perception and other cognitive processes in medically refractory epilepsy. I hold a BScH in Psychology from McGill University and a MSc in Clinical Psychology from Queen's University.


Ysabel Domingo, MSc.
PhD. Student, Room: NSC 245

I obtained my Bachelors degree from University of Toronto Mississauga, majoring in Biology and Psychology. I then moved to UWO to do my Masters in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. I joined the lab in 2014, and study the effects of familiar voices on speech perception.



Alenka Bullen, BScH.
MSc. Student, Room: NSC 245

I completed my BScH in Psychology at Queen’s University. My undergraduate thesis work examined strategic responding by a non-human primate during cognitive task performance. I am now a Neuroscience MSc. student supervised by Dr. Johnsrude at The Brain and Mind Institute. My current research focuses on disrupted functional connectivity of neural networks among patients with medically refractory epilepsy. 

Ana-Bianca Popa, MSc.
MSc. Student, Room: NSC 245

I completed my BHSc specializing in Rehabilitation Science at Western University. My undergraduate work looked at gait therapies for spinal cord injury and mild traumatic brain injury. I am now a Neuroscience MSc. student supervised by Dr. Johnsrude at The Brain and Mind Institute. My current research focuses on auditory perception in early psychosis as well as resting-state fMRI functional connectivity after a concussion. 



Nargess Ghazaleh, M.D.
MSc. Student, Room: NSC 245

I am a Neuroscience Master student, supervised by Dr. Johnsrude. My main interest is the clinical aspects of Neuroscience, and I am working on functional brain reorganization in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. I hold a M.D. degree in General Medicine from Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Iran.