Teaching & Research Interests
Scholarship, Research & Creative Activities
Dr. Joel Lopata is a Professor of Psychology and Creativity at Sheridan College.
Joel holds a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology from Western University, as well as a M.Ed., a B.Ed., and a BFA (Film and Video Production). His scholarly work spans the domains of cognitive neuroscience, creativity studies, and learning cognition, where he has focused on creativity topics including creative flow, creative ideation, and functional fixedness. In his research, Joel has used functional brain imaging (i.e., EEG) and other creativity tests to investigate the brain correlates of creativity as mediated by formal training in the context of jazz improvisation. A long-time musician himself, Joel has studied musical improvisation as an example of highly creative art.
Joel’s research on creativity has been published in top-tier international journals (Neuropsychologia, 2017), and has been presented at prestigious international venues including at Harvard Medical School (2017), and at The Art Institute of Chicago (2015). Additionally, his work has been featured in popular science magazines such as New Scientist, and popular websites such as Big Think.
Joel has held teaching positions in Western University’s Faculty of Education and has been Research & Evaluation Director of his own consulting company where he has led research and evaluation projects for government and not-for-profits in the education, training, and child-care sectors.