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Associated and Adjunct Faculty

  • Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau
  • Dr. Diana Brecher 
  • Dr. Michael Cusimano
  • Dr. Ben Dyson
  • Dr. Peter Farvolden
  • Dr. Andrea Gonzalez
  • Dr. Lisa Hawke
  • Dr. Eric Hehman
  • Dr. Behrang Keshavarz
  • Dr. Tuuli Kukkonen
  • Dr. Traci McFarlane
  • Dr. Stephanie Penney
  • Dr. Maya Roth
  • Dr. Michael Seto
  • Dr. Chesmal Siriwardhana
  • Dr. Michael Suvak 
  • Dr. Thomas Teo
  • Dr. Anne Wagner
  • Dr. Kolitha Wickramage
  • Dr. Diana Brecher 
  • Dr. Michael Cheng
  • Dr. Ben Dyson  
  • Dr. Peter Farvolden  
  • Dr. Behrang Keshavarz
  • Dr. Rachel Liebman
  • Dr. Kelly McShane 
  • Dr. Gurjit Singh
  • Dr. Marlene Tanb-Schiff
  • Dr. Anne Wagner
Limited Term Faculty
Dr. Paolo Ammirante Profile

Dr. Paolo Ammirante

Assistant Professor (LTF)

PhD, Macquarie University

Specialization: music perception and cognition, rhythm perception and production, melody, brain rhythms

Biography: Dr. Paolo Ammirante is an Assistant Professor of Psychology (Limited Term Faculty). He completed his MQRES-funded PhD at Macquarie University in 2011, and postdoctoral research at Ryerson’s SMART Lab in 2017.

He has taught a range of courses at Ryerson and George Brown College, including Introduction to Psychology I and II, Psychology of Thinking, Adult Development, and Psychology and Design. As we are all students of human thought and behaviour, Paolo’s teaching encourages students to consider psychology’s claims in light of their own observations and experiences.

One focus of Dr. Ammirante’s research is rhythm production. Finding and moving to a musical beat is simple and effortless, but it is not well understood how we do it. Another interest is in how musical thinking is guided by the body. For example, he has shown that statistical trends in large collections of melodies and hip-hop lyrics may reflect musical decisions that are guided by what our voices can and can’t do. A current project looks at whether a listener’s expectation of the next note in a melody is guided by its singability.

Selected Publications:

Ammirante, P. & Copelli, F. (2019). Vowel formant structure predicts metric position in hip-hop lyrics. Music Perception, 36(5), 480–487.

Russo, F. A, & Ammirante, P. (2018). Music perception and cognition. In J. T. Wixted (Ed.), Stevens’ Handbook of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience (4th ed.). Wiley.

Quinto, L., Ammirante, P., Connors, M. H., & Thompson, W. F. (2017). Prodigies of music compo-sition: Cognitive abilities and developmental antecedents. In G. McPherson (Ed.), Musical Prodigies: Interpretations from Psychology, Musicology and Ethnomusicology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ammirante, P., Patel, A. D., & Russo, F. A. (2016). Synchronizing to auditory and tactile metronomes: A test of the auditory-motor enhancement hypothesis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23(6), 1882–1890.

Ammirante, P., & Russo, F. A. (2015). Low-skip bias: The distribution of skips across the pitch ranges of vocal and instrumental melodies is vocally constrained. Music Perception, 32(4), 355–363.

Braun, T., Thompson, W. F., Ammirante, P., & Ranvaud, R. (2014). Timing skills and expertise: Discrete and continuous timed movements among musicians and athletes. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1482.

Dr. Elham Satvat

Assistant Professor (LTF)

PhD, Wilfred Laurier University
416-979-5000 x2051


Specialization: Brain and cognition, biopsychosocial perspective on life span development, addiction, normal brain and cognitive aging, research methods, adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

Biography: Elham Satvat is an Assistant Professor of Psychology (Limited Term Faculty).  She did her undergrad and graduate degrees in psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University with a specialization in Brain and Cognition. Her graduate work was funded by the Ontario Graduate Scholarship and she received the Canadian Psychological Association Certificate of Academic Excellence for her doctoral thesis. Upon completion of her PhD degree, she was awarded a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship from the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, to work in the laboratory for Neural Computation, Aging and Memory at Wilfrid Laurier University. In 2010, she became a NARSAD Young Investigator Awardee and as a Principal Investigator received a 2-year research grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Her research has focused on the relationship between adult hippocampal neurogenesis, learning and memory as it relates to aging, stress, and depression.

Between September 2012 to May 2018 she taught various courses in psychology, neuroscience, health, and research methodologies at the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. In 2016, she was the recipient of the distinguished Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Teaching Award, for which she was also nominated in 2014. Her lectures are interactive and she encourages students to think critically about their work and research.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

·      Lui E., Salim, M., Chahal, M., Puri, N., Marandi, E., Quadrilatero, J, & Satvat, E. (2017) Chronic corticosterone-induced impaired cognitive flexibility is not due to suppressed adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Brain, Behaviour, Research, 332, 90-98.

·      Satvat, E., Gheidi, A., Voll, S., Odintsova, I. V., & Marrone, D. F. (2012). Location is everything: neurons born during fluoxetine treatment accumulate in regions that do not support spatial learning. Neuropharmacology62(4), 1627-1633.

·      Schmidt*, B., Satvat*, E., Argraves, M., Markus, E. J., & Marrone, D. F. (2012). Cognitive demands induce selective hippocampal reorganization: Arc expression in a place and response task. Hippocampus22(11), 2114-2126. (*Equal contribution).

·      Marrone, D. F., Satvat, E., Shaner, M. J., Worley, P. F., & Barnes, C. A. (2012). Attenuated long-term Arc expression in the aged fascia dentata. Neurobiology of aging33(5), 979-990.

·      Satvat*, E., Schmidt*, B., Argraves, M., Marrone, D. F., & Markus, E. J. (2011). Changes in task demands alter the pattern of zif268 expression in the dentate gyrus. Journal of Neuroscience31(19), 7163-7167. (*Equal contribution).

·       Satvat, E., & Mallet, P. E. (2009). Chronic administration of a Ginkgo biloba leaf extract facilitates acquisition but not performance of a working memory task. Psychopharmacology202(1-3), 173-185.

Dr. Ravi Thiruchselvam

Assistant Professor (LTF)

PhD, Stanford University
416-979-5000 x2624 

Specialization: affective neuroscience, emotion regulation and psychopathology, social cognition 

Biography: Dr. Ravi Thiruchselvam is an Assistant Professor of Psychology (Limited Term Faculty). He completed his Bachelors at the University of Toronto (St. George), and his Ph.D. at Stanford University. At Stanford, he was awarded the Hastorf Prize for Excellence in Teaching. He was an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Hamilton College -- a liberal arts institution in New York -- for five years before moving back home to Toronto. 

Dr. Thiruchselvam's research uses neuroscience methods to understand affect (emotion, motivation, and mood). In one line of work, he studies how cognitive processes like attention and memory allow us to regulate our emotions, and how failures in emotion regulation contribute to mental illness. In a second domain, he examines how cognitive processes can allow us to alter the affective judgments we make of other people.

Selected Publications

Thiruchselvam, R., Blechert, J., Sheppes, G., Rydstrom, A., & Gross, J. J. (2011). The temporal dynamics of emotion regulation: An EEG study of distraction and reappraisal. Biological psychology, 87(1), 84-92.

Thiruchselvam, R., Hajcak, G., & Gross, J. J. (2012). Looking inward: Shifting attention within working memory representations alters emotional responses. Psychological Science23(12), 1461-1466.

Thiruchselvam, R., Harper, J., & Homer, A. L. (2016). Beauty is in the belief of the beholder: cognitive influences on the neural response to facial attractiveness. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience11(12), 1999-2008.

Dixon, M. L., Thiruchselvam, R., Todd, R., & Christoff, K. (2017). Emotion and the prefrontal cortex: An integrative review. Psychological bulletin143(10), 1033.

Thiruchselvam, R., Gopi, Y., Kilekwang, L., Harper, J., & Gross, J. J. (2017). In God we trust? Neural measures reveal lower social conformity among non-religious individuals. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience12(6), 956-964.

Directors & Coordinators
Dr. Brian Rabinowicz profile

Brian Rabinowciz

Professor & CE Coordinator

416-979-5000 x6195

Biography: Professor Rabinowitz serves as the Continuing Education Coordinator for Psychology in the Chang School of Continuing Education. he has been interested for many years in furthering adult education in psychology through individual courses and certificates. He recently retired from full-time teaching at Ryerson, where he taught Environmental Psychology, Perspectives in Psychology, and Introduction to Psychology for 27 years. He completed his graduate training in cognitive neuropsychology at the University of Toronto where he studied cerebral asymmetries in language processing. His current intellectual interests are in the effects of the physical environment on behaviour.

Michael K. Cheng, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Clinical and Rehabilitation Psychologist
Director, Psychology Training Clinic

St. Michael’s Academic Family Health Team
80 Bond Street
Room 1-131
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1X5
416-864-6060 x77265

Dr. Michael K. Cheng is Director for the Ryerson Psychology Training Clinic at St. Michael's Hospital, where he plays a key role in the training of our clinical psychology MA and PhD students, and in Ryerson's very successful partnership with St. Michael's.  

Dr. Cheng is a clinical and rehabilitation psychologist registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.  He completed his doctorate at the APA- and CPA-accredited clinical psychology program at the University of Windsor and his APPI-accredited internship at the University of Rochester.  He has additionally completed a post-doctoral masters degree in clinical psychopharmacology.  Dr. Cheng is a member of the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA), Canadian Academy of Psychologists in Disability Assessment (CAPDA), and Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT).  He has presented and published in the areas of posttraumatic stress disorder, objective assessment of psychopathology, and psychological adjustment to orthopaedic injury and chronic pain.

Dr. Cheng previously held the position of Psychology Practice Lead at the CARF-accredited interdisciplinary rehabilitation program at Altum Health / University Health Network (UHN), centered at Toronto Western Hospital.  While at Altum, he also held a lecturer appointment with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Cheng has a strong interest and experience in teaching and supervision.  He has provided supervision for several psychologists during their supervised practice registration year.  While at Altum, he regularly provided peer consultation services and facilitated regular psychology practice rounds.