The Mitacs Globalink Research Internship is a competitive initiative for international undergraduates to participate in a 12-week summer research internship at a Canadian university. Palak Totala was one of UBC’s Mitacs interns this past summer. She worked in the Infant Studies Center of Dr. Janet Werker.

Palak grew up in Mumbai, India and is a fourth-year B. Tech student studying computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Patna, India.

For the summer internship, Palak worked on data augmentation of EEG data to understand language perception in the brain of non-typical infants facing certain sensory and developmental deficits.

“The research environment at UBC, particularly within the research group, has been nothing short of amazing. The collaborative spirit among the researchers is inspiring, and everyone is incredibly encouraging and enthusiastic. Dr. Janet’s approachability and openness have made my internship experience truly great,” shares Palak.

Palak is interested in the fascinating phenomenon of cross-modal plasticity within the brain and the compensatory mechanisms that arise when one does not have a certain ability/ sense. Ultimately, Palak hopes to develop technologies that enhances language accessibility by pursuing further education in the fields of Computer Science and Cognitive Computing.

Outside of research, Palak is an avid reader and a trained classical dancer. She also enjoys painting, sightseeing, and travelling.