Allison Sekuler

Professor

Campus

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

cognitive neuroscience, vision science, face perception, dementia, aging, brain health, EEG, neurotechnology, innovation

Biography

Dr. Allison Sekuler (FSEP, FPS, FAPS) is the Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Vice-President Research at Baycrest Health Sciences. A graduate of Pomona College (BA, Mathematics and Psychology) and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD, Psychology), Dr. Sekuler holds faculty positions in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University and the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. Her research uses behavioural and neuroimaging approaches to understand how the brain processes visual information, with specific interests in face perception, motion processing, perceptual learning, neural plasticity, aging, and neurotechnology. Her research was the first to show conclusively that older brains “rewire” themselves to compensate for functional changes. Her clinical and translational research aims to develop methods to prevent, detect, and treat age-related sensory and cognitive decline. She has scientific and industry collaborations across North America, the EU, and Asia, and her work has been published in leading international journals, including Nature, Current Biology, and the Journal of Neuroscience. 

She Chairs the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council’s Public Impact Value Proposition committee; serves on the Board of Governors for Hamilton Health Sciences and BrainsCAN and the scientific advisory board for VISTA; and is a founding steering committee member of the Canadian Brain Research Strategy. She also is a longstanding and passionate supporter of research communication and public outreach, serving, for example, as the only scientist on founding committee of the  the Science Media Centre of Canada; and a sought-after speaker, podcaster, and commentator in national and international media. Co-founder of FoVea (Females of Vision et al.), an international organization to advance women in vision science, and co-Executive Champion of the Ontario Hospital Association’s Research and Innovation Anti-Racism Taskforce, Dr. Sekuler is a highly respected advocate for women and underrepresented groups in science, engineering, and technology. Dr. Sekuler has won numerous national and international awards for research, teaching, and leadership -- including serving as the country’s first Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and recently being named one of WXN's Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada (2019). In her spare time, she is proving that you’re never too old to learn: she picked up her first drumsticks a few years ago, joined a band, and recently earned her Drum Professional Certificate from the Berklee College of Music.

Education

B.A. 1986 Mathematics & Psychology, Pomona College, USA
Ph.D. 1991 Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, USA