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Aaron Johnson, PhD

Associate Vice President Research (Strategic Institutional Initiatives & Innovation), General Administration
Associate Professor, Psychology

Aaron Johnson, PhD


PHD (Glasgow)

Research interests

My research focuses on how various visual (e.g., macular degeneration), cognitive  (e.g., stress, dual-tasking), and the loss of other senses (e.g., hearing loss) effect the visual system, attention, and in particular, eye movements. This research employed traditional techniques such as psychophysics and eye tracking, as well as new techniques such as computational neuroscience, gaze-contingent stimuli modifications, augmented virtual reality, as well as studying the underlying neural activity using EEG. Recently, I have also employed these techniques in the area of aviation, to study stress and fatigue in pilots

My research has been funded by NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC, FRQSC, FRQNT, FRQS, and the Office of Naval Research.

Teaching activities

PSYC363 Fundamentals of Sensation and Perception

PSYC460 Vision

PSYC452 Neurobiology of Sensation and Perception

PSYC727 Special Topics in Behavioural Neuroscience: Eye tracking theory and practice

PSYC316 Statistical Analysis 2

PSYC485 Specialization Thesis

Selected publications

(* indicates HPQ author)

Aubin, G., Phillips, N., Jaiswal, A., Johnson, A.P., Joubert, S., Bachir, V., Kehayia, E. & Wittich, W. (2023). Visual and cognitive functioning among older adults with low vision before vision rehabilitation, Frontiers in Psychology – Cognition, 14, 1-11.    

Stark, Z.*, Morrice, E.,*, Wittich, W., & Johnson, A.P. (2023) The effects of simulated and actual visual impairment on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition. 30(4), 523-535, 

Santaguida, M.*, Dubé, S.*, Yarymowich, Z.*, Williams, M.*, Vachon, D., & Johnson, A.P. (2023). Alcohol Expectancy Theory and High-Risk Sexual Behavior Among College Students. In: Lykins, A.D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Sexuality and Gender. Springer, Cham. 

Dubé, S.*, Santaguida, M.*, Zhu, C.Y.*, Thomasse, L.*, Hu, R.*, Cormier, G.*, Vachon, D., & Johnson, A.P. (2022) Sex robots and personality: it is more about sex than robots. Computers in Human Behavior (in press)

Boyle, A., Johnson, A.P., & Ellenbogen, M. (2022). Intranasal oxytocin alters attention to emotional facial expressions, particularly for males and those with depressive symptoms. Psychoneuroendocrinology (in press) doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105796.

Dube, S.*, Santaguida, M.*, Anctil, D., Zhu, C.Y.*, Thomasse, L.*, Giaccari, L.*, Oassey, R.*, Vachon, D., & Johnson, A.P. (2022). Perceived Stigma and Erotic Technology: From Sex Toys to Erobots. Psychology and Sexuality. doi: 10.1080/19419899.2022.2067783

Stark, Z.*, Morrice, E.,*, Wittich, W., & Johnson, A.P. (2022) The effects of simulated and actual visual impairment on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2022.2055739

Franzen, L.*, Cabugao, A.*, Grohmann, B., Elalouf, K.*, & Johnson, A.P. (2022). Individual pupil size changes as a robust indicator of cognitive familiarity differences. PLoS One. 17(1):e0262753. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0262753.

Santaguida, M.*, Dubé, S.*, Williams, M.*, Eidus, C., Vachon, D., & Johnson, A.P. (2022) Alcohol Myopia Theory and High-Risk Sexual Behaviour Among College Students. In: Lykins A.D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Sexuality and Gender. Springer, Cham. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-59531-3_70-1

Dubé S.,* Santaguida M.,* Anctil D., Leshner C., Vachon D., Johnson A.P. (2022) Technology-Based Sexualities. In: Lykins A.D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Sexuality and Gender. Springer, Cham.

Stark, Z.*, Franzen, L.*, Johnson, A.P. (2022). Insights from a dyslexia simulation font: Can we simulate reading struggles of individuals with dyslexia? Dyslexia, 28: 228-243. doi: 10.1002/dys.1704

Morrice, E.*, Murphy, C.*, Soldano, V.*, Addona, C.*, Wittich, W., Johnson A.P. (2021). Assessing Optimal Colour and Illumination to Facilitate Reading: An Analysis of Print size. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics. 41(6): 1209-1221. doi: 10.1111/opo.12885

Franzen, L.*, Stark, Z.*, & Johnson, A.P. (2021). Individuals with dyslexia use a different visual sampling strategy to read text. Scientific Reports. 11(6449): 1-17. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-84945-9

Martin M.S.*, Huard-Nicholls, B.*, & Johnson, A.P. (2021) Gaze and pupil size variability predict difficulty-level and safe intersection crosses in a driving simulator. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting.  65(1):843-847. doi:10.1177/1071181321651289

Clément-Coulson, S.*, Boutelaa, A.*, Veluppillai, R.*, & Johnson, A.P. (2021). Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability and Subjective Workload of Commercial Pilots During Jet Airplane Handling Maneuvers. In: Black, N.L., Neumann, W.P., Noy, I. (eds) Proceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2021). IEA 2021. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 221. Springer, Cham. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-74608-7_16

Donkor, R., Silva, A., Johnson, A.P., & Thompson, B. (2021) Repetitive visual cortex transcranial random noise stimulation in adults with amblyopia. Scientific Reports. 11(3029) doi:10.1038/s41598-020-80843-8

Morrice, E.*, Soldano*, V., Addona*, C., Murphy, C.*, & Johnson, A. P. (2021). Validation of the International Reading Speed Texts in a Sample of Older (60 ) Canadian Adults. Optometry and Vision Science. 98(8): 971-975. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001746

Morrice, E.*, Murphy, C.*, Wittich, W., & Johnson, A.P. (2021) Assessing Optimal Colour and Illumination to Facilitate Reading. Opthalmic and Physiological Optics. 41(2):281-294. doi: 10.1111/opo.12785

Wittich, W., Pichora-Fuller, K. Johnson, A.P., Joubert, S., Kehayia, E., Bachir, V., Aubin, G., Jaiswal, A., Phillips, N. (2021). The Effect of Reading Rehabilitation for Age-Related Macular Degeneration on Cognitive Functioning: A non-randomized pre-post intervention study protocol. JMIR Research Protocols. 10(3): 19931. doi: 10.2196/19931

Murphy, C.*, Johnson, A.P., Koenekoop, R.K., Seiple, W., Overbury, O. (2020). The Relationship Between Cognitive Status and Known Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Age-related Macular Degeneration. Front. Aging Neurosci. 12:586691. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2020.586691

Morrice, E.*, Hughes, J.*, Stark, Z.*, Wittich, W., & Johnson, A.P. (2020). Validation of the International Reading Speed Texts in a Canadian Sample, Optometry & Vision Science. 97(7):509-517. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001538.

Sharp, A., Turgeon, C., Johnson, A.P., Pannasch, S., Champoux, F. & Ellemberg, D. (2020) Congenital Deafness Leads to Altered Overt Oculomotor Behaviors. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 14:273. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2020.00273

Bianco, R., Gold, B.P., Johnson, A.P., Penhune, V.B. (2019). Music predictability and liking enhance pupil dilation and promote motor learning in non-musicians. Scientific Reports. 9, 17060. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53510-w

Richard, B.*, Hansen, B.C., Johnson, A.P., & Shafto, P. (2019). The spatial summation of broadband contrast. Journal of Vision, 19(5):1-19. doi: 10.1167/19.5.16

Poulin-Dubois, D., Hastings, P., Chiarella, S., Geangu, E., Hauf, P., Ruel, A., & Johnson, A.P. (2018) The eyes know it: Toddlers' visual scanning of sad faces is predicted by their theory of mind skills. PLOS ONE, 13(12): e0208524. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208524

Wittich, W., Jarry, J., Morrice, E.*, & Johnson, A.P., (2018) Effectiveness of the Apple iPad as a Spot-Reading Magnifier. Optometry and Vision Science, 95 (9), 704-710, doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001269

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