The Cognitive Aging Lab
The Cognitive Aging Lab, directed by Dr. Darlene V. Howard, investigates which cognitive and neural systems decline and which are spared in the course of aging. We focus especially on implicit learning and memory which can occur without intent or awareness. We are working to understand why some forms of learning and memory decline while others don’t, how these age differences are related to changes in the brain, and how learning and memory can be maximized at all ages. Most of our work has used behavioral techniques, but we have begun to use neuroimaging techniques such as fMRI and DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging) as well.
Current research in our group is also examining the relation between different forms of implicit learning and:
- environmental factors (e.g., stress, time of day, sleep)
- individual differences (e.g., in reading ability, expertise, inherent neural circuitry)
- interventions (e.g., nature, exercise)