Dr Ben Dyson (Associate Professor) started at the University of Alberta in Summer 2018. He graduated from York University, UK, in 2002 after completing his thesis on auditory cognition and went on to a postdoctoral fellowship position at the Rotman Research Institute, Canada (2002-2004) to learn about event-related potentials (ERPs). His first academic position was at the (then) Department of Psychology at the University of Sussex, UK (2005-2008). He returned to Canada to work at Toronto Metropolitan University for six years (2008-2014) and then back to the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex, UK (2015-2018).


I am accepting applications for Volunteer, Independent Study and Thesis students for Fall 2023 – Winter 2024. Please take a look at the application procedure here.


I am accepting applications for MSc / PhD students for Fall 2024.

  1. A minimum requirement is that your previous and / or future research interests align with the decision-making research that we do in the Re:Cognition Lab.
  2. We are in the process of refining and advancing our equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) policies. We want you to help us develop and sustain these commitments.
  3. To remove one such EDI barrier, GRE scores are not required for applications to the Re:Cognition Lab.

List of countries and institutions from which you do not need to take an English test

Formal applications should be completed here. The Department of Psychology will begin making offers for admission December 1 2023 for Fall 2024 intake.


Eunchan Na obtained his BA (2016) in Industrial Psychology from Hoseo University, Korea, and MA (2018) in Psychology from Sungshin Women’s University, Korea. He is interested in how feedback is processed, evaluated, and how feedback evaluation affects later decision making.

Yajing Zhang obtained her BA (2018) in International Politics from Beijing Language and Culture University, China, and MA (2020) in Applied Psychology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China. She is interested in the role of individuals’ music preference, extraneous noise and affect in decision-making.


Jukka Sundvall obtained his BA (2014) and MA (2016) in Cognitive Science from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Jukka joined the Re:Cognition lab in the Autumn of 2016 and graduated in December 2019. He is generally interested in judgment and decision making, and the effects of risk, reward and other affective factors on these processes. He has done some previous research on utilitarian judgment in moral dilemma situations. His current focus is on rationality and irrationality in gaming decisions.

Jonathan Wilbiks obtained a BSc (Hons) in Psychology (2008) from the University of Toronto, an MA in Psychology of Music (2010) from the University of Sheffield (UK), and a PhD in Psychology from Ryerson University in 2016. While working in the Re:Cognition Lab during his PhD, Jonathan investigated the factors that lead to changes in the capacity of audiovisual integration. Jonathan is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of New Brunswick Saint John where he is the director of the Music and Multisensory Processes Lab.


Ammarah Asad (Thesis 2021 – 2023) is currently completing a BA Honours in Psychology. She is interested in how an individual’s decision-making process is affected in stressful environments and would also like to explore interventions to improve and safeguard executive functioning and cognitive processes as part of the ageing process.

Leo Baik is in his 4th year of a BSc Psychology in the Faculty of Science. His main interest will be looking at factors that influence an individual’s tendency to make predictable/exploitable decisions and strategies.

Pradhee Bastola is currently a fourth year student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is interested in looking at the decision making process in different contexts, such as how stress or an individual’s propensity for risk impacts decision making in a competitive environment. She is planning to pursue graduate studies in psychology.

Tianzi Dou (Thesis 2021- 2023) started her third year in Fall 2021 as a student in the honours psychology program under the Faculty of Science. She is interested in how people tend to make decisions in interpersonal contexts, which may include competitive or collaborative relationships.

Abdul Majid El Rifai is currently completing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. He is interested in cognitive neuroscience and the biological and psychological aspects of the human brain and how they are related.

Ruth Huizinga (Thesis 2021 – 2023) is entering her 3rd year Honors in Psychology. She is interested in studying the principles behind competitive decision making, specifically the roles that emotions play when engaging in a competitive decision making environment.

Bikalpa Koirala (Thesis 2021 – 2023) is currently pursuing a BA Honours in Psychology. He is interested in exploring self-regulation and its effects in competitive environments. He is looking to pursue graduate studies in counselling / clinical psychology in the future.

Tahnia Ladhani is approaching the end of her bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in chemistry. She is interested by how cognition influences human behaviour. Focusing on nonverbal behaviour and how cognitive demands impact our ability to think and solve problems.

Siena Scozzafava is currently completing a BSc in Psychology, minoring in Chemistry. She is interested in how prior experiences and outcomes can influence the quality of an individual’s decision-making.

Davin Valera is working towards a BA in Psychology. He is interested in studying how individuals experience failure. Mainly, he is interested in examining how individuals can overcome loss-states and learn from failure in a competitive environment

Grace Zhu is a 3rd year undergraduate student completing a BSc in computer science. She is interested in cognitive science, especially in regard to learning and how certain factors influence decision making, as well as other fields such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.


2021 -2022

Kezziah Ayuno

Leo Baik

Adison La Liberté

Kaelyn McEwan

2020 -2021

Ahad Asad

Rimsa Dahal

Ver-Se Denga

Truc Huynh

Kelsey MacLellan

Noah Mitchell

Danielle Vavrek

Jonathan Wiebe

2019 – 2020

Sadia Anjum

Cierre Asis

Ladan Khalaf

Hasul Kim

Habeebah Mohammad

Anna Ryjenkova

Fahad Syed

2018 – 2019

Jett Bland

Kaylee Craplewe

Fenya Fitzpatrick


Yeling Huang (Summer 2019)


Piggy was rescued from a lab clear-out at Sussex University in 2006 and has been an honorary member of the lab ever since. He’s not sure whether he likes the UK or Canada better. 

Despite his cheery disposition, Piggy gets very upset when participants do not turn up.