You are now in the main content area

Dr. Alexandra Fiocco

EducationPhD, McGill University
Phone416-979-5000 ext. 553008
Areas of Expertiseaging; stress; cognitive aging; biopsychosocial determinants; mindfulness meditation


Training Background: Dr. Fiocco’s approach to research is multidisciplinary, incorporating different branches of learning, including psychology, neuroscience, and epidemiology. She obtained a MSc in Psychology with a specialization in Neuroscience from Carleton University in 2002, followed by a PhD in Neuroscience from McGill University in 2008. Following her doctoral training, she pursued postdoctoral training at the University of California San Francisco in clinical and epidemiological research and completed a second postdoctoral fellowship at Baycrest in Toronto.

Program of Research: Dr. Fiocco’s research interests center around cognitive function, brain health, and emotional wellbeing in late life. Her work examines the biological, psychological, and social factors that determine cognitive function and wellbeing in later adulthood. Dr. Fiocco also examines preventive measures that facilitate healthy aging.

Some specific research questions that are explored in Dr. Fiocco’s lab include:

•             What factors are associated with high and low cognitive function in older adults?

•             What is the association between biopsychosocial factors, brain activity, and cognitive function?

•             How may stress reactivity and allostatic load be modified?

•             Do prevention strategies, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, and other lifestyle behavioural changes associate with better cognitive function and other correlates of healthy aging?

•             How can we enhance cognitive function and wellbeing among persons living in residential care?

Research Interests: Stress and aging; lifestyle behaviours and their impact on wellbeing; biopsychosocial determinants of health; mindfulness and contemplative practices; group-based interventions.


Dr. Fiocco supervises clinical and psychological science graduate students and undergraduate thesis students in the Department of Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Select Publications (Please see lab website for full publication list)

(* denotes student under my supervision)

D’Amico, D.,* Alter, U., & Fiocco, A.J. (2023) Cumulative stress exposure and cognitive function among older adults: The moderating role of a healthy lifestyle. Journals of Gerontology: Series B. Accepted. 10.1093/geronb/gbad116

Fiocco, A.J. & Hytman, L.* (2022). Preliminary evidence for lasting benefits following mindfulness training among family caregivers of persons with neurodegenerative disease. Mindfulness.  doi:10.1007/s12671-022-02005-3

Obomsawin, A.*, D’Amico, D*., Fiocco, A.J. (2022). The Association Between Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Allostatic Load in Older Adults. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 114, 105840. (external link) 

Ueberholz, R.Y.* & Fiocco, A.J.  (2022). The Effect of a Brief Mindfulness Practice on Perceived Stress and Sustained Attention: Does Priming Matter? Mindfulness, 13, 1757–1768. doi:10.1007/s12671-022-01913-8

Fiocco, A.J., Gryspeerdt, C.*, Franco, G.* (2021). Stress and Adjustment During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study on the Lived Experience of Canadian Older Adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, 12922. (external link) .

Peck, K.,* Totosy de Zepetnek, J., Fiocco, A.J. (2020). Music listening does not inoculate the stress response in young and older adults. International Journal of Stress Management. (external link) 

Millett, G.,* & Fiocco, A.J. (2020). A pilot study implementing the JAVA Music Club in residential care: Impact on cognition and psychosocial health. Aging and Mental Health. (external link) 

D’Amico, D.*, Huang, V.* & Fiocco, A.J. (2020). Examining the moderating role of a Mediterranean diet in the relationship between perceived stress and cognitive function in older adults. Journal of Gerontology Series B. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbaa030