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Margot Taylor Lab

Dr. Taylor's biosketch

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The Hospital for Sick Children
Director of Functional Neuroimaging
Diagnostic Imaging

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Neurosciences & Mental Health

University of Toronto
Professor of Medical Imaging
Department of Paediatrics and Department of Psychology

Phone: 416-813-6321
e-mail: margot.taylor@sickkids.ca


Research Interests

  • Development of face processing and recognition
  • Effect of emotions on face processing and attention
  • Frontal lobe and executive function development
  • Neuroimaging in preterm neonates

Research Activities

My research centres on the use of fMRI, MRI and MEG to understand the neural bases of cognitive development. Within my lab we assess structural and functional brain correlates with performance on high-level cognitive skills, with a particular focus on the development of cognitive and social functions (e.g., emotional processes, inhibition, working memory, theory of mind), using protocols adapted for children in fMRI and MEG.

Structural imaging is a key component of these developmental studies. A major focus has been on children with autism with the aim of understanding the brain functions that underlie the atypical cognitive abilities in these children, adolescents and adults. Our studies are investigating the brain structural and functional correlates of higher-order cognitive abilities from young childhood to adulthood. We have also been following longitudinally, both behaviourally and with multimodal neuroimaging, very preterm infants (born at <32 weeks gestational age), who are now 8 years of age.  

These MRI and fMRI data are providing powerful means of determining brain development from the preterm period and understanding why so many of these children have cognitive difficulties at school-age.

Awards and Grants Received

  • Understanding the thoughts and emotions of others: neuroimaging measures of typical and atypical development. Taylor, M.J., Pang, E.W., Smith, M.L., Anagnostou, E. CIHR-BSB 2015-2020. 5yr grant. 1st year $129,703 (total $648,513).
  • Longitudinal follow-up study of a military PTSD patient cohort using magnetoencephalography. Taylor, M.J., Pang, E.W., Dunkley, B.T.  CIMVHR, 2015-2017, total  $270,810.91
  • Cognitive functions in children born very preterm; relation to brain structure and function from birth through childhood. Taylor, M.J., Sled, J.G., Whyte, H.E., Miller, S.P., Shroff, M.M., Smith, M.L. CIHR-BSC, 2014-2019. 5yr grant, 1st year $164,340 (total $821,701).
  • Neonatal intensive care and brain development of the preterm neonate. CoPIs: Miller, S.P., Grunau, R., Taylor, M.J., Co-Applicants: Synnes, A., Ly, L., Poskitt, K., Brant, R., Sled, J.G. Whyte, H.E. CIHR-CHI 2014-2020. 6yr grant, 1st year $184,036 (total: $1,104,216).
  • Typical and atypical development of frontal lobe systems and the maturation of social cognitive function. Taylor, M.J., Pang, E.W., Doesburg, S., Anagnostou, E.  CIHR BSC, jan 2012-2017; 5-yr grant, 1st year: $151,692 (total $766,896).
  • Application of non-invasive magnetoencephalography (MEG) for objective assessment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) A Pilot Study. Taylor, M.J., Pang, E.W.  DRDC, August 2012 - Dec. 2013. $248,340.

Grants in submission

  • Identifying brain dysmaturation in very preterm neonates associated with autism. Church, P.T., Banihani, R., Anagnostou, E., Kelly, E., Ly, L., Taylor, M.J. Submitted to PSI, May 12, 2016. $165,790 for two years.