Research Participants

At any given time, the lab has several projects currently recruiting. All of our projects relate to cognitive aging and various mitigating factors that alter it's course (e.g., neural substrates, blood markers, genetic markers, training).

The ‘Aging Brain’ Study

This is our main project, funded by the National Institute on Aging. In this longitudinal investigation, we study how the relationship between cognitive skills and structural properties of the brain changes over time, and how physiological and genetic variables associated with cardiovascular risk affect it. We obtain information about the brain from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and evaluate risk for vascular disease by studying blood markers such as cholesterol and glucose.

This longitudinal study involves two separate visits of approximately two hours each that are repeated every other year for at least five years, and an MRI visit of about two hours every year for the study duration. Participants complete tests of memory, spatial ability, problem solving, and word knowledge in both paper-and-pencil and computer formats. The cognitive testing is conducted at our laboratory on Wayne State University Detroit campus, and the MRI and blood work are performed at the Wayne State University School of Medicine facilities. The participants are compensated for their time at a rate of $15/hour. To qualify for the study you must be 50 years of age and older, right-handed, a native English speaker, and free of cardiovascular, neurological, or psychiatric disease.

The 'Cognitive Training" Study

This is a pilot study funded by the President's Research Enhancement Program at Wayne State University. In this intervention study, participants will be randomly assigned to either control or cognitive training groups. Both groups will complete pre-, mid-, post- and one-year follow-up assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. These assessments will involve approximately 3 hours of cognitive testing on tests of memory, problem solving, and word knowledge in both paper-and-pencil and computer formats, as well as a structural MRI of the brain. In addition to these assessments, the intervention group will complete two cognitive training sessions per week for a total of 10 weeks. The cognitive training sessions are conducted on the computer and are approximately one hour in length per visit. Participants are compensated for their time for all activities at a rate of $12/hour. To qualify for the study you must be between the ages of 50 and 70 years old, a native English speaker, and free of cardiovascular, neurological, or psychiatric disease.

To hear additional information about any of our studies or to apply to participate, please call the Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging Laboratory at 313-664-2649.