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SRI profiles

Neil Rector, PhD, C.Psychol., C.Psych.

Senior scientist

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room F3 27B
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 62233

Administrative Assistant: Elly McEachern
Phone: 416-480-4679


  • Diploma, 1995, clinical psychology, British Psychological Society, U.K.
  • PhD, 1996, clinical psychology, University of York, U.K.
  • C.Psychol., 1996, British Psychological Society, 1996, U.K.
  • C.Psych., 1997, Ontario Psychological Association, Canada

Appointments and Affiliations:

Research Focus:

  • Mental health

Research Summary:

Dr. Rector is involved in randomized controlled trials on cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) approaches for depression, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and overlapping comorbidity of these conditions. Research has examined issues pertaining to efficacy of CBT and mechanisms of action.

He has also done research work on cognitive and personality vulnerability for the development of mood and anxiety disorders, focusing on:

  • experimental studies of attentional biases, executive functioning and autobiographical memory;
  • facial processing of emotions;
  • dysfunctional beliefs and cognitive schemata;
  • personality and individual differences; and
  • epidemiological studies focused on early adverse developmental experiences.

Dr. Rector is also studying the integration of psychological and neurobiological approaches to mood and anxiety disorders. Studies underway include the following:

  • functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) examination of neuronal changes from pretreatment to posttreatment in CBT;
  • pharmacogenetics of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); and
  • interrelationship between cognitive and genetic vulnerabilities in the etiology of mood and anxiety disorders.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Rector, N.A., Cassin, S., Richter, M., & Burroughs, E. (in press). A test of the cognitive model of obsessions: Examination of obsessive beliefs in first-degree relatives. Journal of Anxiety Disorders.
  2. Rector, N.A., Antony, M.M., Laposa, J.M., Kocovski, N.L., & Swinson, R.P. (2008). Assessing content domains of repetitive though in the anxiety spectrum: Rumination and worry in nonclinical and clinically anxious samples. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 1, 352-376.
  3. Kocovski, N.L., & Rector N.A. (2008). Post-event processing in social anxiety disorder: Idiosyncratic priming in the course of CBT. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 32, 23—36.
  4. Rector, N.A., Kamkar, K., & Riskind, J. (2008). Misappraisal of time perspective and suicide in the anxiety disorders: The multiplier effect of looming illusions. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 1 (1), 66-76.
  5. Rector, N.A. & Szacun-Shimizu, K., & Leybman, M. (2007). Anxiety sensitivity within the anxiety disorders: Disorder-specific sensitivities and depression comorbidity. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45 (8), 1967-1975.

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