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Tamara P Tavares

PhD Program: Graduate Program in Neuroscience
Supervisor: Dr. Derek Mitchell and Elizabeth Finger
Year: 3/5

Previous Degrees: HBSc in Psychology and Biology (University of Toronto)
Anticipated Graduation date: 2019

  • My Journey

  • Future Aspirations

  • Publications

I completed my HBSc at the University of Toronto specializing in psychology and minoring in biology. During my second year psychology class I remember watching a film about an fMRI study that showed how inmates’ brains reacted differently to emotional stimuli compared to controls. From then on I became fascinated with understanding how individuals process and regulate emotions and how this impacts social cognition.  Following my research interests I completed a Research Opportunity Program in the Well-Being Lab and studied the effects of emotion regulation strategies on romantic relationship satisfaction. I also completed an Honours Thesis at the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, ON) examining the long-term effects of pediatric epilepsy surgery on symptoms of anxiety and depression. I am currently pursuing my PhD in the Emotional Cognition Lab under the supervision of Dr. Derek Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth Finger. I am currently investigating the neural correlates of emotional processing and decision making deficits in patients with Frontotemporal Dementia and individuals who are at-risk for developing this disorder. Furthermore, I am interested in emotional attention and how mood influences emotion-cognition interactions.

When I am not in the lab you can find me playing squash, knitting or volunteering at Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex and Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Center.

Future Apirations

My goal is to become a clinical researcher at one of Canada’s universities investigating emotional and social cognitive processing in clinical and healthy populations.


Tavares TP. The Medial Prefrontal Cortex. In Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer International Publishing (Under Review)

Vieira JB, Tavares TP, Marsh A, Mitchell DGV. Emotion and Personal Space Regulation: fMRI Correlates of Approach-avoidance Tendencies to Distinct Facial Expressions. Human Brain Mapping (Submitted).

Tavares TP, Logie K, Mitchell DGV. (2016) Opposing Effects of Perceptual versus Working Memory Load on Emotional Distraction. Experimental Brain Research [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1007/s00221-016-4697-2

Puka K, Tavares TP, Smith ML. (2015). Development of Intelligence 4 to 11 Years after Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery. Journal of Neuropsychology [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1111/jnp.12081

Tavares TP, Puka K, Smith ML. (2015). Emotional Functioning: Long-term Outcomes after Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery, Epilepsia, 56(5), 745-753. doi: 10.1111/epi.12956