Faculty of Medicine News: Spotlight on Dr. Adele Diamond


This week, UBC Psychiatry Professor Dr. Adele Diamond is featured in the Faculty of Medicine News, where she discusses her recent study published in Cerebral Cortex that reveals the harmful impact of stress on our executive functions such as self-control, focused attention, working memory and problem solving.

The research, led by Diamond Lab members Shahab Zareyan and Haolu Zhang, found that when study subjects (140 young adults) were placed under mild social evaluative stress while performing cognitive tests, including Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices which assesses reasoning (arguably a higher-order executive function skill), the team observed notable impairment to their subjects’ executive functions. Interestingly, other studies have shown that, when placed under stress, a subset of people with a specific form of a gene will show an improvement in executive function, however Dr. Diamond emphasizes that this positive effect occurs only if the stress is extremely mild. Her most recent findings show that, for most of us, we need reduce our stress to perform our best.

Read the entire Faculty of Medicine News article here


More news on Dr. Adele Diamond:

  • Recently voted Super Duper Neuroscientist for 2020 by students in the Neurscience Program
  • Interviews by CBC Radio at 4:20pm, On the Coast at 5:20pm, and CTV News at 6:00pm on Friday December 18.
  • Gave invited talks on December 10 at the Brazilian Symposium on Neuroscience (online) and on December 12 at the Los Angeles County Dept of Mental Health – UCLA Early Childhood Fellowship
  • Dr. Diamond’s PhD student, Rena Del Pieve Gobbi, is profiled on the UBC Public Scholars Initiative webpage

  • Recent publications:

Paoletti, P. & Diamond, A. (2020). The science of education for peace: Tools to sow peace in and around us [24-page Booklet]. Assisi, Italy: Fondazione Patrizio Paoletti.

Diamond, A. (2020). Executive functions. In J.L. Michaud, C. Bulteau, D. Cohen, & A. Gallagher (Eds.), Handbook of Clinical Neurology, 173, 225-240. Amsterdam: Elsevier. ISBN:978-0444641502

  • New paper accepted for publication:

Ling, D. S., Wong, C. D., & Diamond, A. (in press, 2020). Children only 3 years old can succeed at conditional “if, then” reasoning much earlier than anyone had thought possible.  Frontiers in Psychology: Developmental Psychology, xx. (Special section on Psychology and Neuropsychology of Perception, Action, and Cognition in Early Life)   doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.571891 [Epub 24 Nov. 2020 ahead of print].