Vanessa Harrar, PhD

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Resume

DEGREES

2006–2010 | York University | Toronto, Canada

  • Ph.D. completed in the Centre for Vision Research (supervised by Dr. Laurence R. Harris) thesis titled “Is touch is coded in a visual reference frame?”

2004–2006 | York University | Toronto, Canada

  • M.A. completed in the Centre for Vision Research (supervised by Dr. Laurence R. Harris) thesis titled “Simultaneity constancy mechanism for bimodal visual and tactile stimuli”
  • B.A. Honors major-minor in Psychology and Applied Math

2001–2004 | York University | Toronto, Canada

  • Summa Cum Laude and Dean’s Honour Roll
1999–2001 | Dawson College | Montreal, Canada
  • Dean’s List distinction in commerce, GPA of A+

1994–1999 | Royal West Academy | Montreal, Canada

  • Graduated with honors & Bilingual certificate

 

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

2013Present | Post-Doctoral fellowship with Prof. Maurice Ptito in the Development and Plasticity of the Visual System Laboratory, School of Optometry, University of Montreal | Montreal, Canada 

20102013 | Post-Doctoral fellowship with Prof. Charles Spence in the crossmodal research lab, Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University | Oxford, UK

2011–2012 | Senior Tutor for Experimental psychology students, Somerville College, Oxford University | Oxford, UK

  • A senior position within the college, which includes administrative and teaching responsibilities
  • Supervised all Experimental Psychology students (11 undergraduate and 2 graduates) at Somerville College ( one of Oxford University’s 44 Colleges/Halls)

2005–2009 | Teacher Assistant (Statistics I & II), Department of Psychology, York University | Toronto, Canada

  • Lectured ~35 undergraduates 2 hours per week during term time (total of ~240 hrs)
  • Held office hours for individual consultations

2005–2010 | Tutor. Private tutoring for psychology undergraduate students (Statistics I & II, Light and Sound). Tutored adults with special needs | Toronto, Ontario

 

HONOURS AND AWARDS

  • 2014 | Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship $140,000
  • 2013 | Oxford-McGill Neuroscience Collaboration £10,580
  • 2013 | Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant £800
  • 2012 | Training School COST action TD0904 (TIMELY) €500 
  • 2011 | Bernstein Centre for Computations Neuroscience Tübingen, Travel Grant€300 (plus accommodation
  • 2011 | Experimental Psychology Society Grindley Travel Grant, £500
  • 2011 | Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant, £800
  • 2010–2013 | Mary Somerville Junior Research Fellowship, Oxford University, Somerville College, £50,550 (plus board and lodging)
  • 2009–2010 | Susan Mann Dissertation Scholarship, $22,000
  • 2006–2009 | Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Post Graduate Scholarship (PhD), $63,000
  • 2007 | Psychology department certificate of Academic Excellence
  • 2006 | Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) - Declined, $15,000
  • 2006 | Laureates of the Canadian Psychological Association, Certificate of Academic Excellence
  • 2005 | Thesis nominated by psychology as the most outstanding thesis for the Faculty of graduate studies
  • 2005 | MA Thesis Prize
  • 2005–2006 | Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Post Graduate Scholarship (Masters), $17,300
  • 2005 | Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) - Declined, $15,000
  • 2004–2005 | Graduate Entrance Scholarship, $4,000
  • 2004 | Stong College Masters Award, $50 
  • 2002–2003 | C.B. Cragg Prize, $50  
  • 2002–2002 | Continuing Student scholarship, $1,000
  • 2001–2002 | Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship, $4,000

 

SUMMARY OF PUBLICATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS       

  • Peer-reviewed manuscripts: 16
  • Peer-reviewed book chapters: 1
  • Peer-reviewed published abstracts: 12
  • Peer-reviewed conference presentations: 14 (not including published abstracts)
  • Manuscripts in preparation: 6
  • Conferences and symposia organised: 3

 

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE  

Ad Hoc Reviewer for Scholarly Journals

  • Acta Psychologica (1)
  • Appetite (1)
  • Attention, Perception & Psychophysics (7)
  • Behavior Research Methods (4)
  • Brain Research (2)
  • Cognition (1)
  • Current Biology (1)
  • Experimental Brain Research (9)
  • Experimental Psychology (4)
  • Food Quality and Preference (2)
  • Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (3)
  • Journal of Cognitive Psychology (1)
  • Journal of Neuroscience (1)
  • Journal of Vision (2)
  • Multisensory Research (4)
  • Neuroscience Letters (3)
  • Perception (2)
  • PLOS One (3)
  • Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (4)
  • Seeing & Perceiving: A Journal of Multisensory Science (1)

 

Editor for Peer Review Journals

  • Guest editor for Seeing and Perceiving 2012 (Volume 25, Supplement)

 

Membership in Professional Societies

  • International Multisensory Research Forum (IMRF), 2005-present
  • Vision Sciences Society (VSS), 2009 - 2010
  • Association for Scientific Studies of Consciousness (ASSC), 2005-2006, 2012

 

UNIVERSITY SERVICE

Co-supervised Gradaute and Undergraduate thesis projects

  1. Harriet Dempsey-Jones, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Sept – Dec 2013
  2. Allegra Indraccolo, Cognitive & Clinical Psychology Laboratory, Università Europea di Roma, Jan 2013 – July 2013
  3. Jonathan Oliver, Pembroke College, Oxford University, April 2013 – 2014
  4. Rachel Hullatt, Oriel College, Oxford, April – Dec 2012
  5. Timothy Hogwood-Wilson, Hertford College, Oxford, April – Dec 2012
  6. Sophie Vandenbroucke, Dept of Experimental Psychology, Ghent University, Feb 2012
  7. Betina Piqueras-Fiszman, Dept of Engineering Projects, Universitat Politècnica de València, Feb 2011
  8. Shael Katz, Dept of Psychology, York University, Sept 2009
  9. Marta Gozdzik, Dept of Psychology, York University, Sept 2007
  10. Aliza Sturm, Dept of Psychology, York University, Sept 2006
  11. Rebecca Winter, Dept of Psychology, York University, Sept 2005  

Co-supervised research assistants

  1. Willemijn Plomp, Leiden University (The Netherlands), September-December 2013
  2. Alice Newton-Fenner, Brasenose College, Oxford University, March-October 2013
  3. Stephanie Atherton, Christ Church College, Oxford University, June 2012
  4. Esther Rich, Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, June 2012
  5. Emilia Boehm, St Cross College, Oxford University, July-August 2012
  6. Daniel O’Neill, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, July-September 2012
  7. Rebecca Norman, St Hugh’s College, Oxford University, March-April 2012
  8. Samuel Vile, University College, Oxford University, July-Sept 2011
  9. Rose Qian, Experimental Psychology, Oxford University, July 2011
 
Date C.V. prepared May 2014 

2006–2010 | York University | Toronto, Canada
Ph.D. completed in the Centre for Vision Research (supervised by Dr. Laurence R. Harris) thesis titled “Is touch is coded in a visual reference frame?” 

2004–2006 | York University | Toronto, Canada
M.A. completed in the Centre for Vision Research (supervised by Dr. Laurence R. Harris) thesis titled “Simultaneity constancy mechanism for bimodal visual and tactile stimuli” 

2001–2004 | York University | Toronto, Canada
B.A. Honors major-minor in Psychology and Applied Math
Summa Cum Laude and Dean’s Honour Roll

1999–2001 | Dawson College | Montreal, Canada
Dean’s List distinction in commerce, GPA of A+

1994–1999 | Royal West Academy | Montreal, Canada
Graduated with honors & Bilingual certificate


EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

2010-2013 | Post-Doctoral fellowship with Prof. Charles Spence in the crossmodal research lab, Department of Experimental Psychology, Somerville College, Oxford University | Oxford, UK

2011–2012 | Senior Tutor for Experimental psychology students, Somerville College, Oxford University | Oxford, UK
A position which requires a PhD or equivalent to qualify, somewhat equivalent (outside of Oxford) to Assistant Professor though not tenure tracked.
Supervised all Experimental Psychology students (11 undergraduate and 2 graduates) at Somerville College ( one of Oxford University’s 44 Colleges/Halls)

2005–2009 | Teacher Assistant (Statistics I & II), Department of Psychology, York University | Toronto, Canada
Lectured ~35 undergraduates 2 hours per week during term time (total of ~240 hrs)
Held office hours for individual consultations

2005–2010 | Tutor. Private tutoring for psychology undergraduate students (Statistics I & II, Light and Sound). Tutored adults with special needs | Toronto, Ontario 


HONOURS AND AWARDS 

2011 | Bernstein Centre for Computations Neuroscience, €300 (plus accommodation)
Tübingen, Travel Grant

2011 | Experimental Psychology Society Grindley Travel Grant, £500

2011 | Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant, £800

2010–2013 | Mary Somerville Junior Research Fellowship, £50,550 (plus board and lodging)
Oxford University, Somerville College

2009–2010 | Susan Mann Dissertation Scholarship, $22,000

2006–2009 | Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Post Graduate Scholarship (PhD), $63,000

2007 | Psychology department certificate of Academic Excellence

2006 | Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) - Declined, $15,000 

2006 | Laureates of the Canadian Psychological Association, Certificate of Academic Excellence

2005 | Thesis nominated by psychology as the most outstanding thesis for the Faculty of graduate studies 

2005 | MA Thesis Prize

2005–2006 | Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Post Graduate Scholarship (Masters), $17,300

2005 | Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) - Declined, $15,000

2004–2005 | Graduate Entrance Scholarship, $4,000 

2004 | Stong College Masters Award, $50 

2002–2003 | C.B. Cragg Prize, $50 

2002–2002 | Continuing Student scholarship, $1,000 

2001–2002 | Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship, $4,000


A. A. SCHOLARLY AND PROFESSIONAL ACADEMIC CONTRIBUTIONS

CURRENT RESEARCH INTEREST
I am interested in how the brain relates information sensed through completely different end organs with different processing delays (e.g. eyes, ears, and skin) into a single unified perception of the world. In order for the brain to recreate the outside world, the senses must carry not just the attributes of the stimuli, but also the time and spatial location of the stimuli. Understanding how the brain solves this reconstitution problem has implications in interface design, sensory substitution systems, and other areas that require sensory information to be integrated quickly and accurately in space and time.

SUMMARY OF PUBLICATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS
Peer-reviewed publications: 11
Peer-reviewed book chapters: 1
Peer-reviewed published abstracts: 6
Peer-reviewed conference presentations: 19
Papers in preparation: 4
Conferences organised: 1
Public appearances: 1

Peer-Reviewed Publications

1. Spence C*, Harrar V*, Piqueras-Fiszman B* (2012) Assessing the impact of tableware and other contextual variables on multisensory flavour perception. Flavour 1: 7   *Indicates authors contributed equally.

2. Harrar V, Toepel U, Murray MM, Spence C (2011) Food's visually perceived fat content affects discrimination speed in an orthogonal spatial task. Experimental Brain Research 214: 351-356

3. Harrar V, Piqueras-Fiszman B, Spence C (2011) There's more to taste in a coloured bowl. Perception 40: 880-882.

4. Piqueras-Fiszman B, Harrar V, Alcaide J, Spence C (2011) Does the weight of the dish influence our perception of food? Food Quality and Preference 22: 753-756.

5. Harrar V, Harris LR (2010) Touch used to guide action is partially coded in a visual reference frame. Experimental Brain Research 203: 615-620

6. Harrar V, Harris LR (2009) Eye position affects perceived location of touch. Experimental Brain Research 198: 403-410.

7. Winter R, Harrar V, Gozdzik M, Harris LR (2008) The relative timing of active and passive touch. Brain Research 1242, 54-58.

8. Harrar V, Winter R, Harris LR (2008) Visuotactile apparent motion. Perception & Psychophysics 70, 807-817.

9. Harrar V, Harris LR (2008) The effect of exposure to asynchronous audio, visual, and tactile stimulus combinations on the perception of simultaneity. Experimental Brain Research 186, 517-524.

10. Harrar V, Harris LR (2007) Multimodal Ternus: Visual, tactile, and visuo-tactile grouping in apparent motion. Perception 10, 1455-1464.

11. Harrar V, Harris LR (2005) Simultaneity constancy: detecting events with touch and vision. Experimental Brain Research 166, 465-473.

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters

1. Harris LR, Harrar V, Jaekl P, Kopinska A (2010) Mechanisms of simultaneity constancy. In: Nijhawan R., Khurana, B. (eds) Space and time in perception and action. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. pp 232-253.

Peer-Reviewed Published Abstracts

1. Harrar V, Spence C, Makin TR (2012) Improved tactile acuity following perceptual learning generalises to untrained fingers. Seeing and Perceiving 25 IMRF Abstract Supplement, page 82.

2. Harrar V, Spence C (2012) A weighty matter: The effect of spoon size and weight on food perception. Seeing and Perceiving 25 IMRF Abstract Supplement, page 199.

3. Vandenbroucke S, Crombez G, Van Ryckeghem D, Harrar V, Goubert L, Spence C, Durnez W, van Damme S (2012) Observing social stimuli influences detection of subtle somatic sensations differently for pain synaesthetes and controls. Seeing and Perceiving 25 IMRF Abstract Supplement, page 19.

4. Harrar V, Toepel U, Murray M, Spence C (2011) Visually perceived fat content of foods affects response time. Perception 40, ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 214.

5. Parise C, Harrar V, Spence C, Ernst M (2011) Multisensory integration: When correlation implies causation. Perception 40, ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 185.

6. Harrar V, Frissen I, Harris LR (2009) Tactile localization is affected by simultaneously presented visual stimuli. Journal of Vision 9, 711.

Presentations

1. Harrar V, Spence C, Makin TR “Perceptual learning improves tactile acuity and generalises to untrained body parts” Poster presentation at the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness in Brighton, UK, July 2012.

2. Harrar V, Spence C, Makin TR “Improved tactile acuity following perceptual learning generalises to untrained fingers” Poster presentation at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Oxford, UK, June 2012.

3. Harrar V, Spence C “A weighty matter: The effect of spoon size and weight on food perception” Poster presentation at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Oxford, UK, June 2012.

4. Vandenbroucke S, Crombez G, Van Ryckeghem D, Harrar V, Goubert L, Spence C, Durnez W, van Damme S “Observing social stimuli influences detection of subtle somatic sensations differently for pain synaesthetes and controls” Poster presentation at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Oxford, UK, June 2012.

5. Harrar V, Toepel U, Murray M, Spence C "Visually perceived fat content of foods affects response time" Poster presentation at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Fukuoka, Japan, October 2011.

6. Parise C, Harrar V, Spence C, Ernst M "Multisensory integration: When correlation implies causation" Poster presentation at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Fukuoka, Japan, October 2011

7. Harris LR, Hoover AEN, Pritchett LM, Harrar V “Visual and proprioceptive contributions to the perception of one's body”. Talk presented at at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Fukuoka, Japan, October 2011.

8. Harrar V, Pritchett LM, Harris LR "The reference frame for touch depends on the task" Poster presentation at Bernstein Symposium Cluster D: Multisensory perception and action in Tübingen, Germany, Sept 2011.

9. Parise C, Harrar V, Spence C, Ernst M "Multisensory integration: When correlation implies causation" Poster presentation at the European Conference of Visual Perception, Toulouse, France, Aug 2011.

10. Harrar V, Harris LR “The effects of arm and eye position on the perceived location of touches on the arm”. Talk presented at the International Multisensory Research Forum in New York, June 2009.

11. Harrar V, Harris LR, Lappe M “The perceived location of a touch shifts with eye position.” Poster presented at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Hamburg, Germany, July 2008.

12. Harrar V, Sturm A, Harris LR “Visuo-tactile binding in mirror-induced illusory space.” Poster presented at the Canadian Association for Neurosciences, Toronto, Canada, May 2007.

13. Harrar V, Sturm A, Harris LR “Visuo-tactile binding in mirror-induced illusory space.” Poster presented at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Sydney, Australia, July 2007.

14. Winter R, Harrar V, Harris LR “The perceived timing of the active and passive components of a touch.” Poster presented at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Sydney, Australia, July 2007.

15. Harrar V, Harris LR “Assessing multisensory temporal cues for figure-ground segregation” Poster presented at the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness in Oxford, UK, June 2006.

16. Harrar V, Harris LR “Assessing multisensory temporal cues for motion perception” Poster presented at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Dublin, Ireland June 2006.

17. Harrar V, Winter R, Harris LR “Multimodal apparent motion.” Poster presented at the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness in Pasedena, LA, June 2005.

18. Harrar V, Winter R, Harris LR “Multimodal apparent motion.” Poster presented at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Trento, Italy June 2005.

19. Harris LR, Harrar V "The perceived timing of visual and tactile stimuli applied to the foot and finger". Talk presented at the International Multisensory Research Forum in Barcelona, Spain, June 2004.

Papers in Preparation
1. Harrar V, Pritchett LM, Harris LR (under revision, submitted March 2012) “Segmented space: Measuring tactile localisation in body coordinates” Seeing and Perceiving.

2. Harrar V*, Spence C, Makin T* “Topographic tactile learning: Shared receptive fields learn together. *Indicates authors contributed equally

3. Harrar V, Wilcox L “The perception of symmetry for images presented on tilted planes” Perception. 

4. Harrar V, Smith B, Deroy O, Spence, C “The taste of colour: Assessing champagne without visual cues.

5. Harrar V, Spence, C “A weighty matter: The effect of spoon size, weight, and colour on flavour” (expected submission September 2012)

Conferences Organised
1. 13th Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum (2012). Co-organizer of meeting held in Oxford, 19-22 June, 2012. Over 200 peer-reviewed abstracts accepted for publication in Seeing & Perceiving: A Journal of Multisensory Science. Over 240 attendees from 21 countries in Europe, North America, and Japan.

Press articles
1. “Six receive Susan Mann Dissertation Scholarship” (December 8, 2009). Y-File, York’s Daily Bulletin.


B. SERVICE

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
Ad Hoc Reviewer for Scholarly Journals 
Acta Psychologica (1)
Attention, Perception & Psychophysics (6)
Behavior Research Methods (4)
Brain Research (2)
Cognition (1)
Experimental Brain Research (5)
Experimental Psychology (2)
Journal of Vision (2)
Neuroscience Letters (3)
Perception (2)
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (2)
Seeing & Perceiving: A Journal of Multisensory Science (1) 

Editor for Peer Review Journals
Guest editor for Seeing and Perceiving 2012 (Volume 25, Supplement)

Membership in Professional Societies
International Multisensory Research Forum (IMRF), 2005-present
Vision Sciences Society (VSS), 2009 - 2010
Association for Scientific Studies of Consciousness (ASSC), 2005-2006, 2012

UNIVERSITY SERVICE
Co-supervised Undergraduate thesis projects
1. Rachel Hullatt, Oriel College, Oxford, April – Dec 2012
2. Timothy Hogwood-Wilson, Hertford College, Oxford, April – Dec 2012
3. Shael Katz, Dept of Psychology, York University, Sept 2009
4. Marta Gozdzik, Dept of Psychology, York University, Sept 2007
5. Aliza Sturm, Dept of Psychology, York University, Sept 2006
6. Rebecca Winter, Dept of Psychology, York University, Sept 2005

Co-supervised graduate students
1. Sophie Vandenbroucke, Dept of Experimental Psychology, Ghent University, Feb 2012
2. Betina Piqueras-Fiszman, Dept of Engineering Projects, Universitat Politècnica de València, Feb 2011

Date C.V. prepared August 9, 2012