Welcome to the BOLD Laboratory

Brain Organization for Language and Literacy Development

Scientific Director: Dr. Kaja Jasińska 

bold lab icon which is an image of a colorful brain

Researchers at the BOLD Lab study how a child’s brain develops and supports complex cognitive abilities such as learning language and learning to read. Our aim is to understand how a child’s early life environment can impact development and change the brain’s capacity for learning. Our research focuses on different childhood experiences such as (1) growing up bilingual, (2) learning spoken and/or signed (e.g. American Sign Language) languages, and (3) growing up in communities with high risk of illiteracy. We use neuroimaging technologies (functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), structural and functional MRI) in combination with the latest genetic and behavioural tools of cognitive science to gain new insights into the biological underpinnings of language, reading, and human cognition!

Current Opportunities

Volunteer Research Assistant


Position Description:
The position will support research investigating the language and brain development of refugee and newcomer children who have been recently resettled in Canada. Duties will include translating standardized language measures into Dari and/or Pashto, working directly with participants, administering behavioural and neuroimaging tools, and communicating with families. Additional duties may involve data management and assisting with literature searches. Measures will be given in Pashto and/or Dari, so proficiency in either language is a requirement.

Collaborative working environment. Will be working in a team setting with several other volunteers and receive support from grad students and the principal investigator. 

Proficiency in Pashto and/or Dari
Good interpersonal and communication skills
Interest in child development OR neuroscience OR second language learning

Hours Per Week: 5-10

Schedule Details: Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.

Location: University of Toronto – St. George Campus; Toronto, Ontario

Training Provided: Training on the administration of psychological, cognitive, and literacy measures. Training on Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) neuroimaging method.

Apply: Current University of Toronto students may apply through Career Learning Network (Job ID: 201980). All others, please send your resume to bold-lab@utoronto.ca.