Cognitive Aging

Supervisor: Melissa Lamar, PhD

Dr. Lamar’s work attempts to determine the neurobiological mechanisms underlying cognitive and affective dysfunction in normal and pathological aging. Using various structural and functional neuroimaging tools, Dr. Lamar investigates the significance of cortico-subcortical white matter alterations to select cognitive and affective functions. Recent work involves quantification of vascular co-morbidities in minority populations that negatively impact brain structure and function with aging. With funding through the National Institute on Aging, Dr. Lamar has been investigating white matter microstructure as it relates to vascular risk and cognition in the aging brain using novel neuroimaging techniques. Her research program has identified a promising brain biomarker of vascular risk that is particularly vulnerable in minority populations. It will allow for better characterization of vascular aging in an under-served but over-represented portion of individuals negatively impacted by vascular co-morbidities in currently planned and future intervention studies.