Department of Psychology
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Cheryl McCormick
Professor, Ph.D. & Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience

Office: MC B314
Phone: (905)688-5550, ext. 3700
website: Click here to go to my lab website


My research interests are in the fields of behavioural neuroscience and developmental neuroendocrinology. I investigate how environmental experiences (e.g., exposure to social stressors, hormones, malnutrition) either prenatally, neonatally, or during adolescence, alter cognitive and emotional behaviour in adulthood in laboratory rats. I also investigate the physiological and neurochemical underpinnings of the effects of early life experiences, as well as how the early experiences alter the animal's vulnerability to addictive drugs. Related research areas of mine are the investigation sex differences in the effects of early experiences, and how the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress response is influenced by the actions of sex hormones in the brain. A third research interest is how hormones (testosterone, cortisol, estradiol) influence neuropsychological function in people.


For a complete list of publications, visit:

RECENT PUBLICATIONS (2014 onward) (students in BOLD)

Simone JJ, Malivoire BL, McCormick CM (in press) Effects of CB1 receptor agonism and antagonism on behavioural fear and physiological stress responses in adult intact, ovariectomized, and estradiol-replaced female rats. Neuroscience.

Geniole SN, Denson TF, Dixson BJ, Carré JM, McCormick CM (2015) Evidence from meta-analyses of the facial width-to-height ratio as an evolved cue of threat. PLOS ONE. 10(7): e0132726.

Geniole SN, Cunningham CE, Keyes AE, Busseri MA, McCormick CM (in press). Costly retaliation is promoted by threats to resources in women and threats to status in men. Aggressive Behavior.

Geniole, SN, McCormick CM (in press) Facing our ancestors: Judgments of aggression are consistent and related to the facial width-to-height ratio in men irrespective of beards. Evolution and Human Behavior.

Hodges TE, McCormick CM (in press) Adolescent and adult rats habituate to repeated isolation, but only adolescents sensitize to partner unfamiliarity. Hormones and Behavior.

Skorska MN, Geniole SN, Vrysen BM, McCormick CM, Bogaert AF (in press) Facial structure predicts sexual orientation in men and women. Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Simone JJ, Green MR, Hodges TE, McCormick CM (2015) Differential effects of CB1 receptor agonism in behavioural tests of unconditioned and conditioned fear in adult male rats. Behavioural Brain Research.  279: 9-16.

McCormick CM, Hodges TE, Simone JJ (in press) Peer pressures: Social instability stress in adolescence and social deficits in adulthood in an animal model. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Cumming MJ, Thompson MA, McCormick CM (2014) Adolescent social instability stress increases aggression in a food competition task in adult male Long-Evans rats. Developmental Psychobiology, 56: 1575-1588.

Geniole SN, Molnar DS, Carré JM, McCormick CM (2014) The facial width-to-height ratio shares stronger links with judgments of aggression than with judgments of trustworthiness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 40: 1526-1541. 

Hodges TE, Green MR, Simone JJ, McCormick CM (2014) Effects of social context on endocrine function and Zif268 expression in response to an acute stressor in adolescent and adult rats. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. 35: 25-34.

Geniole SN, Keyes AE, Carré JM, McCormick CM (2014) Fearless dominance mediates the relationship between the facial width-to-height ratio and cheating. Personality and Individual Differences. 57:59-64

Boyshyan J, Zebrowitz LA, Franklin RG, McCormick CM, Carré JM (2014) Age similarities in recognizing threat from faces and diagnostic cues. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences. 69: 710-718.





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