Chantelle Cocquyt is a PhD student in Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Daniela Palombo in the Memory and Imagination Lab. Chantelle’s lab researches emotional memory processes using both behavioural and cognitive neuroscience approaches. Specifically, Chantelle uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for her research on the neural correlates of emotional memory. We caught up with Chantelle to learn more about her research, interests and advice for future students.

Why did you decide to join a Neuroscience lab?
I have always been fascinated by functional neuroimaging since I first encountered it in my first year of undergrad. I am elated at the opportunity to use these techniques to understand how emotional memories are represented in the brain!

Chantelle Cocquyt

What skills do you bring from your previous education and what skills are you gaining currently in the graduate program?
I received my Honours Specialization in Psychology at Brescia University College and my Masters in Psychology at the University of British Columbia. I started my research journey during my undergrad, working with spatial navigation in a virtual environment. I gained experience conducting extensive in-person testing and designing thoughtful behavioural experiments.

Currently, I am elevating my experimental design skills to accommodate for the complex considerations that come with conducting an fMRI experiment. Further, through learning how to preprocess and analyze neuroimaging data, I have become proficient in a variety of programming languages.

What do you enjoy most about UBC?
The eagerness for collaboration! There has been a recent push for knowledge translation and resource dissemination pertaining to neuroimaging practices both within the Psychology department and at the DMCBH. This community of kind and helpful researchers has made all the difference in my education thus far.

What are your future career goals?
I hope to continue in neuroimaging research at a university or hospital.

What advice do you have for students interested in graduate school?
Talk to graduate students in your area of interest. They will have invaluable insight into what life in that program is truly like.

What do you like to do outside of research?
I am a big crafter! So I spend a lot of my free time knitting, crocheting, sewing, and painting.

What is your favourite quote?
“Perspective, that kind of alchemy we humans get to play with, turning anguish into a flower” – BJ Miller. When it comes to research there is meaning in every finding, whether it’s null or significant. Sometimes it just takes a shift in perspective to find it.