Dr. Jennifer Campos

In her role as CEAL Chief Scientist, Dr. Jennifer Campos wears two hats: the first to help coordinate research projects conducted within CEAL (Challenging Environment Assessment Lab) and the second to conduct her own research. 

As an Experimental Psychologist, Dr. Campos’ research program looks at the interactions between different sensory systems (e.g. vision, hearing, balance) and how these interactions change during aging, as a function of sensory loss (e.g. hearing loss), or after a stroke. She is particularly interested in the consequences of these multisensory interactions on complex, everyday behaviours such as walking and driving.

Since 2009, Dr. Campos has been an integral part of iDAPT and has helped to guide the vision of Toronto Rehab’s state-of-the-art research facility.

"At iDAPT, our focus is on solving problems, changing practice and policy and creating products.” she explains.

This is exactly what she aims to do as a contributor to Toronto Rehab’s safe driving research program. Using a simulated car and virtual reality technology in CEAL’s StreetLab simulator, Dr. Campos and her team are already studying the effects that different sensory inputs such as, sound (e.g. engine, tire roar, and wind) and movements (physical accelerations) have on drivers of all ages and abilities.

“Sensory inputs help drivers understand their environment and the performance of their cars, such as how fast they are going or whether they are staying within their lane,” she explains. “Without these inputs, one’s ability to react quickly to an unexpected event becomes impaired. In our preliminary studies we are finding that older drivers rely much more on combined sensory inputs than do younger drivers.”

It is Dr. Campos’ hope that, particularly with the new installation of iDAPT’s world-class driving simulator - DriverLab - Toronto Rehab’s driving research program will have a profound effect on the safety of Canadian roads for pedestrians and drivers alike.

“Our long-term goals will be to make recommendations for vehicle design, find ways to better assess fitness-to-drive, and evaluate personalized licensing programs” she says. Dr. Campos attributes much of the success of iDAPT to community and philanthropy support. “Without the funding and support of people and organizations who are enthusiastic about what we do, we would not be able to accomplish all that we have,” she says.

Dr. Campos has witnessed iDAPT go from a hole in the ground to a global leader in rehabilitation research and innovation. “We welcome people from all over the world who want to learn about our research model so that they may implement parts of it elsewhere,” she says. “Toronto Rehab is changing the way people think about research.”

Learn more about DriverLab

Learn more about Research at Toronto Rehab

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