Sarah Fraser


Sarah Fraser
Associate Professor

2015 Postdoctoral Fellow Qualitative Methodology McGill Univeristy
2013 Postdoctoral Fellow Neuroimaging: Portable NIRS Institut de gériatrie de Montréal
2010 Ph.D Psychology: Cognitive Aging Concordia University
2004 M.A Psychology Concordia University

Room: Lees E260J
Office: (613) 562-5800 ext. 2306
Fax: (613) 562-5632

Photo of Sarah Fraser


Sarah Fraser is an assistant professor in the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences. She obtained her doctorate from Concordia University (Psychology department) for her thesis on the role of executive functions in aging and fine motor control. Professor Fraser held a Postdoctoral Fellowship (Fonds de recherche nature et technologies) at the Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, l’UQAM, and the Montreal Heart Institute (le Centre ÉPIC). During this fellowship she explored the cerebral activity of older adults while walking and thinking (dual-tasking) and physical and cognitive interventions that could improve the ability to manage two tasks simultaneously. She has since obtained a CIHR grant (with Bherer, Lesage, & Nigam) to explore longitudinal changes in cerebral activity in older adults when they are dual tasking. Her second Fellowship was funded by the ministère de la famille et des aînés, and her research was conducted at McGill University and the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Center. Using qualitative methods she examined the rehabilitation barriers of older adults with dual sensory loss.

Professor Fraser`s current program of research focuses on early diagnosis of a cognitive or physical change in healthy older adults using her walking while thinking paradigm. Using mixed methods, the goals of her research are to: 1) identify older adults at risk of decline before they are classified by a standardized test; 2) intervene and improve the ability to manage two things at the same time in order to reduce fall risk; 3) identify what older adults prioritize in different dual-task situations and why; 4) consider age-related changes from an interdisciplinary perspective (examining physical, social and cognitive factors).


Research Interests

  • Cognitive aging and Mobility
  • Divided attention and dual-task performance
  • Age-related sensory loss and rehabilitation
  • Qualitative & Quantitative methods
  • Biopsychosocial model of aging
  • Neuroimaging



  • Fraser, S., Kenyon, V.,Lagacé, M., Wittich, W., & Southall, K. (accepted June 2015). (2013). If it is in print, it must be true? Stereotypes associated with age-related conditions and assistive device use in the Canadian media. The Gerontologist, 21 (5): 762–770
  • Laguë-Beauvais, M., Fraser, S. A., Desjardins-Crépeau, L., Castonguay, N., Desjardins, M., Lesage, F. & Bherer, L. (2015). Shedding light on the effect of priority instructions during dual-task performance in younger and older adults: A fNIRS study. Brain and Cognition 08/2015; 98. DOI:10.1016/j.bandc.2015.05.001
  • Mekari, S., Fraser, S., Bosquet, L., Bonnéry, C., Labelle, V., Pouliot, P., Lesage, F. & Bherer, L. (2015).relationship between exercise intensity, cerebral oxygenation and cognitive performance in young adults. European journal of applied physiology, 1-9.
  • Dupuy, O., Gauthier, C. J., Fraser, S. A., Desjardins-Crépeau, L., Desjardins, M., Mekary, S., Leasage, F., Hoge, R., Pouliot, P., & Bherer, L. (Vol. 9; 00066; Feb 18, 2015). Higher levels of cardiovascular fitness are associated with better executive function and prefrontal oxygenation in younger and older women. Frontiers in neuroscience DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00066.00254.
  • Fraser, S. A, Johnson, A., Overbury, O., & Wittich, W. (2014). Critical success factors in awareness of and choice towards low vision rehabilitation. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics DOI: 10.1111/opo.12169
  • Fraser, S. A., Elliot, V., Bherer, L., Dumoulin, C., de Bruin, E. D. (2014). The effects of combined pelvic floor muscle training and virtual-reality dance rehabilitation on dual-task gait and cognition in women with mixed urinary incontinence.Games for Health Journal, Vol 3, 3. DOI: 10.1089/g4h.2013.0095.
  • Fraser, S. A. & Bherer, L. (2013). Age-related decline in divided attention: From theoretical lab research to practical real life situations. An advanced review of divided attention to be included in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, edited by Lynn Nadel. DOI: 10.1002/wcs.1252
  • Predovan, D., Fraser, S. A., Renaud, M., & Bherer, L. (2012). The effect of three months of aerobic training on Stroop performance in older adults. Journal of Aging Research. Special Issue:Physical Exercise and Brain Functions in Older Adults, vol. 2012, Article ID 269815, 7 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/269815.
  •  Fraser, S. A. & Li, K. Z. H. (2011). Dual-task performance in motor learning. Published in Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning, Dr. Norbert M. Seel (Editor). Springer Verlag (Publisher). *I was invited to contribute an entry and I asked Dr. Li to contribute as a co-author.
  • Fraser, S. A., Li, K. Z. H., & Penhune, V. B. (2010). Dual-Task Performance Reveals Increased Involvement of Executive Control in Fine Motor Sequencing in Healthy Aging. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 65B, 526-535.
  • Fraser, S. A., Gagné, J-P, Alepins, M., & Dubois, P. (2010). Evaluating the effort expended to understand speech in noise using a dual task paradigm: The effects of providing visual speech-cues Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing research, 53, 18-33.
  • Fraser, S. A., Li, K. Z. H., & Penhune, V. B. (2009). A comparison of motor skill learning and retention in younger and older adults. Experimental Brain Research, 195, 419-427.

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