Kennedy Neuroimaging of Aging and Cognition Lab

The Kennedy Neuroimaging of Aging and Cognition (KNAC) lab is directed by Dr. Kristen Kennedy at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Center for Vital Longevity. Numerous factors influence the aging of the brain and in part determine how well we are able to age cognitively. The KNAC lab is interested in the neural, genetic and lifestyle factors that guide this process. Our research uses structural and functional neuroimaging techniques to investigate how the health of our brain’s structure supports the brain’s function and how these impact our cognitive performance as we age.

Dr. Kennedy’s currently funded research project involves investigating the role of white matter in the reorganization of age-related brain function using structural and functional imaging techniques. She is interested in understanding how the brain changes with age, both adaptively, and detrimentally, and how this knowledge might be used to stave off cognitive decline.

Keywords: neural, genetic, and lifestyle factors that affect normal aging, brain mapping, white matter, MRI techniques, age-related brain reorganization.

Lab News and Announcements


New Paper with Dr. Daugherty in NeuroImage

Genetic predisposition for inflammation exacerbates effects of striatal iron content on cognitive switching ability in healthy aging. 


Brain Activity Study Offers Potential Insight into Alzheimer’s Disease 

New research discusses the link between brain function and amyloid. 


Alzheimer’s study highlighted on Dallas Innovates - a media outlet centered on innovative and creative projects across the DFW area. 

DFW Alzheimer’s Researchers Examine Ethnicity, Financial Calculations. 


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Selected Publications

Webb, C. E., Hoagey, D. A., Foster, C. M., Rodrigue, K. M., & Kennedy, K. M. (2019). Contributions of BOLD modulation and white matter diffusivity to cognitive aging: A lifespan SEM study. Cerebral Cortex, 30 (3), 1649-1661. (DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhz193)

Kennedy, K. M., Boylan, M. A., Rieck, J. R., Foster, C. M., & Rodrigue, K. M. (2017). Dynamic range in BOLD modulation: Lifespan aging trajectories and association with performance. Neurobiology of Aging, 60, 153-163. (DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.08.027)

Gerstenecker, A., Hoagey, D.A., Marson, D. C., & Kennedy, K. M. (2017). White Matter Degradation is Associated with Reduced Financial Capacity in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 60, 537-547. (DOI: 10.3233/JAD-170341)

Rast, P. [^1], Kennedy, K. M. [^1], Rodrigue, K. M., Robinson, P.R.A.W., Gross, A.L., McClaren, D.G., Grabowski, T., Schaie, K.W., & Willis, S. L. (2017). APOEε4 Genotype and Hypertension Modify 8-year Cortical Thinning: Five Occasion Evidence from the Seattle Longitudinal Study. Cerebral Cortex, in press. *Shared first authorship. (DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhx099)

Rieck, J. R., Rodrigue, K. M., Boylan, M. A., & Kennedy, K. M. (2017). Age-related Reduction of BOLD Modulation to Cognitive Difficulty Predicts Poorer Task Accuracy and Poorer Fluid Reasoning Ability. NeuroImage, 147, 262-271. (DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.12.022)

Kennedy, K. M., Rieck, J. R., Boylan, M. A., & Rodrigue, K. M. (2017). Functional magnetic resonance imaging data of incremental increases in visuo-spatial difficulty in a large adult lifespan sample. Data in Brief, 11, 54-60. (DOI: 10.1016/j.dib.2017.01.004)

Kennedy, K. M., Reese, E., Horn, M., Sizemore, A., Unni, A., Meerbrey, M., Kalich, A., & Rodrigue, K. M. (2015). BDNF val66met Polymorphism Affects Aging of Multiple Types of Memory. Brain Research, 1612(0), 104-117. (DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2014.09.044) Download PDF

Kennedy, K. M., Rodrigue, K. M., Bischof, G. N., Hebrank, A. C., Reuter-Lorenz, P. A., & Park, D. C. (2015). Age trajectories of functional activation under conditions of low and high processing demands: an adult lifespan fMRI study of the aging brain. NeuroImage, 104, 21-34. (DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.09.056)

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