Jennifer Steeves

Jennifer Steeves, PhD

In broad strokes, our lab studies brain plasticity. We are asking questions such as: how does the brain adapt to changes in sensory input or to direct brain damage? We use converging techniques such as psychophysics, eye movement measurement, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to examine the brain and behaviour.

We have three separate but interrelated lines of research:

1) We study rare neurological patients with acquired brain damage resulting in visual object agnosia (the inability to visually recognize objects) or prosopagnosia (the inability to visually recognize a face). Using image-guided TMS, we are able to create temporary lesions in neurologically-intact participants to better understand object and face processing by transiently disrupting processing in various cortical regions of the face, object and scene processing networks.

2) We are one of the few labs in the world to study multisensory (visual and auditory) processing in unique ophthalmological patients who have had one eye surgically removed (enucleated) early in life, thereby disrupting binocular input to the visual system. We are examining low-level form vision and motion processing as well as higher-level face, object and scene processing. We also measure multisensory adaptation through behaviour and neuroimaging. This approach can reveal coding mechanisms in the brain that inform us about how intact sensory systems function.

3) We are examining sex and sexual orientation differences in perceptual and spatial cognitive processing. We are currently measuring similarities and differences in behaviour as well as brain structure and function.
Spinal Cord. 2017 Dec 28;:
Jones LAT, Bryden A, Wheeler TL, Tansey KE, Anderson KD, Beattie MS, Blight A, Curt A, Field-Fote E, Guest JD, Hseih J, Jakeman LB, Kalsi-Ryan S, Krisa L, Lammertse DP, Leiby B, Marino R, Schwab JM, Scivoletto G, Tulsky DS, Wirth E, Zariffa J, Kleitman...
Spinal Cord. 2017 Oct 25;:
Martin Ginis KA, van der Scheer JW, Latimer-Cheung AE, Barrow A, Bourne C, Carruthers P, Bernardi M, Ditor DS, Gaudet S, de Groot S, Hayes KC, Hicks AL, Leicht CA, Lexell J, Macaluso S, Manns PJ, McBride CB, Noonan VK, Pomerleau P, Rimmer JH, Shaw RB,...
Hum Brain Mapp. 2017 Sep 30;:
Wong NA, Rafique SA, Kelly KR, Moro SS, Gallie BL, Steeves JKE
Brain Res. 2016 Aug 30;
Solomon-Harris LM, Rafique SA, Steeves JK
Neuroimage Clin. 2015;9:513-8
Moro SS, Kelly KR, McKetton L, Gallie BL, Steeves JK
Neuropsychologia. 2015 Oct 25;79(Pt A):86-96
Rafique SA, Solomon-Harris LM, Steeves JK


Director, York University MRI Facility
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Centre for Vision Research, York University