Swathi Swaminathan


I am a postdoctoral associate at the Brain and Mind Institute in the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. My work is supported by a BrainsCAN fellowship. I also hold secondary affiliations with Baycrest Hospital (Canada) and Ashoka University (India).

Before this, I worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto and Baycrest Hospital in Toronto, Canada. I have a doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Toronto (Canada), and a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the University of Oxford (U.K.). I grew up in India, where I initially received a bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology and economics (triple major) from Bangalore University, and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Christ University.

My work involves studying artistic (especially musical) engagement and cognitive development and change across the lifespan, i.e., all the way from early childhood to late adulthood. I am interested in arts, cognitive development and change in real-world contexts, such as early arts education, communication in multicultural settings, and aged- or dementia-care settings. I also explore ways to improve access to the arts using well-designed technology to understand if such interventions can improve people’s ability to live meaningful and flourishing lives regardless of cognitive status and age. I use a combination of behavioural and neuroscientific research methods, along with a good deal of interdisciplinary and community collaboration. Ultimately, I hope this research will give us a better understanding of how the arts, mind and brain together contribute to how we live our lives.

For a list of my current research projects, see the Projects page. A list of my published contributions, including conference proceedings, as well as completed knowledge transfer/technological innovation projects is available in the Research Contributions page. In addition to my scientific interests, music and community work have been constant avenues for personal learning and I describe my background in these areas in the Other Interests section of this website.

E-mail: sswamin6 [at] uwo [dot] ca