Cognition in Older Adults
We are exploring predictors of cognitive change in cognitively healthy older adults and individuals with mild cognitive impairment. An additional focus of study pertains to ethnoracial disparities in cognition. We currently partner with Dr. Robert Newton, Dr. Owen Carmichael and the Institute for Dementia Research & Prevention at Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Dr. Katie Cherry at LSU’s Adult Development and Aging Laboratory. These projects include:
- Exploring associations between depression, cognition, and everyday functioning in healthy older adults and those with mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
- Examining the relationship between intraindividual variability in cognition and everyday functioning in older adults with and without cognitive decline.
- Evaluating the role of positive neuropsychological factors (i.e., resilience, well-being, motivation) in relation to cognitive functioning and decline.
- Investigating the impact of driving behaviors and habits as early predictors of cognitive decline.
- Evaluating social, cognitive, emotional, physical factors that may contribute to everyday functioning in older Black adults.
- Examining impacts, influences, and barriers stemming from Covid-19 on wellbeing and research participation.
Technology, Assessment, and Neurological Rehabilitation
Technology plays an ever-increasing role in modern functional and neuropsychological assessment. Our lab is actively involved in a number of research studies aimed at creating and validating computerized tools for use within a variety of clinical populations. Collaborations in this area include the Computational Neuropsychology and Simulation Lab at Arizona State University led by Dr. Thomas Parsons. In a neurological rehabilitation context, we work with Dr. Lauren Rasmussen and Sage Rehabilitation Hospital & Outpatient Services to conducting studies that seek to better understand factors that impact rehabilitation outcomes of those with acquired brain injury. These projects include:
- Piloting virtual reality as a quality-of-life intervention for older adults in assisted living facilities.
- Investigating the effect of an intervention aimed at improving resilience and psychological adjustment after acquired brain injury.
- Exploring the impacts of metacognitive awareness and positive neuropsychological factors on adherence to treatment recommendations after acquired brain injury.
- Assessing the feasibility and utility of integrating virtual reality tools (virtual kitchen, driving simulation, and other daily activities) in an outpatient rehabilitation setting to better understand everyday functioning and improve outcomes (e.g., independence, quality of life) across various neurological populations.
- Exploring relationships between metacognitive ability and simulated driving performance in young adults with and without ADHD.
Performance Validity and Psychometrics
We are conducting studies looking at the psychometric properties of popular neuropsychological and psychological tests. Several of these studies are focused on performance validity tests. Some of this research involves using archival clinical data from the Psychological Services Center and Jefferson Neurobehavioral Group and data collection at the Baton Rouge Clinic. Current projects include:
- Examining associations between measures of noncredible performance and the MMPI-2-RF in clinical settings.
- Examining the clinical utility of memory-based performance validity tests in adult and pediatric psychoeducational evaluations.
- Examining the clinical utility of continuous performance tests and measures of executive functioning as embedded validity indicators in psychoeducational evaluations.
- Exploring the validity of existing neuropsychological measures in diverse clinical samples.
- Examining psychometric properties of self-report measures across the lifespan.
- Examining the psychometric properties of newer measures of performance validity such as the PdPVTS in pediatric psychoeducational evaluations.