dasha SANDRA

 B.A. Candidate, Psychology McGill University. ​

Dasha Sandra is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree as an Honours Psychology student at McGill University in Montreal. Having spent her childhood drawing and writing fiction, Sandra firmly believes that science is yet another form of art to be explored and shared. 

Dasha Sandra’s research is focused on modulation of cognitive effort and its influence on decision-making. We make decisions every day of our lives, guided by a simple trade-off: benefits are higher than the costs. Using this trade-off, Sandra seeks to determine whether cognitive performance can be improved by increasing the value of applying mental effort and whether this effect can last when rewards for good performance are no longer present. 


Studio Arts 5th year - Drawing, 

Concordia University. 

My drawing uses a loosely representational setting of a nightclub to show the invasive potential of light. Usually perceived as benign, the lights in my drawing take on an almost violent quality. This drawing was inspired by my introduction into optogenetics, wherein light becomes an intruder of the mind. Made with ballpoint pens and ink, “Nightclubbing” envisions a dance floor inside a cave where the DJ takes on the role of a scientist experimenting with the crowd. The lasers form a grid-like pattern over the dancers which positions light in my drawing as something controlling or restrictive. As in optogenetics, the dance floor in my drawing plays on the power balance between us and light and who is controlling what. 

Photo by Kevin Jung-Hoo Park

Night Clubbing. 2017.
Callan Ponsford and Dasha Sandra, ballpoint pen and tinted varnish on canvas.

Photo by C. Zaelzer

Photo by C. Zaelzer

Photo by C. Zaelzer

Photo by C. Zaelzer

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