Home History Members Research Publications News Log Opportunities Participants

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

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 C & C Alumni Page

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

Interested in participating in a study?

The Child-Parent Project




U of A Main Page

Team Leader

Taka Masuda, PhD
Principal Investigator
Email: tmasuda@ualberta.ca
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 & Lab Manager

Matthew Russell, PhD

Lecturer at the University of Alberta & Lab Manager
Email: mjr4@ualberta.ca
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

Sukhvir Sambhi
Coordinator & Secretary
Email: sukhvir@ualberta.ca
My name is Sukhvir Sambhi and I was born and raised in Edmonton, AB but I'm of Punjabi heritage. Im currently in my 4th year of my BSc with a specialization in psychology! This is now my third semester being with this lab and it has already taught me a lot. I believe that understanding how culture effects our perceptions and behaviours is something that I will apply to my work regardless of which field I end up in, along side the valuable research and people skills this lab will teach me


Graduate Students

Mantou Lou
PhD Candidate
Email: mantou@ualberta.ca

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
PhD Candidate
Email: hajin@ualberta.ca

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 Undergraduate Students

Kristen Zentner
Honours Student
Email: kzentner@ualberta.ca

I am a fourth year undergraduate in the Psychology Honors Program. Being a part of the Culture and Cognition lab is a unique opportunity that allows me to gain knowledge on a variety of research techniques, which will prepare me for graduate studies in clinical psychology. 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.

Daniel Ennett
Honours Student
Email: ennett@ualberta.ca

My name is Daniel Ennett, I'm a four limb amputee born and raised in Edmonton. I知 a 4th year student, although 3rd year in the honours stream. A major research interest of mine is the stigma, prejudice, and attitudes that people with disabilities face and the cultural differences therein. I知 excited for the opportunity to help hone my understanding of socio-cultural methodology both in theory and in practice.

Rania Mahdi
Honours Student
Email: rmahdi@ualberta.ca

Hello! My name is Rania and I am in my third year of undergraduate studies in the honors program. Before coming to Canada, I lived in Libya for a decade although I was born in Iraq. Through my transition between the unique cultures of Canada and the Middle East, I developed an interest in culture's effect on our cognition. My interests led me to this lab where I hope to satisfy many of my curiosities. Currently, I am interested in subcultures that form within a culture, and if these different subcultures form a distinct cognitive style.

Bryce Hoy
Honours Student
Email: bhoy@ualberta.ca

Hi, my name is Bryce. I知 a third 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.

Vivienne Li
PSYCO 496 Student
Email: wingyanv@ualberta.ca

I am a third 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.

Sumin Eom
PSYCO 396 Student
Email: seom@ualberta.ca

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.

Wanyixiong Hua
PSYCO 496 Student
Email: wanyixio@ualberta.ca

Hello, my name is Hua, I'm fourth year international student from China with a major in Psychology and minor in Spanish, my general interest in broadly concerned with understanding why questions of human behaviours through psychology, linguistic, philosophy, sociology, and anthropology. A major research interest of mine currently is culture and child development, especially children from age of 4 to 15, how parents respond and restraint children's irrational animalistic demand is vital for children's later perception of social norms and cognition style. My personal hobbies is reading classic literature, go to museums, cooking, and drinking wine.

Stephanie Truckey
PSYCO 496 Student
Email: truckey@ualberta.ca

My name is Stephanie and I’m a 4th year undergraduate Psychology student at the U of A. As a part of my first semester the Culture and Cognition lab, I’m looking to hone my research interests and gain knowledge on the functioning and research techniques of an established project. I hope to apply this experience to graduate studies further in my academic career. My research interests include gender and how it shapes peoples’ cultural outlook and cognitions, and my non-research interests include cycling and international politics.

Shirley May
PSYCO 496 Student
Email: smay@ualberta.ca

Hello! My name is Shirley May and I’m in my fourth year of my undergraduate studies, double majoring in Psychology and Biology. I was born in Edmonton and raised in Calgary but I am of Taiwanese heritage. I've been fortunate in my life to have been raised under both eastern and western influences and I've seen firsthand how one's cultural upbringing can shape a person. These cultural distinctions are well-established in the literature and my personal interest with these topics is what drove me to join Taka's lab. My exposure to different cultures and languages has cultivated my interest in how culture shapes our cognition, perception, and learning processes. This is my first experience in this lab and I hope to develop the skills and critical thinking needed for research. I'm looking forward to learning a lot from all the brilliant minds around me.

Danielle Perreault
PSYCO 496 Student
Email: dmperrea@ualberta.ca

Hi! My name is Danielle and I am in my second year of a BA in psychology. I was born in Malaysia to Malaysian and Canadian parents. Growing up bi-racial and experiencing all the effects of existing in cultural milieu is what sparked my interest in psychology, specifically cultural and developmental. I am interested in studying cultural identity formation in adolescence and hope to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology to further research and understand this topic. I am so grateful to be working in the Culture and Cognition Lab as it is an amazing opportunity that will provide me with invaluable experience in conducting and understanding psychological research and it's applications.


Research Assistants

Camille Del Rosario
Volenteer Research Assistant
Email: camillea@ualberta.ca

Hi! My name is Camille Del Rosario and I am a first year after-degree student, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Physical Sciences. I just graduated with a Biological Sciences major and a Psychology minor. I was born in the Philippines, but moved to Kuwait when I was three. I lived there for five years and eventually moved to Edmonton and have lived here ever since. Being exposed to a variety of cultures and very diverse ways of life, I’ve developed a sense of curiosity towards how culture manipulates our minds and behaviours. I look forward to all the sorts of things I will learn in this lab: about the research, the experimental procedure, and most importantly, getting to know and work with the people who persevere and make this lab so successful.

Denise Valdivieso
Volenteer Research Assistant
Email: dvaldivi@ualberta.ca

Hi! My name is Denise Valdivieso. I am in my fourth 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 three 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!

Natasha Roop
Volenteer Research Assistant
Email: roop@ualberta.ca

Hi my name is Natasha Roop. 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

Radha Saikia
Volenteer Research Assistant 
Email: radha@ualberta.ca

Hi! My name's Radha Saikia, and I'm a second year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology. My interest in various aspects of culture was intensified when I chose to move to Canada from India to pursue a Bachelor's degree. I hope to gain further insight through volunteering at Dr. Matsuda's lab. I chose a major in Psychology because of my passion for the subject material, and also because I wish to understand people better in order to be more compassionate and empathetic. I plan on doing further studies in Psychology once I am done with my Bachelor's. Currently, my career interests lie in Forensic and Counselling psychology. When I am not studying Psychology, I'm painting pictures of sunsets, dogs, or my favourite people.

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

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.


External Members

Koji Miwa, PhD

Webpage: http://kojimiwa.com/

Dr. Koji Miwa is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Linguistics and I belong at Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, Germany. he is currently studying (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.

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

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

Jianhui Song, PhD
Email: jianhuis@ualberta.ca

Dr. Jianhui Song received PhD degree from U of A Psychology. She has received Master's degree in Beiging Normal University (BNU), and worked in BNU for seven years before she came to University of Alberta. 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.

Ken-ichi Ito, PhD
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Email: kito@ntu.edu.sg
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 2011

Sawa Senzaki, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, USA

Webpage: http://www.uwgb.edu/culturelab/Culture_and_Development_Lab.html

I received my BSc in Psychology and Art Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. From my experience of growing up in Japan and moving to the U.S., and now in Canada, I developed my interests in cultural effect on cognition and its changing processes. I am particularly interested in the developmental processes of culturally unique perspectives among children, and also acculturation processes among immigrants and international students in Canada.

Dr. Sawa Senzaki received PhD degree from U of A Psychology in 2013.

Liman Li, PhD
Researcher, Sun Yat-sen University, China

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.
Office of Communications, 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.



Updated: January 2017

Copyright(c), Takahiko Masuda, all rights reserved