Kendra Seaman, PhD, brings new lab, research to CVL

Kendra Seaman, PhD

This fall, the Center welcomed a new principal investigator, Kendra Seaman, PhD. Dr. Seaman will be establishing the Aging Well Laboratory – adding to our existing six research groups – and will also serve as assistant professor of psychology and cognitive neuroscience in UT Dallas’ School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Dr. Seaman’s research is focused on the intersections of learning, motivation and decision-making across the adult lifespan using a variety of behavioral, modeling and neuroimaging techniques.

“As demographics shift and our population grows older, the decision-making abilities of older adults have increasingly profound economic and social consequences,” Dr. Seaman said. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues and students at UT Dallas to understand better how aging does, or does not, influence decision-making. Armed with this knowledge, we can improve the health and well-being of older adults and those who care for them.”

Dr. Seaman comes to the CVL from Duke University, where she was a postdoctoral scholar in the Motivated Cognition and Aging Brain Lab with Gregory Samanez-Larkin, PhD. Prior to working with Dr. Samanez-Larkin, Dr. Seaman obtained masters and PhD degrees from The Catholic University of America. She has also served as a Teach For America corps member, teaching science at Frick Middle School in Oakland, California, and as a teacher and department chair at KIPP DC: KEY Academy in Washington, DC. She completed her BA in psychology and biology at the University of Kansas.

“We at the CVL are delighted to welcome Dr. Seaman as our newest principal investigator in the center,” said Michael Rugg, PhD, director of the CVL and Distinguished Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences at UT Dallas. “We are excited the research in the center will be expanding to include the effects of age on decision-making, including the important topic of financial decisions.”

Dr. Seaman was the presenter for the CVL’s Sept. 30 Fall Science Luncheon, a brown bag lunch series that takes place on Mondays at the CVL during the academic year. Her presentation for the series, “Modeling Value in Decision Making,” gave insight into a part of her current research on ways in which decision-making skills evolve in older adults in contexts such as trusting other individuals or deferring monetary and other rewards. The luncheon series is an opportunity for scientists to share their work with colleagues and students, and is simulcast live to the main UT Dallas campus. Dr. Seaman is also the featured speaker at the CVL’s fall Director’s Research Circle event.

For more information about Dr. Seaman’s Aging Well Lab at the CVL, visit the lab’s website,

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