Penny M. Pexman
Research and teaching
Much of human cognition depends on stored knowledge; that is, the meaning we have learned to ascribe to words, objects, and other aspects of our experience. The focus of my research is the mental process by which such meaning is retrieved. In my laboratory we explore this process in healthy adults and in typically developing children. New understanding about how this process occurs in the healthy mind and brain will provide a framework for understanding the ways in which semantic processing is disrupted in the disordered brain. I am also involved in projects in which we examine semantic processing in populations where this process is atypical: children with ASD and adults with temporal lobe epilepsy, for instance. My research is currently funded by both NSERC (my adult studies) and SSHRC (my developmental studies). My students hold funding from AHFMR, NSERC, and SSHRC. I currently supervise graduate students in both the Psychology and Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs. My students and I have been collaborating with researchers at the Seaman Family MR Research Centre to conduct our neuroimaging studies.