Toni Spinella

MSc candidate




Why Dal?

I chose Dal because it was one of the only academic institutions in Canada that offered a combined Psychology and Neuroscience graduate degree. Additionally, the departmental faculty is comprised of lead researchers in their field, a few of whom specialize in addictions work closely related to my interests

Research interests

My research primarily focuses on examining the role of craving in substance misuse and dependence. I am particularly interested in the mechanisms involved in maintaining addictive behaviour and facilitating relapse in humans. My work often uses a combination of methodologies that encompass psychological (self-report questionnaires, reward-reinforcement tasks) and physiological (heart rate, cortisol, fMRI) measures. 


  • NESC 2000: Research Methods Lab Instructor

Affiliations with research groups

  • Substance Use and Addictions Lab (Dalhousie)
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute

Honours Thesis

Spinella, T. (2017) Just A Number: Does age predict treatment outcomes from computer-assisted therapy for substance misuse? B.A. Department of Psychology, Carleton University.

Awards and honours

  • Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (Dalhousie University)
  • Royal Ottawa Hospital: Community Inspiration Award Recipient (Student Alliance for Mental Health, Carleton University)
  • Minto Academic Scholarship (Minto)