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  Iva Kristl Brunec
  PhD. Candidate, Graduate Student
University of Toronto (Present)
  M.A. Psychology University of Toronto (2015)
  Honours BSc. Psychology University College of London (2014)
  Google Scholar page:

Before moving to Toronto, I completed my BSc in psychology at University College London, UK. At UCL, my research focused on spatial navigation and memory, motivated by my curiosity in how we remember events as we navigate in our everyday lives. This sparked my interest in the dimension of time and how its representation on the neural level might be incorporated into our memories. With Dr Morris Moscovitch and Dr Morgan Barense as my co-supervisors, I aim to tackle the tangle of time and space in the brain.


I am interested in understanding how time is represented by the hippocampus, and how this representation might interact with the neural mechanisms supporting spatial information, as the dimensions of time and space have been posited to underlie the organization of our episodic memory. In order to parse our memories into independent traces, we must have some representation of where and when an event occurred, and how long it lasted. Research in the field has focused on the domain of space, where hippocampal involvement is well-documented, yet we know relatively little about how we encode information about time. Using a variety of behavioural and neuroimaging approaches in different populations, I aim to explore the neural underpinnings of spatiotemporal context in trying to understand how it breaks down in memory disorders such as dementia.


Teaching assistant (University of Toronto):

PSY372: Human Memory (2017 - 1029)

PSY473: Social Cognitive neuroscience (Fall 2016)

PSY280: Sensation and Perception (Summer 2016)

PSY260: Learning and Plasticity (Summer 2015)

PSY270: Intro to Cognitive Psychology (Winter 2015)

PSY100: Intro to Psychology (Fall 2014)


2016 - 2019 Alzheimer Society of Canada Doctoral Research Award

2016 - 2017 Ontario Graduate Scholarship

2016 - 2017 Faculty of Arts and Science Fellowship

2015 - 2016 Ontario Graduate Scholarship

2015 - 2016 Faculty of Arts and Science Fellowship

2015 Rotman Research Institute Soupcoff Fellowship

2014 UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences Dean's List

2013 Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship

2011 - 2014 Undergraduate Merit Scholarship from the Slovene Human Resources Development and Scholarship Fund


2012-2014: Research Assistant for Dr Hugo Spiers, Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, University College London

2014: Research Assistant, Science Museum (London, UK) for Dr Magda Osman, Queen Mary, University of London

2011-2012: Research Assistant in the School Transition and Adjustment Research Study (STARS) for Dr Frances Rice, University College London

Languages: English,French, Slovenian  
Citizenship: Slovenian  

Brunec, I. K.*, Bellana, B.*, Ozubko, J. D., Man, V., Robin, J., Liu, Z.X., Grady, C., Rosenbaum, R. S., Winocur, G., Barense, M. D., & Moscovitch,M. (2018). Multiple scales of representation along the hippocampal anteroposterior axis in humans. Current Biology, 28(3)2129-2135. *Equal contributions.

Brunec, I. K., Moscovitch, M., & Barense, M. D. (2018). Boundaries shape cognitive representations of spaces and events. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22(7),, 637-650.

Brunec, I. K., Javadi, A.-H., Zisch, F. E., & Spiers, H. J. (2017). Contracted time and expanded space: The impact of circumnavigation on judgements of space and time. Cognition, 166, 425-432.

Brunec, I. K., Ozubko, J. D., Barense, M. D., & Moscovitch, M. (2017). Recollection-dependent memory for event duration in large-scale spatial navigation. Learning & Memory, 24,104-114.

Brunec, I. K. (2016). Unified and separable hippocampal representations of time and space. The Journal of Neuroscience, 36(49),12293-12295.

Brunec, I. K.*, Chadwick, M. J.*, Javadi, A.-H., Guo, L., Malcolm, C. P., & Spiers, H. J. (2015). Chronologically organized structure in autobiographical memory search. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(338).

Javadi, A.-H., Brunec, I. K., Walsh, V., Penny, W. D., & Spiers, H. J.(2014). Transcranial electrical brain stimulation modulates neuronal tuning curves in perception of numerosity and duration. NeuroImage, 102 , 451-457.


Brunec, I. K., Bellana, B., Ozubko, J. D., Robin, J., Barense, M. D., & Moscovitch, M. (2018, November) Global and local hippocampal representations during virtual reality spatial navigation. Nanosymposium talk accepted for the 2018 Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA.

Brunec, I. K., Bellana, B., Ozubko, J. D., Barense, M. D., & Moscovitch, M. (2018, May). Spatiotemporal scaling along the hippocampal long axis. Poster presented at the 2018 Grid Cell Meeting, London, UK.

Brunec, I. K.*, Bellana, B.*, Barense, M. D., & Moscovitch, M. (2017, November). Patterns of hippocampal long axis dynamics change across the lifespan. Poster presented at the 2017 Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., USA.

Brunec, I. K., Bellana, B., Barense, M. D., Moscovitch, M. (2017, September). Changes in coarse vs. fine voxelwise representations along the hippocampal anteroposterior axis across the lifespan. Talk delivered at Ebbinghaus Empire data blitz, University of Toronto, ON.

Brunec, I. K., Ozubko, J. D., Ander, T., Moscovitch, M., & Barense, M. D. (2017, May). Boundaries during navigation shape memory for event order and duration. Talk delivered at a data blitz session at the Context and Episodic Memory Symposium, University of Pennsylvania, USA.

Brunec, I. K., Barense, M. D., & Moscovitch, M. (2016, August). Familiarity with spatial context interacts with the encoding of novel information. Poster presented at the 2016 International Conference on Memory, Budapest, Hungary.

Brunec, I. K., Ozubko, J. D., Barense, M. D., & Moscovitch, M. (2016, April). Temporal and ordinal memory for events in large-scale virtual navigation. Poster presented at the 2016 Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting, New York, USA.