Veronica Whitford

Assistant Professor

PhD

Psychology

Keirstead Hall 117

Fredericton

veronica.whitford@unb.ca
1 506 451 6995



Other titles

Canada Research Chair – Tier II

Research interests

  • Developmental cognitive psychology/neuroscience
  • Psycholinguistics

My research focuses on the perceptual, oculomotor, linguistic, and neuro-cognitive processes that underlie reading development and performance across the lifespan, from early childhood to late adulthood. I examine these processes in a number of populations with different linguistic and cognitive profiles, including neurotypical monolinguals, bilinguals, and multilinguals; individuals with language and learning disorders, such as developmental dyslexia; and individuals with neurodegenerative disorders, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. I employ a multi-method approach that includes both behavioural measures, such as eye-tracking, and neural measures, such as electroencephalography (EEG).

Education

  • B.A. (Psychology, Behavioural Science) – McGill University
  • Ph.D. (Experimental Psychology) – McGill University
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience) – University of Western Ontario
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience) – Harvard University & Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professional awards

2019 – present: Canada Research Chair – Tier II ($500,000 + $20,000/year research stipend). Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

2019: Recognition for Outstanding Research and Contributions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

2019: Young Scholar Speaker. Center for Language Science (CLS), Pennsylvania State University

2015: Distinguished Dissertation Award (Departmental Nomination for Best Dissertation). Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS)/ProQuest

2015: Dissertation Award (Departmental Nomination for Best Dissertation). L’Association des doyens des études supérieures au Québec (ADESAQ)

2014: Graduate Award ($1,000). Department of Psychology, McGill University

2014: Graduate Excellence Award ($4,000). Department of Psychology, McGill University

2014: Graduate Excellence Award ($5,000). Department of Psychology, McGill University

2013: Nomination for Best Ph.D. Student Paper Award. 17th European Conference on Eye Movements (ECEM)

2013: Graduate Research Scholarship (Departmental Nomination). American Psychological Foundation/Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology

2013: Community Leadership Award ($500). Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music (CRBLM)

2013: Graduate Travel Award ($1,000). Department of Psychology, McGill University

2013: Most Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Department of Psychology, McGill University

2012: Summer Program in Aging (SPA) Scholar. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

2012: Best Poster Presentation Award ($150). Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music (CRBLM)

2012: Graduate Travel Award ($700). Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music (CRBLM)

2012: Graduate Travel Award ($1,000). Department of Psychology, McGill University

2011: First Place Research Prize – Best Presentation ($500). Douglas Hospital – Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis

2010: Provost’s Graduate Scholarship ($5,000). McGill University

2010: Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel Award ($500). Department of Psychology, McGill University

2009: Lorne Trottier Science Accelerator Fellowship ($2,500). McGill University

2009: Nomination for Most Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Department of Psychology, McGill University

2008: Millennium Bursary ($2,500). Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation

2008: Provost’s Graduate Scholarship ($5,000). McGill University

2008: Member of the International Golden Key Honour Society

2006 – 2008: Dean’s Honour List, McGill University

Selected publications

Whitford, V., & Guedea, E. L. (In Press). The behavioral and neural correlates of bilingual lexical ambiguity. In R. R. Heredia & A. B. Cieślicka (Eds.), Bilingual lexical ambiguity resolution (pp. 1-20). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Friesen, D., Whitford, V., Titone, D., & Jared, D. J. (2019). The impact of individual differences on cross-language activation of meaning by phonology. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.

Palma, P., Whitford, V., & Titone, D. (2019). Cross-language activation and executive control modulate within-language ambiguity resolution: Evidence from eye movements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

Whitford, V., & Titone, D. (2019). Lexical entrenchment and cross-language activation: Two sides of the same coin for bilingual reading across the adult lifespan. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 22, 58-77.

Whitford, V., & Luk, G. (2019). Comparing executive functions in monolinguals and bilinguals: Considerations on participant characteristics and statistical assumptions in current research. In I. Sekerina, L. Spradlin, & V. Valian (Eds.), Bilingualism, executive function, and beyond (pp. 67-80). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Gullifer, J. W., Chai, X. J., Whitford, V., Pivneva, I., Baum, S., Klein, D., & Titone, D. (2018). Bilingual experience and resting-state brain connectivity: Impacts of L2 age of acquisition and social diversity of language use on control networks. Neuropsychologia, 117, 123-134.

Whitford, V., & Joanisse, M. F. (2018). Do eye movements reveal differences between monolingual and bilingual children’s first-language and second-language reading? A focus on word frequency effects. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 173, 318-337.

Whitford, V., O’Driscoll, G. A., & Titone, D. (2018). Reading deficits in schizophrenia and their relationship to developmental dyslexia: A review. Schizophrenia Research, 193, 11-22.

Whitford, V., & Titone, D. (2017). The effects of word frequency and word predictability during first- and second-language paragraph reading in bilingual older and younger adults. Psychology and Aging, 32, 158-177.

Titone, D., Whitford, V., Lijewska, A., & Itzhak, I. (2016). Bilingualism, executive control, and eye movement measures of reading: A selective review and reanalysis of bilingual vs. multilingual reading data. In J. Schwieter (Ed.), Cognitive control and consequences in the multilingual mind (pp. 11-46). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Whitford, V., Pivneva, I., & Titone, D. (2016). Eye movement methods to investigate bilingual reading. In R. R. Heredia, J. Altarriba, & A. B. Cieślicka (Eds.), Methods in bilingual reading comprehension research (pp. 183-212). New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.

Whitford, V., & Titone, D. (2016). Eye movements and the perceptual span during first- and second-language sentence reading in bilingual older adults. Psychology and Aging, 31, 58-70.

Whitford, V., & Titone, D. (2015). Second-language experience modulates eye movements during first- and second-language sentence reading: Evidence from a gaze-contingent moving window paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 41, 1118-1129.

Whitford, V., & Titone, D. (2014). The effects of reading comprehension and launch site on frequency-predictability interactions during paragraph reading. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67, 1151-1165.

Whitford, V., O’Driscoll, G. A., Pack, C. C., Joober, R., Malla, A., & Titone, D. (2013). Reading impairments in schizophrenia relate to individual differences in phonological processing and oculomotor control: Evidence from a gaze-contingent moving window paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142, 57-75.

Whitford, V., & Titone, D. (2012). Second-language experience modulates first- and second-language word frequency effects: Evidence from eye movement measures of natural paragraph reading. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19, 73-80.

Research funding

2019 – present: Harrison McCain Foundation. Young Scholar Award ($6,626)

2019 – present: John R. Evans Leaders Fund – Canada Foundation for Innovation (JELF CFI). Infrastructure Funding – Canada Research Chair ($125,372)

2019 – present: New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF). Matching Provincial Funds – Canada Research Chair ($125,372)

2019 – present: New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF). Start-Up Fund ($50,000)

2019 – present: Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). Small Grants Program for Early Career Scholars ($7,000)

2019 – present: University of New Brunswick – Vice President Academic. Academic Development Fund ($30,000)

2019 – present: University of New Brunswick – Vice President Research. University Research Fund – Explore Grant ($6,745)

2018 – 2019: University of Texas at El Paso. Dodson Fund ($4,200); Role: Co-Investigator

2017 – 2018: University of Texas at El Paso. Start-Up Fund ($80,000)

2016 – 2017: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Postdoctoral Research Fellowship ($90,000)

2015 – 2016: Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FQRNT). Postdoctoral Research Fellowship ($70,000) – First Place Ranking

2010 – 2013: Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FQRNT). Doctoral Research Scholarship ($60,000) – Declined Acceptance

2010 – 2013: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Postgraduate Research Scholarship ($63,000)

2009 – 2010: Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FQRNT). Masters Research Scholarship ($15,000)

2008: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) ($4,500)

Teaching

  • Undergraduate: Physiological Psychology (PSYC 3713)