Dr. Allen Thornton, Lab Director

Dr. Thornton's research expertise is in clinical neuropsychology. His focus is on establishing the dynamic and fundamental contributing factors associated with cognitive and behavioural dysfunction in several conditions. Two primary themes dominate his work. First, he incorporates cognitive and neuropsychological paradigms to elucidate the differential impairments that emerge from medical and psychiatric disorders. Secondly, he investigates treatment and disease-related factors that alter the expression of neurocognitive deficits. Dr. Thornton earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Neuropsychology from the University of Memphis in December 1995. Thereafter, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Section of Neuropsychology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He currently is an Associate Professor in Psychology at Simon Fraser University and is a Research Scientist at the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Research Institute.

Tiffany O'Connor, Graduate Student 


Tiffany is a second year M.A. student in the Clinical Neuropsychology program at SFU. Her research focuses on the neurocognitive impact of traumatic brain injury. More specifically, Tiffany's research in this area examines cognitive and neurobehavioural outcomes in athletes having acquired a concussion, as well as in individuals with a history of traumatic brain injury along with comorbid substance abuse, viral infection, and mental illness.

Lab Alumni

Heather Baitz, Ph.D.

Heather completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Cognitive Systems at the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology at Simon Fraser University. Her master's research examined the impact of antipsychotic medications on cognitive functioning, and she is currently investigating laboratory-based decision making ability and real-world risk behaviours among marginalized substance users.

Kristina Gicas, Ph.D.

Kristina's master's research focused on characterizing profiles of cognitive functioning in individuals with comorbid substance use, major mental illness, and viral infections. Her current research builds upon this by identifying comorbid individuals at risk for cognitive decline and the factor associated with these changes.

Chantelle Giesbrecht, Ph.D.

Chantelle completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at the University of Manitoba, and a Master of Science degree in Pharmacology at the University of Alberta. Her current research examines the impact of HIV infection on cognitive functioning, within the context of multiple comorbidities, including total viral exposure, substance dependence, and psychiatric illness. Her research is funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research Doctoral Research Award – Priority Announcement: Health Services & Population Health in HIV/AIDS Research.