Penny A. MacDonald, MD, PhD, FRCPC

macdonaldAssociate Professor of Neurology, Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences and the Brain and Mind Institute, Western University
Office: London Health Sciences Centre, University Hospital B10-105
Phone: 519 685 8500 x33631
Secretary: Justine Davis


Bio Sketch

Dr. MacDonald received her PhD in cognition at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Colin MacLeod prior to completing medical school at McMaster University and residency training in Neurology at McGill University. She pursued clinical and research fellowship training in Movement Disorders as a Canadian Institutes of Health, Phase 1 Clinician-Scientist at the Montreal Neurological Institute and the Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal from October 2008- July 2011.



The focus of Dr. MacDonald's research is on understanding the neural bases for cognitive processes with particular interest in defining the unique role of the basal ganglia. A further interest is in understanding the cognitive features of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Corticobasal Ganglionic Degeneration, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, and Multiple Systems atrophy, as well as the effect of medication on cognition in these patient groups. Increasingly, cognitive impairments are recognized in most of these conditions although definitive cognitive profiles have not yet been elaborated. The research combines neuropsychological tests that probe different facets of cognition, with functional neuroimaging techniques in healthy volunteers and patients. The aim is to uncover the neural structures that mediate different cognitive processes and how these processes are impaired in various disease states.

For more information, please visit

Medical Interests

Cognitive Disorders, Movement Disorders

Honours and Awards

  • 2014, Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging (renewed in 2019)
  • 2013, "Hot Topics" Designation, World Parkinson Congress
  • 2007, Artur Victor Movement Disorder Travel Award, Montreal Neurological Institute


Google Scholar Publications Listing


Palidis DJ, McGregor HR, Vo A, MacDonald PA, Gribble PL. Null effects of levodopa on reward- and error-based motor adaptation, savings, and anterograde interference. J Neurophysiol. 2021 Jul 1;126(1):47-67. doi: 10.1152/jn.00696.2020. Epub 2021 May 26.

Hiebert NM, Owen AM, Ganjavi H, Mendonça D, Jenkins ME, Seergobin KN, MacDonald PA. Dorsal striatum does not mediate feedback-based, stimulus-response learning: An event-related fMRI study in patients with Parkinson's disease tested on and off dopaminergic therapy. Neuroimage. 2019 Jan 15;185:455-470. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.10.045. Epub 2018 Oct 27.

Khan AR, Hiebert NM, Vo A, Wang BT, Owen AM, Seergobin KN, MacDonald PA. Biomarkers of Parkinson's disease: Striatal sub-regional structural morphometry and diffusion MRI. Neuroimage Clin. 2019;21:101597. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2018.11.007. Epub 2018 Nov 16.