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Matthew Shane

Associate Professor

Undergraduate Program Director (General Psychology)

Forensic Psychology

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Contact information

2 Simcoe Street - Room 619
Downtown Oshawa
2000 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON L1G 0C5

905.721.8668 ext. 5968


Dr. Matthew Shane received his PhD in Psychology from the University of Toronto in 2004. Following post-doctoral positions at University of Wisconsin—Madison and Yale University, he accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Translational Neuroscience at The Mind Research Network (MRN) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After five years at MRN, he joined the faculty at Ontario Tech University. He now holds joint positions at both institutions.

His research program focuses primarily on understanding the cognitive and emotional processes underlying the antisocial personality and its related disorders (e.g., substance abuse). He is particularly interested in psychopathic individuals, who are believed to experience significantly less intense negative emotions, including fear, guilt and shame, than the average person. He primarily utilizes cognitive neuroscience methodologies to better understand the nature of these emotional reductions, and the neural systems underlying these reductions. Current research focuses on evaluating whether these individuals are truly incapable of experiencing normal levels of these negative emotions. Longer-term goals focus on the development of novel treatment protocols for severely antisocial individuals.

Dr. Shane has been fortunate enough to have received generous support for his work from several funding agencies, including the National Institute of Health (NIH). He is currently administering a five-year $1.8-million NIH-supported project focused on investigating the extent to which antisocial substance abusers show abnormalities in their neural responses to negative feedback. Previous NIH-funded projects have focused on evaluating emotional processing in psychopathic individuals, and the ability of substance abusers to alter their brain’s craving response to their drugs of abuse. Additional work in the lab is using cognitive and neuroscience methods to evaluate antisocial individuals’ abilities to learn from their mistakes, control their own emotional responses and avoid abusing illegal substances.

Dr. Shane may be accepting a graduate student for 2015-2016. Please contact him directly with inquiries.

For more detail on his research progress, visit the CANdiLab website.


  • PhD, Psychology University of Toronto 2004

Courses taught

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Cognition and Psychopathology
  • Cognitive and Neuroscience Perspectives on Function and Dysfunction
  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology of Deviance
  • Psychopathic Behaviour

Research and expertise

  • emotional/cognitive processes in antisocial personalities
  • psychopathic behaviour
  • neural systems underlying fear, guilt, shame, empathy, perspective taking
  • error monitoring and experiential learning
  • neuromodulation—the ability to voluntarily initiate changes in neural responses

Current funding (one award; $1,885,000 total)

  • R01. National Institute of Drug Abuse, NIDA (PI: Shane, M.S.)
    Error Monitoring and Error Awareness in Incarcerated Cocaine-dependent Individuals
    Co-Investigators: Vince Calhoun (MRN), Angela Bryan (U of Col)
    • $1,885,000

Past funding (six awards; $2,004,900 total)

  • R21. National Institute of Mental Health, NIMH (PI: Shane, M.S.)
    Emotional Reactivity and Voluntary Emotional Control in Psychopathic Individuals
    Co-Investigators: Kent Kiehl (MRN), Carla Harenski (MRN)
    • $472,274
  • R21. National Institute of Drug Abuse, NIDA (MPIs: Shane, M.S., Kiehl, K.A., Posse, S.)
    Using real-time fMRI to Facilitate Neuromodulation to Drug- and Nondrug-Cues in Adolescent Abusers
    • $669,951
  • R21. National Institute of Drug Abuse, NIDA (MPIs: Shane, M.S., Kiehl, K.A., Posse, S)
    Using real-time fMRI to Modulate Neural Response to Drug- and Non-drug Cues
    • $469,333
  • The Mind Research Network/Department of Energy (PI: Shane, M.S.)
    Emotional Reactivity and Emotional Control in Psychopathic Inmates
    • $96,450
  • I/START R03. National Institute of Drug Abuse, NIDA (PI: Shane, M.S.)
    Error Monitoring and Error Awareness in Incarcerated Cocaine-dependent Individuals
    Co-Investigators: Kent Kiehl (MRN)
    • $246,892
  • The Mind Research Network/Department of Energy (PI: Shane, M.S.)
    Voluntary Control of Error Processing in Healthy Individuals
    Co-Investigators: Kent Kiehl (MRN)
    • $50,000


  • Selected publications

    Shane, M.S. & *Denomme, W.J. (invited). Data-driven approaches to parsing neurocognitive abnormalities associated with externalizing behavior from more pervasive externalizing characteristics. Personality Neuroscience, XX, XX-XX.

    *Maraj, A., Martin, M., Shane, M.S., Mohammad, N. (in press). On the relationship between personality traits and password security. Paper submitted to the 2018 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

    *Groat, L.L. & Shane, M.S. (revise/resubmit). A Motivational Account of Psychopathy: Etiological considerations and implications for treatment. European Psychologist, XX, XX-XX.

    *Denomme, W.J., *Simard, I., & Shane, M.S. (2018). Neuroimaging metrics of drug and food processing in cocaine-dependence, as a function of psychopathic traits and substance use severity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12, 350. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00350

    Shane, M.S. & *Groat, L.L.  (2018). Psychopathic individuals show capacity to increase neural reactivity to emotional cues: All you have to do is ask. Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11, 1163-1176. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsy088

    Claus, E., & Shane, M.S. (2018). Reduced dACC response following presentation of negative feedback differentiates stimulant abusers from nonabusers and is associated with abstinence twelve months later. Neuroimage: Clinical, 20, 16-23. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2018.05.007

    *Arbuckle, N.L., & Shane, M.S. (2017). Up-regulation of neural indicators of empathy in offenders. Social Neuroscience, X, XX-XX. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2016.1179669.

    Shane, M.S. and Weywadt, C.R. (2014). Voluntary modulation of anterior cingulate response to negative feedback. PLoS One, 2014; 9(11.

    Cope, L., Shane, M.S., Segall, J., Stevens, M., Pearlson, G. and Kiehl, K.A., (2012). Examining the effect of psychopathic traits on gray matter volume in a community substance abuse sample. Psychiatric Research: Neuroimaging, 91-100.

    Posse, S., Ackley, E., Mutihac, R., Rick, J., Shane, M.S., Murray-Krezan, C., et al. (2012). Enhancement of temporal resolution and BOLD sensitivity in real-time fMRI using multi-slab echo-volumar imaging. NeuroImage, 61, 115-130.

    Harenski, C.L., Harenski, K.A., Shane, M.S. and Kiehl, K.A. (2012). Neural development of mentalizing in moral judgment from adolescence to adulthood. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2, 162-173.

    Mayer, A.R., Teshiba, T.M., Franco, A.R., Ling, J., Shane, M.S., Stephen, J.M. and Jung, R.E. (2012). Modeling conflict and error in the medial frontal cortex. Human Brain Mapping, 33, 2843-2855.

    DeYoung, C.G., Hirsch, J.B., Shane, M.S., Papademetris, X., Rajeevan, N. and Gray, J.R. (2010). Testing Predictions from Personality Neuroscience: Brain Structure and the Big Five. Psychological Science, 21, 820–828. New York Times article on this study: Linking Personality to Brain Structure.