Embodied Emotion Laboratory

Stephen D. Smith, Ph.D.

Science never sleeps--it just drinks more coffee.

Research Interests | Funding | Selected Publications | Lab Personnel | Collaborators |

Faculty Webpage | Department of Psychology | University of Winnipeg

Last updated: May 2016

Research Interests

The primary research focus of the Embodied Emotion Laboratory is to understand the neuroscience of emotional perception and emotional experience. To that end, we have embarked on a series of interrelated projects in order to understand the emotional modulation of attention using cognitive, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological research strategies. Details about each of these projects are found in the following web links:


The Emotional Modulation of Attention
The Role of the Spinal Cord in Emotional Responses
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Responses (ASMR) [under construction]
Mindfulness and Emotional Regulation
Gambling and Flow States [under construction]

Current Funding

Manitoba Gambling Research Council Large Grant (2016-2019). Problem gambling and the slot machine zone: a dissociative state that contributes to the appeal slots play and may increase the potential for harm. PI: Michael J. Dixon, University of Waterloo. CIs: Stephen D. Smith (Winnipeg), Daniel Smilek (Waterloo), and Paul Seli (Waterloo).


Riverview Health Centre Research Grant (2016-2018). Developing Tools to Assess and Improve the Perception of Facial Expressions and Body Language in Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries. PI: Jennifer Salter, University of Manitoba. Role: Co-investigator and grant co-author.


University of Winnipeg Major Research Grant (2015-2017). An Electrophysiological Examination of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Responses (ASMR).


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Discovery Grant (2014-2019). Functional MRI Investigations Characterizing an Emo-Motoric Network of Emotional Experience.


Copyright notice (adapted from various sources): The documents available for download from this web site are protected by various copyright laws, but I am allowed to distribute copies to individuals for personal research and study. Your click on any of the preceding links constitutes your request to me for a personal copy of the linked document, and downloading the document constitutes my delivery of a personal copy. By downloading any of the documents, you agree to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author or copyright holder. Any other use is prohibited without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

  • Smith, S. D., Fredborg, B. K., & Kornelsen, J. (in press). An examination of the default mode network in individuals with Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR). Social Neuroscience. PDF

  • Kolesar, T. A., Feist, K. M., Smith, S. D., & Kornelsen, J. (2015). Assessing nociception by fMRI of the human spinal cord: A systematic review. Magnetic Resonance Insights, 8(S1), 31-39. PDF


  • Kornelsen, J., Smith, S. D., & McIver, T. A. (2015). A neural correlate of visceral emotional responses: Evidence from fMRI of the thoracic spinal cord. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 10, 584-588. PDF


  • Sboto-Frankenstein, U. N., Lazar., T., Bolster, R. B., Thind, S., Gervai, P., Gruwel, M. L. H., & Smith, S. D. (2015). Symmetry of the fornix using diffusion tensor imaging. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 40, 929-936. PDF


  • Gervai de Dreesen, P., Sboto-Frankenstein, U. N., Bolster, R. B., Thind, S., Gruwel, M. L., & Smith, S. D., Tomanek, B. (2014). Tractography of Meyers loop asymmetries. Epilepsy Research, 108, 872-882. PDF


  • Hildebrand, K. D., & Smith, S. D. (2014). Attentional biases toward humor: Separate effects of incongruity detection and resolution. Motivation and Emotion, 38, 287-296. PDF


  • Garcia-Campuzon, M.-T., Virues-Ortega, J., Smith, S. D., & Moussavi, Z. (2013). Effect of cognitive training targeting associate memory in the elderly: A small randomized trial and a longitudinal evaluation. Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 61, 2252-2254. PDF


  • McIver, T. A., Kornelsen, J., & Smith, S. D. (2013). Limb-specific emotional modulation of cervical spinal cord neurons. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 13, 464-472. PDF


  • Schweizer, T. A., Li, L., Alexander, M. P., Smith, S. D., Graham, S., Fischer, C., & Fornazarri, L. (2013). From the thalamus with love: Neuroplasticity, emotion, and the origins of synaesthesia. Neurology, 51, 509-510. PDF


  • Edmiston, E., McHugo, M., Dukic, M., Smith, S. D., Abou-Khalil, B., Eggers, E., & Zald, D. H. (2013). Enhanced visual cortical activation for emotional stimuli is preserved in patients with unilateral amygdala resection. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 11023-11031. PDF


  • Kornelsen, J., Smith, S. D., McIver, T. A., Sboto-Frankenstein, Latta, P., Yin, D., & Tomanek, B. (2013). Detection of sensory stimulation in the thoracic spinal cord using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. PDF


  • Salter, J. E., Smith, S. D., & Ethans, K. D. (2013). Positive and negative affect in individuals with spinal cord injuries. Spinal Cord, 51, 252-256. PDF


  • Smith, S. D., & Kornelsen, J. (2011). Emotion-dependent responses in spinal cord neurons: A spinal fMRI study. NeuroImage, 58, 269-274. PDF


  • Piech, R. M., McHugo, M., Smith, S. D., Dukic, M. S., Van Der Meer, J., Abou-Khalil, B., Most, S. B., & Zald, D. H. (2011). Attentional capture by emotional stimuli is preserved in patients with amygdala lesions. Neuropsychologia, 49, 3314-3319. PDF


  • Smith, S. D., McIver, T. A., Di Nella, M. S. J., & Crease, M. L. (2011). The effects of valence and arousal on the emotional modulation of time perception: Evidence for multiple stages of processing. Emotion, 11, 1305-1313. PDF


  • Piech, R. M., McHugo, M., Smith, S. D., Dukic, M. S., Van Der Meer, J., Abou-Khalil, B., & Zald, D. H. (2010). Fear-enhanced visual search persists after amygdala lesions. Neuropsychologia, 48, 3430-3435. PDF

  • Juruena, M. F., Giampietro, V. P., Smith, S. D., Surguladze, S. A., Dalton, J. A., Benson, P. J., Cleare, A. J., & Fu, C. H.Y. (2010). Amygdala responsivity to masked happy and sad facial expressions. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 16, 383-387. PDF


  • Smith, S. D., Abou-Khalil, B., & Zald, D. H. (2008). Post-traumatic stress disorder in a patient with no left amygdala. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117, 479-484. PDF

  • Hakyemez, H. S., Dagher, A., Smith, S. D., & Zald, D. H. (2008). Striatal dopamine transmission in healthy humans during passive unpredictable monetary reward and novelty. NeuroImage, 39, 2058-2065. PDF

  • Most, S. B., Smith, S. D., Levy, B., Cooter, A. B., & Zald, D. H. (2007). The naked truth: Appetitive distractors impair rapid target perception. Cognition & Emotion, 21, 964-981. PDF

  • Smith, S. D., Most, S. B., Newsome, L. A., & Zald, D. H. (2006). An emotional blink of attention elicited by aversively conditioned stimuli. Emotion, 6, 523-527. PDF

  • Smith, S. D., & Bulman-Fleming, M. B. (2006). Hemispheric asymmetries for the conscious and unconscious perception of emotional words. Laterality, 11, 304-330. PDF

  • Smith, S. D., Dixon, M. J., Bulman-Fleming, M. B., Birch, C., Laudi, N., & Wagar, B. M. (2005). Experience with a category alters hemispheric asymmetries for the detection of anomalies. Neuropsychologia, 43, 1911-1915. PDF

  • Merikle, P. M., & Smith, S. D. (2005). Memory for information perceived without awareness. In N. Ohta, C. M. MacLeod, & B. Uttl (Eds.), Dynamic cognitive processes (pp. 79-99). Tokyo: Springer-Verlag. PDF

  • Smith, S. D., & Bulman-Fleming, M. B. (2005). An examination of the Right-Hemisphere Hypothesis of the lateralization of emotion. Brain and Cognition, 57, 210-213. PDF

  • Smith, S. D., Bulman-Fleming, M. B. (2004). A hemispheric asymmetry for the unconscious perception of emotion. Brain and Cognition, 55, 452-457. PDF

  • Smith, S. D., Dixon, M. J., Tays, W. J., & Bulman-Fleming, M. B. (2004). Anomaly detection in the right hemisphere: The influence of visuospatial factors. Brain and Cognition, 55, 458-462. PDF

  • Smith, S. D., Tays, W. J., Dixon, M. J., & Bulman-Fleming, M. B. (2002). The right hemisphere as an anomaly-detector: Evidence from visual perception. Brain and Cognition, 48, 574-579. PDF

  • Schweizer, T. A., Dixon, M. J., Desmarais, G., & Smith, S. D. (2002). Not all triads are created equal: Further support for the importance of visual and semantic proximity in object identification. Brain and Cognition 48, 537-541. PDF

Lab Personnel

Tracie Parkinson (Graduate Student)
Brittany Cook (Honours Student)
Emma Kunkel (Honours Student)
Catherine Nadeau (Honours Student)
Megan Sorokopud-Jones (Honours Student)

Lab Alumni (next academic position)

Marie-Christine Beaulieu (TBA)
Kelsey Bryk (Graduate School, University of British Columbia Okanagan)
Vanessa Camaclang (Medical School, University of Manitoba)
Kevin Champagne-Jorgensen (Graduate School, McMaster University)
Chrissy Chubala (Graduate School, University of Manitoba)
Michelle Crease (Graduate School, University of British Columbia)
Michelle Di Nella (Research Program Coordinator, Seven Oaks Hospital)
Carly Fraser (Research Program Coordinator, St. Boniface Hospital)
Beverley Fredborg (Graduate School, Ryerson University)
Rachel Ganaden (Graduate School, York University)
Andrea Globa (Graduate School, University of British Columbia)
Madison Harding (TBA)
Kerri Hildebrand (Graduate School, University of Manitoba)
Elyse Joubert (Post-Graduate Nursing Program, University of Manitoba)
Kristin Kantautas (Graduate School, University of Toronto)
Tiffany Kolesar (Graduate School, University of Manitoba)
Carla Kowal (Graduate School, Social Work, University of Manitoba)
Alex Lukin (Medical School, Cayman Islands Medical School)
Heather Mackenzie (Graduate School, University of Calgary)
Charley McDonald-Mitchell (Master of Family Therapy Program, University of Winnipeg)
Theresa McIver (Graduate School, Queens University)
Christine Neustaedter (TBA)
Kiera O’Neil (Graduate School, Dalhousie University)
Karen Palaniuk (Master of Family Therapy Program, University of Winnipeg)
Sam Rumak (Graduate School, University of British Columbia)
Katryna Schell (Graduate School, University of Manitoba)
Stephanie Villeneuve (Medical School, University of Manitoba)
Larissa Scrimshaw (Post-Graduate Education Program, Brandon University)
Kasmira Sobkow (Graduate School, University of La Verne, La Verne, CA)
Aaron Trachtenberg (Rhodes Scholarship, Oxford University)
Nathan Trethart (TBA)
John Webb (Medical School, University of Manitoba)

Percentage of Highly Qualified Personnel who pursued post-graduate training: 78.6%

Links to Collaborators (in alphabetical order)

Bruce Bolster, Ph.D.
University of Winnipeg

Mike Dixon, Ph.D.
University of Waterloo

Jennifer Kornelsen, Ph.D.
Department of Radiology, University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB)

Tom Schweizer, Ph.D.
Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, St. Michael
s Hospital (Toronto)

Daniel Smilek, Ph.D.
University of Waterloo

David Zald, Ph.D.
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)

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