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Queen's University


Heather MacDonald
  • Ph.D. Neuroscience; Queen’s University: Sept. 2008 - present
  • M.Sc. Neuroscience; Queen's University: 2006-2008
  • B.Sc. Behaviour, Cognition & Neuroscience, minor in Biochemistry; University of Windsor: 2002-2006

I have recently completed my Master's degree and have begun my journey as a Ph.D. student at Queen's University, continuing to work under my Master's supervisor, Dr. Ingrid Johnsrude.

I began my academic career at the University of Windsor in the Behaviour, Cognition and Neuroscience program. This degree got me interested in research work as it required an honour thesis, attendance at monthly seminars, and encouraged undergraduates to take part in research going on on-campus. I applied for and held two NSERC USRAs (Undergraduate Student Research Awards) which allowed me to work on research projects in labs during the summer months. These experiences solidified my goal to continue on in research.

I went on to do my Master's degree in Neuroscience at Queen's University under the supervision of Dr. Ingrid Johnsrude. My Master's work has explored young and older adult's use of meaningful (semantic) context to perceive sentences in noisy listening conditions. I have looked at this problem in a behavioural study with young and older adults, and have completed an fMRI study on young adults probing the same question. I am currently working on running the functional imaging study with older adults. During the course of my Ph.D., I hope to further explore how cognitive factors interact with individual’s abilities to understand speech in noisy environments, with particular emphasis on the older adult population.


Tel: (613) 533-6000 ext:78206




Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000