*unless stated otherwise, all posts are by Bea Goffin

December 10, 2023

Concern about math skill decline in high-school students

Daniel Ansari addresses concerns about the drop in the level of math skills in Canadian high-school students with CTV news London.

December 6, 2023

tes magazine talks to Daniel Ansari

Daniel Ansari speaks with Tes Magazine about what is meant when talking about "phonics for maths".  

May 1, 2023

Daniel Ansari talks to EducationWeek

Daniel Ansari speaks to EducationWeek about the connections between Dyscalculia and Dyslexia.

February 7, 2022

Tsz Tan (Nathan) Lau Talks about his recent PNAS publication

Nathan Lau, a postdoc in the Numerical Cognition Lab, has garnered a lot of attention with his most recent PNAS publication "Disentangling the individual and contextual effects of math anxiety: A global perspective.  He was interviewed by The Guardian and spoke to Jeff Renaud of Western News. Congratulations Nathan!

July 23, 2020

Daniel Ansari receives prestigious Tier 1 Canada Research Chair

Another momentous achievement for Daniel Ansari!  He is the recipient of a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning in the Faculties of Education and Social Science. To find out more about this honour, please check out the following in the Western News here.  Congratulations Daniel!

July 7, 2020

Lien Peters wins CHRI Trainee Award

Lien Peters' most recent accomplishment includes her becoming the recipient of the Post-Doctoral Trainee Award from the Children's Health Research Institute ((CHRI), a part of Lawson Research Institute. Well earned Lien!

July 18, 2019

Daniel Ansari new CIFAR Fellow

Daniel Ansari has recently been appointed as a Fellow of the CIFAR program in Child and Brain Development. His appointment will be in effect from July 1st until June 30, 2024.  CIFAR is a Canadian-based global charitable organization that seeks to address science's and humanity's most pressing questions through the bringing together of great minds. To find out more about CIFAR, please click here.  Congratulations Daniel!

June 27, 2019

Lien Peters recipient of a CHRI grant

Lien Peters has been awarded a Chidren's Health Research Grant for her research proposal entitled "The role of cognitive, neural and environmental factors in the development of arithmetic and reading: An intergenerational approach".  Congratulations Lien on a successful application!

June 19, 2019

Daniel Ansari addresses early maths teaching in TES podcast

Daniel Ansari was interviewed by TES, an education business supporting teachers, schools and school staff about how children learn to count and how teachers can help.  To read the interview and listen to the podcast, please click here.

June 17, 2019

Celia Goffin and Moriah Sokolowski interviewed at MCLS Conference

Celia Goffin and Moriah Sokolowski spoke to Stephen Hurley from voicEd Radio at the Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society Conference in Ottawa. To listen to their interview, please click here.

February 13, 2019

Daniel Ansari interviewed for "the Pulse" Podcast

Daniel Ansari took part in an interview about Dyscalculia on the Pulse, a podcast that examines questions regarding health, science and innovation.  To read or listen to the interview, please click here.

February 6, 2019

Eric Wilkey newest recipient of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship

Eric Wilkey is the second recipient in the Numerical Cognition Lab to be awarded the prestigious Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship! Only 70 fellowships are awarded each year in Canada to postdoctoral students who show the greatest promise to contribute to the country’s economic, social and research‑based growth. To read more about this, please click here.  So well-deserved Eric!

June 1, 2018

Michael Slipenkyj receives the R.B. Liddy Gold Meda

In addition to his scholarship, Michael was also awarded the R.B. Liddy Gold Medal, given to the student with the highest average in Psychology.  The recipient of this award must have achieved: 1. the highest average, 80% or greater in the module, 2. an average of 80% or greater in fourth year based on a course load of 5.0 courses, 3. a cumulative average within the top 10% of the student graduating from the department.  Well done Michael!

June 1, 2018

Michael Slipenkyj awarded the Clark and Mary J. Wright Scholarship

Michael Slipenkyj is the recipient of the Clark and Mary J. Wright Scholarship, awarded to a fourth-year student with an "A" average who, upon graduation, will be entering a graduate program.  The Department of Psychology selects the recipient.  Michael will be heading off to Georgetown University to pursue his graduate training in the fall of 2019. Congratulations Michael on this achievement! 

​​April 24, 2018

Daniel Ansari is recipient of the 2018 Marion Welchman International Award

At the recent British Dyslexia Association International Conference in Telford, UK, Daniel Ansari received the 2018 Marion Welchman International Award   To find out more, please click here. Congratulations Daniel!

January 11, 2018

Daniel Ansari awarded the prestigious Jacobs Foundation Advanced Research Fellowship

​Daniel Ansari has been awarded a Jacobs Foundation Advanced Research Fellowship for 2018-2020.  This Fellowship is a globally competitive one for mid-career researchers whose research programs are related to improving the living conditions of children and youth and, in particular, whose work is of an interdisciplinary nature.  To read the Western News article about the award and Daniel Ansari's work, please click here.  Congratulations Daniel on this huge achievement!

September 14, 2017

Daniel Ansari speaks to Anna Maria Tremonti of CBC's The Current about math anxiety

Daniel Ansari, along with Ian VanderBurgh, from the University of Waterloo, talk about the effect of math anxiety on the development of children's mathematical skills.  For more details and to listen to the episode, please click here.

May 3, 2017

Moriah Sokolowski is the Numerical Cognition Lab's newest award recipient

Moriah is the recipient of the 2016 Marilyn (Pack) McClelland Award. The Marilyn (Pack) McClelland is awarded  to a full-time graduate student who is conducting research in Developmental or Clinical Psychology relating to children. Selection is based on academic achievement (minimum 78% average), research productivity and quality of research publications.  This award was established by a gift from Dr. W.J. McClelland.

Congratulations Moriah!

​​March 6, 2017

Daniel Ansari's Interview on BOLD (Blog on Learning and Development)

Daniel Ansari discusses the development of numerical and mathematical abilities with Meeri Kim from the Blog on Learning and Development.  To read the blog, please click here.

March 6, 2017

Daniel Ansari discusses math anxiety in The Learning Exchange

Erin Maloney, Jonathan Fugelsang and Daniel Ansari discuss the role of math anxiety in mathematical success.  For more details about this blog, please click here.

​September 6th, 2016

Cognitive Neuroscience at Western receives major federal grant support 

Western University has received $66 million dollar grant from the government of Canada through the Canada First Excellence Research Fund. The Canada First Research Excellence Fund helps competitively selected Canadian postsecondary institutions turn their key strengths into world-leading capabilities. This is the largest grant in the University's history! It will support cognitive neuroscience research at Western with a particular focus on better understanding disorders of brain function. For more information see:

April 28, 2016

Celia Goffin and Anna Matejko Recipients of Department of Psychology Awards

Celia Goffin and Anna Matejko recently received awards from the Department of Psychology in recognition of their achievements!

Celia has received the  2015 Leola E. Neal 
Award for Best Master’s Thesis. Each year, Psychology gives this award to the most outstanding Master’s thesis in any of the following subject areas in the Graduate Psychology Program: clinical, developmental, education, industrial/organizational, measurement, personality or social psychology. Students who are graduating in the fall or who graduated in the spring of the same calendar year will be eligible for consideration. After graduation the recipient must immediately continue as a full-time student in a doctoral program in Psychology at any university. The Graduate Studies Committee in the Department of Psychology selects the recipient.

Anna is the recipient of the 2015 Marilyn (Pack) McClelland Award. The Marilyn (Pack) McClelland is awarded  to a full-time graduate student who is conducting research in Developmental or Clinical Psychology relating to children. Selection is based on academic achievement 
(minimum 78% average), research productivity and quality of research publications.  This award was established by a gift from Dr. W.J. McClelland.

Congratulations to Anna and Celia!

Jan. 7, 2016

Post-doctoral fellow Ian Lyons named a "Rising Star" by the APS

Dr. Ian Lyons was named as a 2015 'Rising Star' by the Association for Psychological Science (APS). For more details, please click here.

As stated on the APS website : "The Rising Star designation recognizesoutstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-PhD whose innovative work has already advanced 
the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions." Congratulations Ian!

On a related note, Daniel Ansari also received notification that he has been awarded Fellow Status by APS for his "outstanding contributions to the science of psychology...". For more details, please click here. Congratulations Daniel!

Nov. 12, 2015
Jane Hutchison shaking hands with Michael Higgins, President of Ireland​Western Students Receive Gold Medal from President of Ireland​
Post By:

Two Western students were among 25 Overall Winners of The Undergraduate Awards. They received a Gold Medal from President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, at an international medal presentation ceremony in Dublin.

Cited as the ultimate champion of high-potential undergraduates, and often referred to as a “junior Nobel Prize”, The Undergraduate Awards is the world’s largest academic awards programme, recognising excellent research and original work across the sciences, humanities, business and creative arts. 

This year, The Undergraduate Awards (UA) received 5,117 submissions from undergraduates in 255 universities across 39 countries. Winners are the top performers in each of the 25 category.

The winners from Western University are: Jane Hutchison in the Education category; and Michelle Harder in the Literature Pre-1710 category.

The Gold Medal Presentation Ceremony was part of a four-day UA Global Summit, 
which brought the winners and other top performers of The Undergraduate Awards 2015 programme from around the world to Ireland to recognise their achievement and encourage cross-discipline and cross-border collaboration. 

The UA Global Summit 2015 featured talks and workshops run by philosopher AC Grayling, astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, genome sequencer Craig Ventor, the Guinness World Record-holder for World’s Youngest University Professor, Alia Sabur, and many more. The event gathered 150 of the top performing entrants
to The Undergraduate Awards 2015: the 25 winners and 125 Highly Commended Entrants. “With two out of 25 winners, and a further 26 Highly Commended Entrants, Western was one of the top performing universities in our awards programme this year,” commented Louise Hodgson, Executive Director of The Undergraduate Awards. “Jane and Michelle have done extraordinarily well to receive this medal, which places them as global leaders in their research fields.”

​​​​​​​​Nov. 11, 2015

Daniel Ansari Talks to the "180 with Jim Brown"

Daniel Ansari talked to the "180 with Jim Brown" on CBC Radio 1 about mathematics education and research.  To hear the interview, please click here.​​

Nov. 9, 2015

Daniel Ansari Talks to CBC Radio in Vancourver about Developmental Dyscalculia

Daniel Ansari gave an interview about Developmental Dyscalculia on "The Early Edition" on CBC Radio One.  To hear the interview, please click here.

Nov. 9, 2015

Opening of the Mary J. Wright Research and Education Centre at Merrymount

Members of the Numerical cognition Laboratory are excited about the opening of the Mary J. Wright Research and Education Centre at Merrymount. This new centre will allow for cross-disciplinary research and the application of evidence-based tools for screening and intervention.  See here for more information.

Nov. 3, 2015
Jane Hutchison named Overall Winner of 2015 Undergraduate Awards

After earlier receiving notice that her submission to the Undergraduate Awards had been selected as one of the highly-commended entries (see news item below), Jane received the outstanding news that her paper entitled: "Bringing Neuroscience to the Classroom:  A Case for the Value of Mind, Brain and Education" was selected as the overall Winner in the Education category of the Undergraduate Awards.

Jane will now travel to Dublin to receive her Award at the Undergraduate Awards Global Summit.

See Western's media coverage 
here as well as Julie McMullin's (Western's VP International) article in the Western News. Congratulations Jane!

Sept. 2, 2015

Jane Hutchison Highly Commended Entrant in The Undergraduate Awards

Jane Hutchison is a Highly Commended Entrant in The Undergraduate Awards, having been identified as an outstanding academic at the international level. This year, they received 5,117 submissions from students in 255 universities across 39 countries. Her paper, entitled "Bringing Neuroscience to the Classroom: A Case for the Value of Mind, Brain and Education", made it to the top 10% of all submissions in the Education category, representing Western University, as assessed by a panel of academics from universities around the world. As a Highly Commended Entrant, Jane has the opportunity to go to Dublin in November to collect her certificate and to meet fellow Highly Commended Entrants. Congratulations Jane on this fantastic achievement!

May 25, 2015
Jane Hutchison recognized for Honors Thesis 
Post By: Ahmad Mousa
Jane Hutchison has been awarded the W. J. McClelland Award from Western University. The W.J. McClelland Award is awarded for the best fourth year Honors Thesis in Psychology. Jane has also received a certificate of Academic Excellence from the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) for her outstanding thesis. Jane's Honors Thesis can be viewed 
here. Congratulations Jane!

May 11, 2015
Graduate students secure external funding
Post By: Ahmad Mousa
All Graduate Students in the Numerical Cognition Laboratory supported by external funding for the coming academic years! It's a record year of external graduate student funding for our lab: both Moriah Sokolowski and Celia Goffin have been awarded NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada) Doctoral Scholarships. Moreover, Anna Matejko has been awarded an OGS (Ontario Graduate Scholarship) grant for her final year of doctoral studies (after having been supported by the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for the past 3 years). Last, but not least, incoming PhD student Zachary Hawes has been awarded an SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) Doctoral Scholarship. Congratulations to all!

May 11, 2015
Daniel Ansari named 'postdoctoral supervisor of the year'
Post By: Ahmad Mousa
Daniel Ansari has been awarded the award for 'postdoctoral supervisor of the year' by the School for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) at Western University. This award is given to Postdoctoral Supervisors who have demonstrated exemplary support for postdoctoral scholars at Western by going above and beyond supervisory expectations. These mentors have given their time and put forth extra effort to ensure a successful experience for postdoctoral scholars.

​​​​​​February 19, 2015
Daniel Ansari (left) alongside David Johnson, Governor General of Canada (right).Daniel Ansari named among 'world-class talent'
Post By: Jason Winders of Western News

Psychology professor Daniel Ansari and Medical Biophysics professor Michael Kovacs were named two of 34 recipients of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) awards recognizing the work of outstanding Canadian scientists and engineers.

“As Canadians, we can look with pride and honour today at this group of scientists and engineers who embody world-class talent and innovation,” said B. Mario Pinto, NSERC president, at a ceremony recognizing the scholars this week. “Their search for knowledge through inspired scholarly inquiry will help Canada take its place as a world leader.”

In a recent article published in the London Free Press, Ansari emphasized the importance of work in the field: “School-entry numerical skills are a more important predictor of future academic achievement than are early reading and socio-emotional skills — around 5% of children have (developmental dyscalculia) in acquiring even the most basic numerical skills, putting them at a significant disadvantage".

A Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Tier 2, Ansari was presented the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, one of six awarded to enhance the career development of outstanding and highly promising scientists and engineers who are faculty members of Canadian universities.

Please click here to read the rest of this story.

September 16, 2014

Daniel Ansari named as inaugural member of 'The College'

Post By: Western University Communications Staff

Three Western professors, and one King’s University College professor, have been named among 91 inaugural members of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Those named to the College represent the emerging generation of scholarly, scientific and artistic leadership in Canada.

Together, the members will address issues of particular concern to new scholars, artists and scientists, for the advancement of understanding and the benefit of society, taking advantage of the interdisciplinary approaches fostered by the establishment of the College.

Western's honorees are:
Daniel Ansari – Department of Psychology, Numerical Cognition Lab
​Isaac Luginaah  Department of Geography
​Valerie Oosterveld – Faculty of Law
​Robert Ventresca – Department of History, King’s University College

Please click here to read the rest of this story.

September 1, 2014

Does your child understand numbers?

Post By: Nathalie Laflamme of Montreal

Math can be a tricky thing, especially for a child. Struggling with a basic concept can lead to a domino effect of confusion, since the next lesson will be more difficult when directly related. When it comes to learning, all children are different. So how can parents make sure that their child is on the right track?

The Numeracy Screener, a free test that is available for download and only takes two to four minutes to complete, can help parents determine whether their child needs some extra help in math. This test is aimed at students from kindergarten to Grade 3.

Please click here to read the rest of this story.

August 14, 2014

Numerical Cognition Laboratory post-doc Ian Lyons awarded Banting scholarship

Post By: Ahmad Mousa

The Numerical Cognition Lab is very proud to announce that Ian Lyons, a post-doctoral fellow at the lab, has been awarded with the prestigious NSERC Banting Scholarship. Ian is the only recipient of the award at Western University and one of only three recipients in Psychology. Congratulations Ian!

A full list of the award recipients can be found here.

June 19, 2014

Test puts math prep on par with language

Post By: Paul Mayne of Western News

For some kids, numbers simply don't add up. But now, thanks to a test developed by Western researchers, teachers and parents will have an early warning that extra help may be needed.

"Numeracy is one of the most important early development skills that children learn," said Western Psychology professor Daniel Ansari. "Individual differences in children's early numeracy skills are critical predictors of their later educational achievement - as strong as literacy skills. Yet, we do not have very many good tools for assessing how well children are doing, early in their development."

Please click here to read the rest of this story.

 May 15, 2014

A two-minute test may show if a child needs early help in math - and it's free online

Post By: Erin Anderssen of The Globe and Mail

It’s basic math: seven is larger than five. Three dots represent less than eight dots. But what if some kindergarten students miss this step? Eventually, they land in Grade 3, facing multiplication, and math is a muddle.

Research has shown that a strong understanding of numerical quantity – both in symbols and actual numbers – is an important early predictor for future math success. That’s because math is a subject that builds upon itself; students who miss a key step quickly fall behind.

Please click here to read the rest of this story.

May 5, 2014

Welcome to the New Home of the Numerical Cognition Laboratory

Post By: Ahmad Mousa

Welcome to the new web site of the Numerical Cognition Laboratory at the Western University. Please check this page for the most recent updates from the lab!

May 2, 2014

Graduate students connect education and neuroscience

Post By: Western Communications Staff
Western graduate students Stephanie Budgen and Anna Matejko’s work in the area of cognitive neuroscience is now part of a new web-based, open-access science journal launched by Nature Publishing Group recently at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C.

Frontiers for Young Minds aims to involve children and young people in the research process.

Under the supervision of Daniel Ansari, Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Budgen submitted When your brain can't do 2+2: A case of Developmental Dyscalculia, which explores the developmental struggle an alarming number of children have learning simple mathematics; while Matejko published White matter counts: Brain connections help us do 2+2, which reviews the emerging technologies used to explore how brain structure relates to math learning. Budgen and Matejko have kick-started promising academic careers, working with Ansari in Western's Department of Psychology and the Brain & Mind Institute, by participating in the highly competitive Latin American School for Education (LA School) the past two academic years.

Budgen just returned from her two-week study in Punta del Este, Uruguay, while Matejko attended in 2013 when it was held in Bahia, Brazil. In each respective class, the pair were the only students from Canada to be selected to participate in this international school. Matejko and her classmates from last year's LA School have already generated a paper, which was recently published by Trends in Neuroscience and Education. Along with co-authors from the U.K., Germany and Latin America, the researchers propose the emergence of a new and distinct field of study that combines neuroscience and education.

This field would use a multidisciplinary approach that would integrate both researchers and teachers to answer questions such as, How can we identify children who will struggle in school? This is in contrast to the current approach where education and neuroscience are largely two distinct fields. Poor communication between researchers and educators has been ineffective in the past, leading to issues such as neuromyths. This multidisciplinary approach would attempt to revolutionize this issue and answer educationally relevant questions.


October 26, 2013

The root of the problem: This is your brain on math

Post By: Ivan Semeniuk of The Globe and Mail
"The first game we're going to play is where you see the squares and you have to tell me which side has more of them, okay?" says Anna Matejko.

She is talking to six-year-old Olivia Hall, whose head is so deep in the maw of an fMRI machine that only her feet can be seen sticking out from the giant magnetic imaging device.

It's an odd way to spend a Sunday morning, but the Grade 1 student has come to University Hospital in London, Ont., so Ms. Matejko can study the fleeting neural fireworks going off in Olivia's brain as she responds to a series of simple counting and number problems.

Please click here to read the rest of this story.