Biological Science at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
I became interested in the brain and mind when I was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 13. I pursued a BA in Psychology at Ryerson University, where I became interested in the development and treatment of cognitive biases in mood disorders. While volunteering on the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Unit of Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, I developed an interest in designing treatments for cognitive and emotional difficulties in individuals with an ABI that account for their unique impairments. To further my knowledge of ABI, I obtained an MSc in Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University. Many people with an ABI have symptoms of depression, but available methods of treating mood disorders such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy fall short because they rely heavily on domains often compromised in ABI, such as mental flexibility, comprehension, and memory. As a student in the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, I will investigate whether depression in ABI can be treated by increasing engagement in positive activities, and whether this treatment can be enhanced through cognitive training to facilitate planning and engagement in such activities. If effective, this research could immediately influence rehabilitation services worldwide.