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Contact Information:

Culture and Cognition Lab
P123 Biological Sciences Bldg.
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E9, Canada
Lab Email: cultpsy@ualberta.ca


Lab Leader: Taka Masuda, PhD
Associate Professor
P355 Biological Sciences Bldg.
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada

Phone: 780-492-7861
Fax: 780-492-1768
Email: tmasuda@ualberta.ca

Taka Masuda Homepage

To see more images of the Culture & Cognition Lab team please visit
Taka's photos with colleagues page!

C & C Alumni

For over 8 years, many students have taken PSYCO 299/496/498, and have been Research Assistants. Their contributions to our lab are phenomenal.

Please visit our

CC Alumni Home Page

Upcoming News:

Hajin Lee has passed her dessertation defense. Congratulations Hajin!

Emily Wu has been accepted as an English teacher in the Jet Program. She will be spending the next 2-3 years in Japan. Congratulations Emily!

Liman Li's paper has been accepted by the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. The title is: "Culture and decision making: Influence of analytic versus holistic thinking style on resource allocation in a fort game."

Dr. Masuda received Honour Roll with Distinction for two of his courses in Fall 2017. Congratulations, Dr. Masuda!

Dr. Liman Li found a new tenure-tracking assistant professor position at Education University of Hong Kong. Congratulations, Liman!

Mantou Nigel Lou's dissertation proposal is approved. Congratulations, Nigel!

We are pleased to welcome back Yuto Yasuda who will be joining us in the lab on Friday, September 15th!

Congratulations to Dr.Masuda, Hajin, Sumin and Shirley for successfully completing their data collection in Japan and returning from their trip!

Congratulations to Dr. Masuda for his recent publication!

Li, L., Masuda, T., & Lee, H. (2017). Low Relational Mobility Leads to Greater Motivation to Understand Enemies but Not Friends and Acquaintances. British Journal of Social Psychology.


Interested in participating in a study?

The Child-Parent Project




U of A Main Page


Team Leader

Taka Masuda, PhD Email: tmasuda@ualberta.ca

Principal Investigator

Webpage: http://www.ualberta.ca/~tmasuda
Born and raised in the center of the capital city of Japan, Taka has moved back and forth between Sapporo (Hokkaido, Japan), Kyoto (Kyoto, Japan), Ann Arbor (MI, USA), and Edmonton (AB, Canada). He loves cold weather and in fact, doesn't even mind the cold Alberta winters. He speaks English in North America but he still maintains his Tokyo dialect in Japanese. His hobbies are photography, playing music and drinking Canadian beer.

Lecturer & Research Associate

Matthew Russell, PhD

Email: mjr4@ualberta.ca
Lecturer at the University of Alberta & Research Associate Webpage: http://www.ualberta.ca/~mjr4/MattMain.html

My research interests are in the domain of Cultural Neuroscience, looking at how biology and cultural experience (on the societal, group, and individual levels) work together to make up us incredibly complex and wonderful human beings. Within the Cultural Neuroscience tool set, I focus on using ERP methods to better understand how social orientation beliefs influence our attention process.

Matthew Russell received his PhD Degree from U of A Psychology in 2016.


Lab Manager

Denise Valdivieso Email: dvaldivi@ualberta.ca
Coordinator & Secretary  



I am in my fifth year of my BA with a major in Psychology and a minor in International Studies. I was born and raised in Ecuador and moved to Canada five years ago for my university degree. Having the opportunity to be bilingual and be exposed to so many different cultures has sparked my interest in the differences and similarities between cultures from a psychological perspective. I am very interested in how our cultures shape our thoughts, beliefs and behaviors; and in turn, how we shape our culture. Working in this lab is an invaluable opportunity to teach me how to apply my interests and knowledge in an academic environment. I am extremely grateful and excited to be working here!


Graduate Students

Mantou Lou Email: mantou@ualberta.ca
PhD Candidate  

My name is Mantou Lou. I am from Macao. I am a graduate student specialized in social and cultural psychology. My general interest is in understanding how culture influence individuals' mental processes such as self, emotion and cognition. My research now is focus on implicit beliefs and the consequences of holding different implicit beliefs across different cultures.

Hajin Lee Email: hajin@ualberta.ca
PhD Candidate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hajin_Lee

I received my Master's degree in Psychology at New York University and my research interests were about cultural influences in how we perceive self and others without intention or awareness. I would like to deepen my research interests by studying the changes in our social and cultural perception and the influences of biological and societal factors on those changes.


PSYCO 299/496/498/400 Undergraduate Students

Daniel Ennett Email: ennett@ualberta.ca
Honours Student  


My name is Daniel Ennett, I'm a four limb amputee born and raised in Edmonton. I’m a fourth year honours student. A major research interest of mine is the stigma, prejudice, and attitudes that people with disabilities face and the cultural differences therein. I’m excited for the opportunity to help hone my understanding of socio-cultural methodology both in theory and in practice.
Rania Mahdi Email: rmahdi@ualberta.ca
Honours Student  


Hello there! my name is Rania and I am a 4th year honours student with Dr. Masuda. I immigrated to Canada after a decade of living in Libya. Having experienced both Western and Middle Eastern cultures, I grew an interest in how culture affects our day to day lives. I am now focusing on how attention patterns may differ between Western and East Asian cultures and specifically investigating object finding and identification across cultures. When I'm not busy with the lab you can find me enjoying a hot caffeinated beverage and exploring new languages.  
Karis Koh Email: karishui@ualberta.ca
Honours Student  

Hello! My name is Karis and I'm a 3rd year Psychology Honours student. As a Singaporean, I love working with people from different cultures, learning new languages and observing how people behave differently. My interests circle around Clinical Psychology and Deaf Culture, and I'm thrilled to be working with this lab in discovering new ideas and theories. Music and the piano are a huge part of my life, along with reading and photography, and I'm always open to new things! .  
Bryce Hoy Email: bhoy@ualberta.ca
Honours Student  

Hi, my name is Bryce. I’m a fourth year student studying in the Honours Psychology Program at the University of Alberta. I am extremely grateful to be able to work in the Culture and Cognition Lab as it grants me the opportunity to work with like- minded people from around the world. I am excited to gain valuable insight into conducting research as well assist other students in conducting their research in the lab. After the completion of my Undergraduate Degree I am hoping to get a Masters Degree in counselling psychology. I have a strong passion for studying anxiety and its effects on youth as well as studying cross-cultural perceptions of anxiety disorders.
Emily Wu Email: ewu@ualberta.ca
PSYCO 496 Student  

Hi, my name is Emily Wu. I'm currently in my last year of my BA. I major in Psychology and minor in East Asian Studies. My parents immigrated from Hong Kong almost 25 years ago and I was born and raised in Edmonton. Due to my upbringing, I am fluent in speaking Cantonese. After taking Cultural Psychology with Taka, I became increasingly interested in how culture can influence one's perception. I aspire to apply to the Jet Programme with the knowledge I have acquired from my time attending at the University to further understand and improve communications with my future Japanese students and co-workers.

Sukhvir Sambhi Email: sukhvir@ualberta.ca
PSYCO 396 Student  

Hello! I'm Sukhvir Sambhi and I'm in my 4th year of my BSc with a specialization in Psychology! I'm of Punjabi decent but born and raised in Edmonton and a proud member of this lab! I look forward to another semester with Dr. Masuda and the team to explore and learn more about the process of research and the differences in many cultures. My main interests include understanding the depths of what it takes to research and cultural contrasts around us.

Seoyeon Cho Email: scho@ualberta.ca
PSYCO 396 Student  

Hello! My name is Seoyeon Cho and I知 currently in my 3rd year of BSc Psychology. I was born and raised in Korea until my 6th grade and I am studying in Canada since then. I致e become so much interested in participating in this Culture and Cognition lab after taking Taka痴 culture psychology course. It was so fascinating to see how the culture significantly plays in development of one痴 identity and perception. I知 looking forward to learning and exploring on different aspects of cultures from the researches in depth and I am so excited to work with the people with similar interests!


Research Assistants

Kristen Zentner Email: kzentner@ualberta.ca
Volenteer Research Assistant  

Having completed my BSc in Honours Psychology with the Culture and Cognition Lab, I am continuing to pursue research as a lab volunteer while preparing for graduate studies in clinical psychology. My research interests focus on the cyclical relationship between attention and emotion, cultural differences in emotion and pursuit of culturally informed treatment. Research on cross-cultural variation in emotion and cognition is an area that has piqued my interest, and is vital to consider during assessment and treatment of mental disorders. Working in this lab will give me a special appreciation for these differences, which will be valuable going into a clinical program.

Vivienne Li Email: wingyanv@ualberta.ca
Volenteer Research Assistant  

I am a fourth year Psychology (Arts) major, participating in the lab as course PSYCO 496. I am a Hong Kong-Chinese Canadian. My interests in cultural psychology studies are the interactions between and within cultural groups, especially for groups with more than one cultural/ethnic identity. On top of that, I am very interested in East Asian languages' usage and acquisition, and its relationship with our brain and behaviour.

Shirley May

Email: smay@ualberta.ca

Volenteer Research Assistant


Hi! I'm Shirley May and I'm currently in my final year of my undergraduate degree, double majoring in Psychology and Biology. I was born in Edmonton and raised in Calgary but I am of Taiwanese heritage. This is my now second year as a member of this lab. My exposure to different cultures and languages has cultivated my interest in how culture shapes our cognition, perception, and learning processes. This past summer I had the opportunity to travel to Japan with this lab as a research assistant, the experience was absolutely amazing. I'm very grateful to be part of this team. I look forward to contributing to its growth and to continually learn from all the brillant minds around me.

Sumin Eom Email: seom@ualberta.ca
Volenteer Research Assistant  

Hello!! My name is Sumin Eom and I am in my fourth year of BSc Psychology Specialization program. I was born in Korea and I moved to Canada in 2009. I lived in Vancouver for 3 years and I came to Edmonton for college. I read some of Dr.Masuda's articles to explore his area of expertise which sparked my interest in the field of cultural differences especially in emotion and cognition. This is my very first research course and my goal is to broaden my vision in research field which will be very valuable encouraging me to expand knowledge about psychology overall in graduate school in future.

Thomas Berkes Email: berkes@ualberta.ca
Volenteer Research Assistant  

I'm a 4th year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and minoring in East Asian Studies. I was born in Edmonton, but being surrounded by east Asian culture and context throughout my life has led to a deep interest in the cognitive and behavioural divide between different parts of the world. I'm thankful for the opportunity to study in this lab, as the knowledge I gain here will surely be invaluable going forward.

Sonya Pittalwala Email: pittalwala@ualberta.ca
Volenteer Research Assistant  

My name is Sonya Pittalwala and I am in my 4th year of my psychology major. I am hoping to do my masters in counselling psychology with a specialization in child rehabilitation and family therapy. In my spare time I am usually making music of all kinds! I am so excited to be a member of the culture and cognition lab this year and to learn lots from my other colleagues and the research that we do.

Zachary Muncaster Email: muncaste@ualberta.ca
Volenteer Research Assistant  

Hey! I'm Zach Muncaster, a fourth year student majoring in both psychology and linguistics. I've got a huge interest in all things to do with language and speech, as well as cultural differences across the world. I'm looking forward to being a part of this lab because it seems to be geared toward everything I want to study. Outside of psych, I pretty much just spend my time writing or playing tabletop games.

Wanyixiong Hua Email: wanyixio@ualberta.ca
Volenteer Research Assistant  

Hello, my name is Hua, I'm an international student from China with a major in Psychology and a minor in Spanish language and literature. My general interest is broadly concerned with why questions of people's behaviour in relation to their culture background and identity, and I believe these questions can be answered through a combination approach of psychology, sociology, linguistic, anthropology, history and philosophy. My personal hobbies is reading classic literature, listening jazz and classical music, visiting musemus, biking, studying gastronomy, mixology and architecture.

Jicelle Bendico Email: bendico@ualberta.ca
Volenteer Research Assistant  

Hi! My name is Jicelle and I'm doing my undergraduate studies with a Major in Psychology and Minor in Sociology. I was born and raised in Edmonton and through attending school and being raised by Filipino parents, I had developed an interest towards how other cultures approach similar situations. I became intrigued at different cultural practices and I especially pondered about the struggles that a person may have when faced with the interaction of being exposed to two or more cultural pressures. I am enamoured at learning about different cultural contexts and the extent of influence that one's behaviour and thoughts (implicit and explicit) that a culture brings upon an individual. It is a pleasure to be part of this lab and I look forward to gaining experience and knowledge that I believe will be integral in both everyday life and applicable to various situations!

Hanna Schmakeit Email: hschmake@ualberta.ca
Volenteer Research Assistant  

I'm a 3rd-year Psychology major and Creative Writing minor at the University of Alberta. Growing up in a multicultural household, I always had a passion for languages and cultures, and, after moving to Edmonton from a rural area, I discovered how truly multicultural Canada is and the fascinating interactions between Canadian culture and other cultures. After taking Dr. Masuda's cultural psychology class, I realized the exciting research happening in the field and was elated to have the opportunity to get hands-on research experience and help the lab however possible.


External Members

Koji Miwa, PhD

Email: kojimiwa4@gmail.com & Email: kojimiwa@nagoya-u.jp

Associate Professor,Nagoya University Webpage: http://kojimiwa.com

Dr. Koji Miwa is currently doing research on (1) language representation/ processing in the monolingual mental lexicon, (2) second language acquisition mechanism, (3) the representation/processing of languages in the bilingual mental lexicon, and (4) how language influences thought, while trying make sense of what language is within the little universe in our mind.

Dr. Miwa recieved his PhD in Lingusitics from the U of A in 2013.

Huaitang Wang, PhD Email: huaitang.wang@ualberta.ca
Researcher, Faculty of Extention, University of Alberta  

He succeded in publishing his dissertation on Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, a prestegious jounrnal in the area of social and cultural psychology (Wang, Masuda, Ito, & Rashid, 2012). We are still working on finanizing research programs on culture and language.

Dr. Huaitang Wang received PhD degree from U of A Psychology in 2009.

Jianhui Song, PhD Email: jianhuis@ualberta.ca

Her research interest focused on the child rearing practice of Chinese immigrants and its relationship with some factors such as cultural values and language. We are working on a project titled "Culture and Sleeping Arrangement" in collaboration with Dr. Kim Noels.

Dr. Jianhui Song received PhD degree from U of A Psychology in 2010.

Ken-ichi Ito, PhD Email: kito@ntu.edu.sg
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Webpage:https://scholar.google.com.sg/citations?user=1kjIi6UAAAAJ&hl=en


After completing my PhD in cold weather, I moved to a tropical country, Singapore, to research the impact of culture within Asian countries and teach applied psychology. Experience of moving from a place with -40 degree Celsius to a place with +35 degree Celsius made me realize that the Middle Way of moderation is a golden path. Now, I search for a golden path between the joy of spending time with my daughter and the pleasure of thought-provoking discussion with my students.  

Dr. Ken-ichi Ito received PhD degree from U of A Psychology in 2012.

Sawa Senzaki, PhD Email:senzakis@uwgb.edu
Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, USA Webpage: https://www.uwgb.edu/culturelab/

She is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in the departments of Psychology and Human Development. Her research centers around examining how children learn and develop culturally unique social and cognitive skills through social interactions (e.g., parent-child, peers).

Dr. Sawa Senzaki completed her Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Masuda at the University of Alberta in 2013.

Liman Li, PhD Email: liman.lmw@hotmail.com
Researcher, Sun Yat-sen University, China Webpage:https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Liman_L

My research examines the role of socio-ecological factors (e.g., mobility and economic development) and cultural meaning systems (e.g., holism and collectivism) in influencing people’s social relationships, decision making and mental health across cultures.

Dr. Liman Li received PhD degree from U of A Psychology in 2015.

Kristina Nand, M.A. Email:nand.kristina@mail.u-tokyo.ac.jp
Coordinator, School of Science, The University of Tokyo  

I received my BA from the University of Alberta. My research interests lie in cultural differences in perception and aesthetics, generational differences and cultural change, cultural variations in child rearing, and identity in bicultural children. Currently, I am doing international public relations work at the University of Tokyo in Japan.

Kristina Nand received her Masters Degree from U of A psychology in 2014.


Natasha Roop

Email: roop@ualberta.ca

I have my BSc specialization in psychology. I have always been fascinated with cultures around the world and love learning about them, which probably explains how I have been to over 22 countries. I participated in a semester abroad in England and it was exciting to see how a country so similar to ours also has a vastly different culture. Being a part of the culture and cognition lab allows me to further develop my understandings of the impact culture has on the individual. I am hoping to get my masters in clinical psychology and ultimately work with at risk youth who have substance abuse issues. I am extremely interested in this topic and from my abroad experiences I also find it fascinating how culture is extremely related to the onset and treatment of those with this illness.

Natasha received her BSc Degree from U of A in 2017



Updated: September 2017

Copyright(c), Takahiko Masuda, all rights reserved