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Toronto Metropolitan University

Dr. Moriah Sokolowski

Assistant Professor
EducationPhD, Western University
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 552267
Areas of ExpertiseCognitive Neuroscience; Development; Academic Achievement; Numerical Cognition, Mathematical Thinking; Learning and Memory; Individual Differences


Dr. Moriah Sokolowski an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University. She also holds an adjunct scientist appointment at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Hospital. She completed her MSc (2015) and PhD (2019) in Psychology in the Cognitive, Developmental, and Brain Sciences area at Western University. Following this, she was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Hospital from January 2020 to June 2023.  

Dr. Sokolowski’s research program converges around one fundamental question: how does the developing mind support complex learning? Because mathematical thinking is a learned skill that builds on core competencies and previously acquired knowledge, it serves as an ideal model to explore how we learn complex concepts. Dr. Sokolowski explores how the learning brain develops using diverse methodologies, including behavioural and brain-imaging techniques, in children, adolescents and adults. In addition to conducting basic science, she is passionate about linking her findings to real-world outcomes to support individual wellbeing and population-level innovation. Thus, in a related stream of research, she explores how individual differences in core competencies (e.g., visual imagery, spatial thinking, memory) relate to real-world outcomes (e.g., academic achievement and occupational success). Two key goals of Dr. Sokolowski’s research are to 1) uncover basic building blocks of mathematical competence and 2) identify early cognitive, emotional and neural markers that predict which students are likely to select - and succeed - in science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) disciplines.


Selected Publications

Sokolowski, H. M., & Levine, B. (2023). Common neural substrates of diverse neurodevelopmental disordersBrain. 146(2), 438-447.

Sokolowski, H. M., Merkley, R., Bray Kingissepp, S. S., Vaikuntharajan, P., & Ansari, D. A. (2022). Children's attention to numerical quantities relates to verbal number knowledge: An introduction to the Build‐A‐Train task. Developmental Science, 25(3), e13211.

Daker R. J., Gattas, S., Sokolowski, H. M., Green, A. E. & Lyons, I. (2021) First-year students’ math anxiety predicts STEM avoidance and underperformance throughout university, independently of math ability.  Nature Partner Journals Science of Learning6(17).

Sokolowski, H. M., Hawes, Z., & Lyons, I. M. (2019). What explains sex differences in math anxiety? A closer look at the role of spatial processing. Cognition, 182, 193-212,

Sokolowski, H. M., & Ansari, D. (2018). Understanding the effects of education through the lens of biology. Nature Partner Journals Science of Learning 3(17).

Sokolowski, H. M., & Ansari, D. (2017). Math anxiety: How it develops, what it does to the brain, and what to do about it. Frontiers for Young Minds, 5(57).

Sokolowski, H. M., Fias, W., Mousa, A, & Ansari, D. (2017). Common and distinct brain regions support symbolic and nonsymbolic numerical magnitude processing in humans: A functional neuroimaging meta-analysis. Neuroimage, 146, 376-394.