Denise Head, Ph.D.

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Neurosciences Program

  • 314-935-8732

  • 314-935-7596

  • 314-935-4711

  • One Brookings Drive



  • aging, Alzheimer’s disease, cognition, imaging, structure-function relations

  • Cognitive neuroscience of aging

Research Abstract:

The broad focus of my research program is the exploration of the constellation of the age-related brain changes and their relations with cognition. There are three primary threads within this overarching theme. For one line of research, the focus is on characterizing the nature of aging effects on the brain and accompanying cognitive changes with both normal and pathological aging examined. An example is the delineation of the component processes that contribute to age-related deficits in spatial navigation and associated brain changes. The second major concentration involves examination of moderators and mediators of brain and cognitive aging, including such factors as cardiovascular health, exercise, lifetime stress and personality traits. The third major component of my research program entails investigation of the efficacy of intervention and training. In this area, the research focuses on aerobic exercise and cognitive training. The underlying objective of all these research lines is to gain a greater understanding of the neural underpinnings of cognitive aging, the contributing factors and effective interventions.

Selected Publications:

Fagan AM, Head D, Shah AR, Marcus D, Mintun M, Morris JC and Holtzman DM. Decreased CSF Aβ42 correlates with brain atrophy in cognitively normal individuals but not in dementia of the Alzheimer type. Annals of Neurology 2009 65:176-183.

Jackson JD, Balota DA & Head D. Personality effects on regional brain structure in aging. Neurobiology of Aging 2009 Doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2009.12.009.

Bugg JM & Head D. Exercise moderates age-related atrophy of the medial temporal lobe. Neurobiology of Aging 2009. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2009.03.008

Head D & Isom, M. Age effects on wayfinding and route-following skills. Behavioural Brain Research 2010 209: 49-588.

Liang K, Mintun MA, Fagan AM, Goate AM, Bugg JM, Holtzman DM, Morris JC & Head D. Exercise engagement and AD biomarkers in cognitively normal older adults. Annals of Neurology. (In Press).

Last Updated: 8/4/2011 9:39:53 AM

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