Emily S. Nichols, PhD


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I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Western Ontario, working under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Soddu in the BrainLab.

The primary goal of my research is explore the interrelationship between demographic and lifestyle factors, and cognitive performance on a massive scale. Borrowing techniques from the field of machine learning -- specifically, canonical correlation with cross-validation and permutation testing -- I work to generate validated models to identify lifestyle factors that most affect specific cognitive domains (e.g., memory, reasoning, or verbal ability). During my PhD, I used fMRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and event-related potentials to characterize the functional and structural neural substrates of second language acquisition and processing, specifically how they relate to proficiency and age of acquisition.