• The Center mourns the loss of a dear friend and tireless CVL supporter. click here

  • CVL councilmember and benefactor’s life remembered in the Dallas Morning here

  • Aging-themed issue of Nautilus Magazine explores cognitive benefits of learning a new game such as chess, cites here

  • ‘Fitizen’ group at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas learns about research at CVL. click here

  • CVL research published in JoN finds that some memories persist in the face of strong interference. click here

  • Dr. Sara Festini’s research probes busyness levels and cognitive here

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CVl Annual Review

CVl Annual Review

Charting Our Progress is CVL’s annual review, with archives available

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Recent News

Decoding the Aging Brain

2018-12-14 |

Dec. 14, 2018 – APA Monitor on Psychology
New Paradigms in Predicting Cognitive Decline

CVL research takes the long view of aging, exploring cognitive structure and function across the life span.

Center for Vital Longevity Receives Over $5 Million for Aging Studies

2018-10-04 |

Oct. 4, 2018

Researchers at the Center for Vital Longevity at The University of Texas at Dallas recently received three federal grants totaling more than $5 million to start new projects or continue existing studies on the cognitive neuroscience of aging.

“These recent awards are a very welcome addition to the federal funding held by the center,” said Dr. Michael Rugg, Distinguished Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences and center director. “They will support important and urgently needed research and are a testimony to the talents of my colleagues and to the high quality of their research programs.”

Dr. Denise Park, Distinguished University Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences and director of research and the founder of the center, was awarded $1.2 million from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) for an ongoing project aimed at determining whether individuals can slow the rate at which their minds and brains age. Park initiated the Synapse Project eight years ago with NIA funding.

Read More

Separating Fact from Fiction in Preventing Alzheimer’s

2018-06-18 |

June 17, 2018 – The Washington Post
Busting 5 Myths about Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Denise Park takes on the top five myths about Alzheimer’s Disease, in her Washington Post perspective.

Study Suggests Ties Between Socioeconomic Status and Adult Brain

2018-05-21 |

May 14, 2018

Research has shown that a developing child’s brain structure and function can be adversely affected when the child is raised in an environment lacking adequate education, nutrition and access to health care.

While the impact of such an environment on children is relatively well understood, a new study from The University of Texas at Dallas examines an effect that is not so clear — the relationship of socioeconomic status (SES) to brain function and anatomy in adults. The study, led by researchers at the Center for Vital Longevity at UT Dallas, found that the adult brain may actually be sensitive to social and economic factors.

“We know that socioeconomic status influences the structure of the brain in childhood and older age, but there’s been a gap in the research. We wanted to see if there were relationships between SES and the brain across a wider range of adulthood,” said Dr. Gagan Wig, assistant professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at UT Dallas and corresponding author of the study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read More

How Income & Other Factors May Affect the Brain

2018-05-21 |

May 15, 2018 – The Atlantic Magazine
Dr. Gagan Wig Discusses How Lifelong Experiences and Socioeconomic Status May ‘Sculpt’ the Brain

Work published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences featured in the Atlantic Magazine.

Upcoming Events

/*2017-04-12 | */

Every two years, the Center for Vital Longevity hosts a Science Symposium aimed at attracting cognitive neuroscientists from across the the region for a full day of presentations organized around a theme. The last symposium was held in January 2018.



/*2017-04-12 | */

                                • Jan. 15, 2019

                                  Neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s

                                  TAMEST 2019 Annual Conference on Neuroscience and Brain Health

                                  Dr. Michael Rugg
                                  Center for Vital Longevity, UT Dallas


/*2016-12-15 | */

Every two years, the Center for Vital Longevity hosts the Dallas Aging and Cognition Conference (DACC). This biennial conference brings together scientists from across the world to share their latest findings and insights in the cognitive neuroscience of aging.

The next DACC will be held on Jan. 26 – 28, 2019, at the Dallas Marriott City Center, 650 N. Pearl St, Dallas, TX 75201. Complete information about the 2019 conference is available via the Dallas Aging & Cognition website here.

The DACC Program Archive:

2017 program

2015 program

2013 program

2011 program

2010 program


2019 Guest Speaker Chosen

/*2016-12-15 | */


SAVE THE DATE: The next Jean & Bill Booziotis Lecture will be held on April 25, 2019 at the Communities Foundation of Texas.

The guest speaker is Dr. Liz Phelps from New York University.

About the Lecture Series

The Jean & Bill Booziotis Distinguished Lecture occurs annually in April and is open to the public.

The aim of the lecture series is to highlight distinguished visitors in the area of cognitive neuroscience to Dallas, and to facilitate the spread of their knowledge and research through our community.

Another key aspect of the lectures is that they form part of CVL’s public education mission, particularly among young adults students interested in science.

The first Jean and Bill Booziotis Distinguished Lecture in 2014 featured Dr. John Jonides, a memory researcher at the University of Michigan who discussed evidence-based ways one can train the mind to improve cognitive function.

The second lecture in 2015 featured Dr. Claudia Kawas, a geriatric neurologist and researcher in the areas of aging and dementia, from the University of California, Irvine. In her lecture, she decribed the cognitive and health traits of the “Oldest Old” — people more than 90 years of age who are one of the fastest growing age groups in the United States.

The third lecture featured MIT’s Dr. John Gabrieli, who highlighted what principles of brain organization are consistent across individuals, and how brains vary across people due to age, personality, and other dimensions of individuality.

Dr. Marilyn Albert of Johns Hopkins was the fourth lecture speaker in 2017. Dr. Albert highlighted the challenges of accurately diagnosing Alzheimer’s, and distinguishing it from other age-related brain diseases and conditions that can affect memory and behavior.

The most 2018 lecture featured Dr. Adam Gazzaley, professor of neurology, physiology and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Gazzaley is also the founder of Neuroscape, a translational neuroscience center at UCSF that is developing novel brain assessment and optimization approaches.


Spring 2019 Science Luncheons

/*2016-12-04 | */

The Center for Vital Longevity’s Science Luncheon Series* is a program of weekly talks that brings together UT researchers and outside experts to talk about recent developments in cognitive neuroscience and aging research. All lectures take place at 12:00 p.m. in the 8th Floor Conference Room at the Center for Vital Longevity, 1600 Viceroy Drive, Dallas, TX. Please RSVP to For those unable to join us at CVL, the talks are routinely telecast to JO 4.306 in Richardson.


    • Feb. 4, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series

      Neuromodulatory Signaling in Motor Cortical Plasticity

      Dr. Katy Thorn
      School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, UT Dallas


      • Feb. 11, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series

        Blood Markers of Cognition in Health and Disease

        Dr. Mark Mapstone
        University of California, Irvine


    • Feb. 18, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series

      Cognitive & Socio-emotional Development After Repeated Exposure to General Anesthesia in Infant Rhesus Monkeys

      Mark Baxter
      Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai


  • Feb. 25, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series

    Social Cognition and Introspective Accuracy as Determinants of Functional Outcomes in Schizophrenia

    Dr. Amy Pinkham
    School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, UT Dallas


  • March 4, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series

    Understanding Memory Disorders: At the Level of Cognitive Process or Representational Content

    Dr. Morgan Barense
    University of Toronto


  • March 11, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series

    An attempt at explaining the relationship between BOLD deactivations, attentional control, and learning & memory

    Dr. Steve Nelson
    Waco VA Medical Center


  • April 1, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series

    Advancing Magnetic Seizure Therapy Through Translational Neurocognitive Science

    Dr. Shawn McClintock
    UT Southwestern Medical Center


  • April 8, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series

    Neurocognitive Aging: Investigating Contributions of Clinically Silent Pathology and Cognitive Reserve

    Dr. Brian Gold
    University of Kentucky


  • April 15, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series

    Metabolic Imaging of the Human Brain using 9.4T MRI: from Systems Architecture to Neuroscience

    Dr. Anke Henning
    UT Southwestern Medical Center


  • April 22, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series

    Age-related memory differences: What can and cannot be controlled

    Dr. Chris Foster
    Center for Vital Longevity, UT Dallas


  • April 26, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series


    Dr. Elizabeth Phelps
    New York University


  • April 29, 2019 | Science Luncheon Series

    The Good, the Bad, and the Forgotten: Emotional Memory across the Adult Lifespan

    Dr. Elizabeth Kensinger
    Boston College


*The Spring 2019 schedule can be downloaded here. Click here for the previous semester’s (Fall 2018) schedule. To access the archive of all CVL Science Luncheons since 2014, click here.