Dr. Kalina Christoff is a Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. Her work focuses on understanding human thought, using a combination of functional neuroimaging (fMRI), behavioral testing, and theoretical work. She is currently Interim Director to the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.
Research interests span the full spectrum of thought processes: from spontaneous thought, including phenomena such as mind-wandering and daydreaming; to goal-directed thought, including deliberate reasoning and problem solving; to creative thought, which combines deliberate and spontaneous modes of thought in a dynamic and interactive fashion. Dr. Christoff also does work on introspection, meta-cognition, boredom, meditation, dreams, and different forms of self-experience. Her research relates all these mental phenomena to their neural correlates, by constructing neuroscientific models grounded in current scientific understanding of the dynamic interactions between large-scale brain systems, including the default, salience, and frontoparietal control networks.
Dr. Christoff’s secondary research areas are Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical, Health and Social/Personality.
Girn, M., Mills, C., Roseman, L., Carhart-Harris, R.L., & Christoff, K. (2020). Updating the Dynamic Framework of Thought: Creativity and Psychedelics. NeuroImage
Raffaelli, Q., Mills, C., & Christoff, K. (2018). The knowns and unknowns of boredom: A review of the literature. Experimental Brain Research.
Girn, M., & Christoff, K. (2018). Expanding the Scientific Study of Self with Psychedelics. Journal of Consciousness Studies Special Issue: Altered States of Consciousness
Parro, C., Dixon, M. L., & Christoff, K. (2018). The Neural Basis of Motivational Influences on Cognitive Control. Human Brain Mapping.
Fox, K.C.R, Andrews-Hanna, J.R., Mills, C., Dixon, M.L., Markovic, J., Thompson, E., Christoff, K. (2018) Affective Neuroscience of Self-Generated Thought. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
Dixon, M. L., De La Vega, A., Mills, C., Andrews-Hanna, J., Spreng, R. N., Cole, M., & Christoff, K. (2018). Heterogeneity Within the Frontoparietal Control Network and its Relationship to the Default and Dorsal Attention Networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Fox, K.C.R., & Christoff, K. (2018). Introduction: Toward and Interdisciplinary Science of Spontaneous Thought. The Oxford Handbook of Spontaneous Thought, Fox, K.C.R., & Christoff, K (editors). Oxford University Press, United States.
Andrews-Hanna, J.R., Irving, Z.C., Fox, K.C.R., Spreng, R.N., & Christoff, K. (2018). The Neuroscience of Spontaneous Thought: An Evolving, Interdisciplinary Field. The Oxford Handbook of Spontaneous Thought, Fox, K.C.R., & Christoff, K (editors). Oxford University Press, United States.
Mills, C., Herrera-Bennett, A., Faber, M., Christoff, K. (2018). Why the mind wanders: How spontaneous thought’s default variability may support episodic efficiency and semantic optimization. The Oxford Handbook of Spontaneous Thought. Fox, KCR., Christoff, K. (editors) Oxford University Press, United States.
Stan, D., Christoff, K. (2018). Potential Clinical Benefits and Risks of Spontaneous Thought: Unconstrained Attention as a Way Into and a Way Out of Psychological Disharmony. The Oxford Handbook of Spontaneous Thought. Fox, KCR., Christoff, K. (editors) Oxford University Press, United States
Fox, K.C.R., Girn, M., Parro, C.C., & Christoff, K. (2018). Functional neuroimaging of psychedelic experience: An overview of psychological and neural effects and their relevance to research on creativity, daydreaming, and dreaming. The Cambridge Handbook of the Neuroscience of Creativity, R.E. Jung and O. Vartanian (editors). Cambridge University Press.
Ellamil, M., Fox, K.C.R., Dixon, M.L., Pritchard, S., Todd, R.M., Thompson, E., & Christoff, K. (2016). Dynamics of neural recruitment surrounding the spontaneous arising of thoughts in experienced mindfulness practitioners. NeuroImage.
For a full list of publications and downloadable PDFs, visit the lab website.
- Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies – Distinguished Scholar in Residence (2017)
- Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (2006)
- Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies – Early Career Scholar (2005)