Dr. Ellen Bialystok, OC, PhD, FRSC

Ellen Bialystok is a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology and Walter Gordon York Research Chair of Lifespan Cognitive Development at York University. She is also an Associate Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. Her research uses both behavioral and neuroimaging methods to examine the effect of experience on cognitive processes across the lifespan, with most attention on the effect of bilingualism. Participants in these studies include children, younger or older adults, and patients, in an attempt to identify the mechanism by which experience modifies cognitive systems. She has published extensively in the form of books, scientific articles, and book chapters. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Society for Experimental Psychology, American Psychological Society, and other professional organizations. Among her awards are the Canadian Society for Brain Behaviour and Cognitive Science Hebb Award (2011), Killam Prize for the Social Sciences (2010), York University President’s Research Award of Merit (2009), Donald T. Stuss Award for Research Excellence at the Baycrest Geriatric Centre (2005), Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research (2002), Killam Research Fellowship (2001), and the Walter Gordon Research Fellowship (1999). In 2016, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for her contributions to our understanding bilingualism and for opening up new avenues of research in her field.

Our Lab

The Lifespan Cognition and Development Lab is a cognitive neuroscience laboratory in the Department of Psychology at York University directed by Dr. Ellen Bialystok. Our research examines the effect of bilingualism on cognitive and linguistic processing across the lifespan. We use behavioural and neuroimaging methods, including electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to investigate the neural underpinnings of cognition in individuals with diverse language backgrounds and determine the mechanism by which those effects take place. Our studies include children, younger and older adults, and patients.