Naseem Al-Aidroos

Neuroscience & Applied Cognitive Science
519-824-4120 x56377
MacKinnon Extension
Undergraduate Advisor

Accepting Graduate Students: 
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: 
Advising Area and Office Hours for Advising: 
By appointment

I use behavioural measures, eye tracking, EEG/ERP and fMRI to study visual attention, perception, and memory. If you are interested in joining the lab, or want to learn more about the research I do, please see the website for my research lab (linked above).

Prospecitve graduate students: We are looking for bright, enthusiastic graduate students to join the lab in Fall 2018. If you are interested, you should apply to the NACS graduate program offered by our department.

Prospective undergraduate students: Please see instructions on my lab website about how to "Join the Lab", and options for completing experiential learning oppotunities.


  • Post doc: Princeton University (2011)
  • PhD: University of Toronto (2010)
  • BMath: University of Waterloo (2004)


Our mental and physical behaviours are only as good as the information they are based on. Research at the VCN lab is concerned with understanding how attention tunes information processing within our minds and brains so that, more often than not, our behaviour is guided by good information. Broadly speaking, we are interested in how attention operates, how it can be optimized, and under what situations it fails.

Much prior research has focused on dissociating attention into distinct components or abilities (e.g., the ability to attend to different aspects of sensory information or memory, and the ability to control attention in a top-down or bottom-up manner). Research at the VCN lab complements this prior work on what attention can do, by focusing on how these abilities are achieved. That is, our approach lies in identifying the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie attention. This mechanistic level of description is of particular relevance for understanding both why attention sometimes fails (e.g., in certain populations) and how to overcome these failures. To investigate the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie attention, we employ a range of converging measures, including behaviour (reaction time, accuracy, limb tracking, and eye tracking), pupilometry, electroencephalography (EEG/ERP), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).


Selected Publications

A complete list of publications is available on my lab website (linked above). Here are my five most recent publications (last updated April, 2017; student collaborators in bold):

  • De Vito, D., Al-Aidroos, N., & Fenske, M. J. (in press). Neural evidence that inhibition is linked to the affective devaluation of distractors that match the contents of working memory. Neuropsychologia.
  • Dube, B., Emrich, S. M., & Al-Aidroos, N. (in press). More than a filter: Feature-based attention regulates the distribution of visual working memory resources. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
  • Emrich, S. M., Lockhart, H. A., & Al-Aidroos, N. (in press). Attention mediates the flexible allocation of visual working memory resources. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
  • Huffman, G., Al-Aidroos, N., Pratt, J. (in press). Salience drives feature repetition in cueing tasks. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.
  • Giammarco, M., Paoletti, A., Guild, E. &Al-Aidroos, N. (2016). Attentional capture by items that match episodic long-term memory representations. Visual Cognition.


I have taught a number of courses at the University of Guelph.

  • The weekly NACS Speaker Series (PSYC*6740/60)
  • Cogntive Neuroscience (PSYC*4600)
  • Introductory Research Methods (PSYC*2360)
  • Sensation and Perception (PSYC*2390)
  • ​Graduate Statistiscs and Research Methods (PSYC*6940)