Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Pre-doctoral Training Program in Aging and Health

Cognitive Neuroscience Track

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging Laboratory is led by Naftali Raz, Ph.D. (http://www.iog.wayne.edu/bio.php?id=436), an international expert in structural brain aging. The Raz Lab collects data on multiple indices of cognition, cardiovascular risk, genetics, and MRI, including MPRAGE, diffusion-tensor (DTI), susceptibility-weighted (SWI), and fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR). All research studies address the pre-eminent question of inter-individual differences in cognitive aging, considering cardiovascular health, genetics, sex, and neural modifiers. Current projects include:

Spatial Navigation and Spatial Memory
Using standardized cognitive recall and virtual environment navigation indices, we measure age-related change in spatial navigation.

Subcortical Non-Heme Iron Accumulation
Non-heme iron is a posited factor in aging suggested by oxidative stress theories. We examine changes in non-heme iron across the lifespan.

Age-related White Matter Hyperintensities (WMH)
White matter hyperintensities (WMH) refer to signal hyperintensity on T2-weighted or fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) MRI. We investigate the cross-sectional difference and longitudinal change of WMH, the role of vascular risk factors, and cognitive consequences.

Neural Correlates and Modifiers of Episodic Memory
Older age is associated with disproportionate declines in memory for associations between items (e.g., pairs of words). Much of our recent episodic memory and aging research is focused on investigating this phenomenon.

Graduate students in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging Laboratory acquire a wide range of research skills including: computer-aided processing and analysis of MRI images, design and administration of cognitive and neuropsychological tests and statistical analysis. Our neuroimaging projects are conducted at the Wayne State University MRI Center in collaboration with E. Mark Haacke, Ph.D. On graduation, students secure post-doctoral training at other distinguished aging laboratories, win federally funded research grants of their own, and gain employment as academics and researchers.

For more information contact:

Dr. Naftali Raz (Email: n.raz@wayne.edu) or the Co-Directors of the IOG’s Pre-doctoral Training Program in Aging and Health: Dr. Peter Lichtenberg: p.lichtenberg@wayne.edu and Dr. Cathy Lysack: c.lysack@wayne.edu

IOG Website: http://iog.wayne.edu