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ABOUT US

The Centre for Research on Addiction Vulnerability in Early Life (CRAVE) Lab, directed by Dr. Matthew T. Keough, is a group of collaborators conducting research in the Department of Psychology at York University.  

Dr. Keough’s research program falls into two main areas. In his first area of work, Dr. Keough examines risk factors for addiction in early life (before the age of 30) using lab-based and longitudinal studies. In his second line of research, Dr. Keough aims to improve psychological treatments for concurrent disorders. 

 

Our team believes that treatment for concurrent disorders should be integrated, accessible, and engaging. We are currently running several large-scale randomized controlled trials looking at novel online treatments for concurrent disorders.

 

The addiction-related topics our team studies include:

Substance Use

Our substance use research involves investigating alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco use, among other substances.

Behavioural Addiction 

We investigate behavioural addictions like problems with gaming and gambling.

Neuropsychology and Addiction

Our research involves the applicability of neuropsychology to addiction – the study of brain and behaviour – via the use of technology like transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS).

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Team

OUR TEAM

Read below to learn more about our team members and their work! To learn more about our research, please click here.

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DR. MATTHEW T.
KEOUGH

Principal Investigator

Dr. Matthew Keough is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University. He completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Concordia University in 2016, which included a psychological residency at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. Dr. Keough has published over 100 articles in high impact journals in the field of addiction studies and has presented extensively at major national and international conferences. He is a registered clinical psychologist and former Chair of the Addiction Psychology section of the Canadian Psychological Association. 

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JULIAN
CARUSONE

Lab Manager

Julian is a 4th year undergraduate student in the Specialized Honours Psychology program at York University. Julian aspires to become a clinical psychologist and wants to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology, conducting research on substance use, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Julian also hopes to practice psychotherapy, in his own future clinical practice. Julian is involved in various lab-related projects, including coordinating clinical trials and experimental laboratory studies.

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DR. JONATHAN
DAVID

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Jonathan David is a Postdoctoral Visitor at York University. He completed his Ph.D. in Psychology at Macquarie University, with a focus on understanding the motives for compulsive shopping and hoarding behaviours. Dr. David now studies the psychological processes underlying problematic alcohol and substance use, as well as other behavioural addictions. In his free time, he enjoys figure skating, cooking, and exploring new places.

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NATASHA
BAPTIST-MOHSENI

Doctoral Student

Natasha is in her third year of her Ph.D. in the Clinical Psychology Program at York, specializing in the neuropsychology stream. Her current research focuses primarily on understanding executive dysfunction amongst individuals with comorbid alcohol use disorder (AUD) and depression. She is also interested in exploring how neuromodulation interventions (i.e., tDCS) can improve neuropsychological functioning and treatment success outcomes. Natasha is currently completing a neuropsychology assessment practicum rotation at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton West 5th Hospital, and has previously completed a neuropsychology assessment practicum at Baycrest Hospital. Her clinical interests include working with older adults experiencing age-related cognitive changes and neurodegenerative cognitive decline, as well as adults with neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and ASD.

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ALANNA
SINGLE

Doctoral Student

Alanna is in the third year of the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Manitoba. Her dissertation research, which is funded by a SSHRC doctoral scholarship, aims to elucidate the association between social anxiety and cannabis use during emerging adulthood. In her free time, Alanna can be found backcountry camping, experimenting with new soup recipes, or doting on her pet rabbits.

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KARLI
RAPINDA

Doctoral Student

Karli is a 4th year Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Manitoba, under the co-supervision of Dr. Matthew Keough and Dr. Harold Wallbridge. She is a Vanier scholar and her main research interests include examining the temporal associations between addictive behaviours (e.g., excessive video gaming, gambling) and mood. Her dissertation involves developing and testing an online treatment program to help individuals reduce their cannabis use. Her Vanier research aims to examine perceived stigma and shame towards individuals who use substances, and reduce this perceived stigma and shame through brief interventions. She is an ad-hoc reviewer for the Canadian Journal of Addiction. 

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LANA
VEDELAGO

Doctoral Student

Lana is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology. She previously completed an M.Sc. in Neuroscience at McMaster University and a B.A. (Honours) in Psychology at the University of Guelph. Her primary area of research interest is recovery from alcohol and/or substance use disorders. Specifically, she is interested in characterizing different trajectories of relapse and recovery, and identifying which personal and environmental factors might contribute most to successful recovery. Outside of school, she enjoys rock climbing, playing softball (poorly), and hanging out with her kitty, Keanu.

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EMMA
RITCHIE

Doctoral Student

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JESSICA
NEWMAN

Masters Student

Jessica is in her second year of her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at York University. Her research interests include the relationship between social anxiety and substance use, specifically alcohol and cannabis use. In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.

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HALEY
BERNUSKY

Masters Student

Haley is a first year Masters student in the adult Clinical Psychology stream at York University. Haley completed her Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Manitoba, and she has an experimental Masters degree in Psychiatry Research from Dalhousie University, where her research focused on interactions between cannabis use, psychosis, and anxiety. Presently, Haley‘s research centers on evaluating the psychometric structures of commonly used psychological measures.

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NAAMA
KRONSTEIN

Masters Student

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DR. VANESSA
MORRIS

Academic Collaborator

Dr. Vanessa Morris is an assistant professor at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. She earned her Ph.D. from McMaster University and her B.A. from the University of Waterloo. Dr. Morris’ research program examines the risk factors for substance use in young adults, as well as the repercussions of prolonged alcohol and substance use in adults via functional and structural neuroimaging methods.

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HARSIMRAN
DOGRA

Volunteer Student

Harsimran recently completed her undergraduate degree at York University. She is assisting with multiple ongoing projects. As a former varsity athlete, mental health and substance use is something that always hits close to home. Seeing fellow athletes struggle made her even more passionate about getting involved in this field of study. Her interests are in addictions and clinical psychology driven by my years in athletics, but also from seeing family and friends struggle.

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SARAH
MARTIN

Volunteer Student

 Sarah is a recent graduate from York University. Now that she has earned her B.A. in Psychology, she is working hard to gain valuable research experience before applying to graduate programs. She is passionate about research in the areas of criminal justice and the bio-psycho-social development of, and treatment for substance use disorders. Within the CRAVE lab, she has worked on the CANreduce and UniVenture programs. She is proud to engage in such meaningful and innovative work! 

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JUNIE
BAEK

Volunteer Student

Junie has an Honours B.A. in Psychology. With her Master’s degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, Junie holds a dual role at Trillium Health Partners: as a Certified Music Therapist and Research Associate. Junie brings her first-hand experience of working clinically with individuals with unique needs and in various age groups, as well as her strong willingness to learn and further knowledge in addictions. 

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JAMA
MAXIE

Volunteer Student

​Jama Maxie is a fourth-year student in the Specialized Honours Psychology program at York University. Under the co-supervision of Dr. Keough and Andrew (Hyounsoo) Kim, Jama is investigating the psychometric properties of a gambling scale, with a specific focus on sport bettors. With hands-on experience as an addiction counsellor at Addiction Rehab Toronto, Jama integrates practical insights into his academic pursuits. His research aspirations revolve around substance use, with a keen interest in the protective role of connections to Indigenous culture and perceived social support in mitigating substance abuse. Aspiring to become a clinical psychologist, Jama's journey merges academic dedication with real-world experience, offering a unique perspective on substance abuse research. 

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ARSHIA
SOLEIMANKHAN

Volunteer Student

Arshia has recently graduated from York University with an Honours B.Sc. in biology and psychology. He conducted his undergraduate thesis under Dr. Keough's supervision, where he explored the relationship between emotion dysregulation, perceived peer norms, and the use of electronic nicotine products among undergraduates. As he aspires to pursue graduate studies in clinical neuropsychology, Arshia hopes to integrate teaching, research, and clinical practice into his career. 

Arshia's diverse research interests encompass exploring biopsychosocial determinants of substance misuse in emerging adults, emphasizing neuropsychological factors, co-occurring clinical disorders, and emotional processes as risk factors and protective mechanisms. Additionally, he is interested in studying cognitive health across the lifespan, investigating how environmental factors impact cognitive health and serve as potential protective or risk factors for various conditions, including degenerative disorders leading to dementia.

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ALLYA
DACOSTA

Volunteer Student

Allya is a Specialized Honours Psychology student at York. She hopes to meaningfully contribute to the field of clinical psychology through applying and generating knowledge related to individuals who have experienced, or are currently experiencing, the neurodevelopmental and/or psychological effects of living with an addiction. During her spare time, Allya loves knitting, exploring nature, and spending time with loved ones (i.e., humans and dogs alike)!

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SUZANNE
MCKEAG

 Volunteer Student

Suzanne is a Clinical Psychology Masters student working under the supervision of Dr. Joel Goldberg at York University. She is interested in biopsychosocial factors associated with mental health disorders and substance use. She aims to conduct research that informs the prevention and treatment of these disorders and to treat them in clinical practice. Suzanne’s present research examines the impacts of gender, social networks, and cognition on the quality of life among unhoused and precariously housed adults. She has also investigated stigma experienced by family members of people with serious mental health conditions, and, as a research assistant, Suzanne has contributed to studies on cannabis use, and treatment for cannabis use disorder, in young adults.

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KYRA
FARRELLY

Volunteer Student

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AZIA
TRON

Volunteer Student

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CLAIRE
MINISTER

Volunteer Student

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ROBERT
FILIPCHUK

Volunteer Student

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NOELLE
AL QAISSY

Volunteer Student

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VEERPAL
BAMBRAH

Volunteer Student

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 NICOLLE
FOX

Volunteer Student

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ANTHONY
BATTAGLIA

Volunteer Student

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CHRISTINA
SIMMS

Volunteer Student

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