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Wilfrid Laurier University Development
December 7, 2016
Canadian Excellence

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Laurier professor recognized with Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award to fund research in cognitive neuroscience

University Advancement

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Jul 6/06

Laurier psychology professor Dr. Sukhvinder Obhi has been awarded the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award worth $7,500 to study the functional and neural processes involved in the planning, perception and performance of human motor actions. Obhi’s work attempts to uncover interactions between the cognitive, perceptual, and motor systems in a variety of task contexts, including interlimb co-ordination and real-time and memory guided movements.

Obhi joined WLU in July 2005 and continues to develop the Cognition in Action Laboratory. “We’re very interested in how the brain processes information when people perform a given motor action in different contexts,” says Obhi. “We are always looking to recruit outstanding graduate students who are interested in studying how the brain generates, controls and consciously perceives motor actions.”

Obhi received a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from University College London, in England. As a graduate student, he also spent time at Harvard Medical School in the U.S. where he had the opportunity to use a state-of-the-art technique called TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). TMS is a useful tool for investigating the brain areas involved in various action tasks. He hopes to bring this type of technology to Laurier. Upon completion of his PhD, Obhi came to Canada to do a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Western Ontario.

“We’re very fortunate to have Obhi join the Laurier team,” says Dr. Arthur Szabo, Laurier’s dean of science. “This award will help strengthen cognitive neuroscience research.”

Students interested in joining Dr. Obhi’s lab can contact him via email at

The Petro-Canada Young Innovators Award was created by an endowed donation from Petro-Canada to Campaign Laurier in 1999. The award supports young faculty whose academic work is particularly innovative and has the potential to be significant for society at large.

Petro-Canada created the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Awards Program in 1995 to recognize and help support the work of outstanding young faculty researchers at Canadian universities, colleges and major research institutes. The program has been established at more than 20 centres across Canada and is administered by the respective institute.

Since its inception, nearly $5 million has been contributed to the program and there have been 87 recipients from 24 institutes.

Erin Almeida


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