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Assistant Professor

Phone: 416-287-7146
Location: MW 322


Blair Armstrong conducts research into the neural and computational bases of language and semantic memory. He completed postdoctoral training at the Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain, and Language and doctoral training at Carnegie Mellon University.


  • 2012 - PhD, Psychology, Psychology Department, Carnegie Mellon University
  • 2012 - Graduate Training Certificate, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC), Carnegie Mellon University
  • 2010 - MS, Psychology, Psychology Department, Carnegie Mellon University
  • 2007 - MA, Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • 2006 - HBSc, Conferred with High Distinction, Psychology Specialist Program, University of Toronto Scarborough

Teaching Interests

Psycholinguistics; Cognitive Neuroscience of Language

Research Interests

Blair's primary research interests relate to the cognitive and neural representations, processes, and learning mechanisms underlying word comprehension and semantic memory. This work largely concerns developing theories of how ambiguous words are comprehended, the source of the similarities and differences between written and spoken word comprehension, how learning mechanisms lead to the emergence of cross-linguistic differences in lexical processing, and how newly-learned words are integrated into the lexical system. Complementing this work, he pursues research into how decision and response systems engage the word comprehension and perceptual systems in different tasks. His work focuses on developing explicit mechanistic accounts of these cognitive systems. This work is informed by tightly coordinated computational modeling using biologically-plausible connectionist networks and by empirical investigations using a range of behavioral and electrophysiological techniques. He is also interested in how computational algorithms can improve experimental methodologies such as stimulus selection, speech onset detection, and data analysis.

Awards & Grants

  • 2016 Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (IBACS) Seed Grant funding Inhibition in Biologically-Plausible Models of Semantic Processing: Causal Studies using tDCS (PI: Dr. Eiling Yee; Affiliated collaborators:  Dr. Blair Armstrong, University of Toronto, & Dr. Roy Hamilton, University of Pennsylvania)
  • Sept. 2013- Sept. 2015 European Commission Seventh Framework Programme Marie Curie Career  Integration Grant (CIG), funding Project TRIANGLE: PCIG13-2013-618429 (Total Budget: €166 980).  Grant ended in 2014 to begin Marie Curie IIF.
  • 2016 Spanish Society of Experimental Psychology (SEPEX) --- Best Neuroscience Publication of 2014 for Carreiras, Armstrong, Perea, & Frost (2014).  The What, When, Where, and How of Visual Word Recognition, Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 
  • 2014-2016 European Commission Seventh Framework Programme Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship (IIF), funding Project “Universal” FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IIF
  • 2012 Donald O. Hebb Graduate Student Award (best oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science)
  • 2008-2010 National Sciences and Engineering Research Council Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral)


See for publications