Randy McIntosh, PhD

Dr. Randy McIntosh did his undergraduate work at the University of Calgary, graduating in   1987, and then remained there for the next 2 years to complete his masters in psychology. Next he went to the University of Texas at Austin, where he obtained his PhD by 1992 and afterwards began his career as a neuroscientist at the National Institute of Health (NIH). Now, Dr. McIntosh conducts his work at the Rotman Research Institute (RRI) at Baycrest Health Sciences, where he has been a scientist for 22 years. In addition he has served as the RRI’s director since 2008, as Baycrest’s vice president of research from 2009-2017, and is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. At RRI, his research emphasizes the network operations of the brain and involves parallel development of theory and methods.  The theoretical perspective puts forth the notion of neural context, wherein the contribution of a given brain area plays to a process is constrained by other interacting regions. In contrast, the methodological advances have emphasized statistical methods that capture the multivariate nature of brain function.  Dr. McIntosh pioneered the application of ‘structural equation modeling’ to neuroscience as a way to measure the effect brain regions have on each other (effective connectivity).  Additionally, he developed an extension of ‘partial least squares’ as a method to relate the spatiotemporal patterns of brain activity to behavior, experimental manipulations, or group characterization.  His most recent advancement is a convergence of theory and methods in the development of the TheVirtualBrain (TVB,, which is the culmination of an 11-year international collaboration.  TVB is large-scale neural modeling platform that directly uses neuroimaging data to parameterize a model.  Because individual data can be used, any person’s brain can become ‘The Virtual Brain.’