Melody Wiseheart
formerly Nicholas J. Cepeda

Associate Professor

Locations / Contact Info:

242 Behavioural Science - BSB
Keele Campus
Phone: 416 736 2100 Ext. 33266
Fax: 416 736 5814

Email address(es):

Web site(s):

Faculty & School/Dept.

Faculty of Health - Department of Psychology


PhD - 2001
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Melody Wiseheart heads the Cognitive Flexibility Lab at York University. We study how cognitive flexibility and executive function change across the lifespan, during childhood development and aging. We develop and validate tools for teachers that are based on cognitive psychology principles, including spacing, testing, and feedback effects. We examine the effects of arts and fitness training on cognitive ability and academic achievement.

Selected Publications

Selected papers. All can be downloaded at

Technology and Education:

Sana, F., Weston, T., & Cepeda, N. J. (2013). Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers. Computers and Education, 62, 24-31.

Arts Training:

Moreno, S., Bialystok, E., Barac, R., Schellenberg, E. G., Cepeda, N. J., & Chau, T. (2011). Short-term music training enhances verbal intelligence and executive function. Psychological Science, 22, 1425-1433.

Cognitive Flexibility and Executive Function:

Cepeda, N. J., Blackwell, K. A., & Munakata, Y. (2013). Speed isn’t everything: Complex processing speed measures mask individual differences and developmental changes in executive control. Developmental Science, 16, 269-286.

Blackwell, K. A., Cepeda, N. J., & Munakata, Y. (2009). When simple things are meaningful: Working memory strength predicts children's cognitive flexibility. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 103, 241-249.

Cepeda, N. J., Kramer, A. F., & Gonzalez de Sather, J. C. M. (2001). Changes in executive control across the life-span: Examination of task switching performance. Developmental Psychology, 37, 715-730.

Spacing Effect:

Simone, P. M., Bell, M., & Cepeda, N. J. (2012). Diminished but not forgotten: Effects of aging on magnitude of spacing effect benefits. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 68, 674-680.

Cepeda, N. J., Vul, E., Rohrer, D., Wixted, J. T., & Pashler, H. (2008). Spacing effects in learning: A temporal ridgeline of optimal retention. Psychological Science, 19, 1095-1102.

Cepeda, N. J., Pashler, H., Vul, E., Wixted, J. T., & Rohrer, D. (2006). Distributed practice in verbal recall tasks: A review and quantitative synthesis. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 354-380.


Currently available to supervise graduate students: Yes

Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers: Yes

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: Yes

Current Research

If you would like a position in the lab, please see