• 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

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.

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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.

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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.

Subjective Memory Could Play a Predictive Role in Signaling Cognitive Decline

2018-05-01 |

April 30, 2018

New research from the Center for Vital Longevity (CVL) at The University of Texas at Dallas suggests that subjective complaints about poor memory performance, especially in people over 60, could be a useful early marker for the onset of mild cognitive decline, which sometimes foreshadows Alzheimer’s disease.

Subjective memory is a person’s unscientific self-evaluation of how good his or her memory is, and whether, in that person’s opinion, there has been any worsening of memory through age. While some changes may be undetectable to others and are often too subtle to register on cognitive tests, the person subjectively believes that memory is slipping.

Published recently in Psychology and Aging, the research from Dr. Karen Rodrigue’s lab at CVL examined subjective memory complaints in nearly 200 healthy adults, ages 20 to 94. Previous studies suggest that subjective memory complaints are not necessarily indicative of cognitive decline, and may stem from underlying conditions such as anxiety and depression, which have been shown to impede memory.

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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 | */

                        • Nov. 10, 2018

                          Memory, Aging and the Brain: What Do We Know, and What Do We Need to Know?

                          University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

                          Dr. Michael Rugg
                          Center for Vital Longevity, UT Dallas


                            • Nov. 16, 2018

                              Are the Advantages of Chess Expertise on Visuo-spatial Working Memory Capacity Domain Specific or Domain General?

                              56th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, New Orleans

                              Dr. Chandramallika Basak
                              Center for Vital Longevity, UT Dallas


                                • Dec. 7, 2018

                                  Aging Brain & Plasticity

                                  Texas A&M University – Commerce

                                  Dr. Chandramallika Basak
                                  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


Dr. Adam Gazzaley Speaks at the Communities Foundation of Texas

/*2016-12-15 | */


“Technology Meets Neuroscience – A Vision of the Future of Brain Optimization”
Lecture was held Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Stay tuned for the 2019 series.

The fifth Jean & Bill Booziotis Distinguished Lecture featured Dr. Adam Gazzaley. Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and the Founder & Executive Director of Neuroscape, a translational neuroscience center engaged in technology creation and scientific research of novel brain assessment and optimization approaches. Dr. Gazzaley is also co-founder and Chief Science Advisor of Akili Interactive Labs, a company developing therapeutic video games, and co-founder and Chief Scientist of JAZZ Venture Partners, a venture capital firm investing in experiential technology to improve human performance. Additionally, he is a scientific advisor for over a dozen technology companies including Deloitte, Magic Leap and The VOID. He wrote and hosted the nationally-televised PBS special “The Distracted Mind with Dr. Adam Gazzaley”, and co-authored the 2016 MIT Press book “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World,” winner of the 2017 PROSE Award.


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 recent lecture in 2018 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.


Fall 2018 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.


    • Sept. 10, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

      Combining Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation with Cognitive Processing Therapy to Treat Combat-Related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

      Dr. Mike Motes
      School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, UT Dallas


      • Sept. 17, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

        Cultural Shaping of Emotional Processing: A Cultural Neuroscience Approach

        Dr. Jiyoung Park
        School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, UT Dallas


    • Sept. 24, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

      Age-related Differences in Event-related Potential Correlates of Episodic Encoding and Retrieval

      Erin Horne
      Center for Vital Longevity, UT Dallas


  • Sept. 27, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

    Altering Human Hippocampal Function Through Aging and Environmental Enrichment

    Dr. Craig Stark
    Univ. of California, Irvine


  • Oct. 1, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

    Cue Combination Within and Across the Senses

    Dr. Jeffrey Yau
    Baylor University


  • Oct. 8, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

    Linking Structure and Disease through Tau Prions

    Dr. Marc Diamond
    UT Southwestern Medical Center


  • Oct. 15, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

    Comparison of fMRI and Intracranial EEG Metrics of Successful Memory Encoding

    Dr. Paul Hill
    Center for Vital Longevity, UT Dallas


  • Oct. 22, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

    Brain Network Aging

    Dr. Gagan Wig
    Center for Vital Longevity, UT Dallas


  • Oct. 29, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

    Benefits of Physical Activity and Fitness on Memory Systems Affected by Aging

    Dr. Michelle Voss
    Univ. of Iowa


  • Nov. 12, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

    Decision-making in the Aging Brain

    Dr. Gregory Samanez-Larkin
    Duke University


  • Nov. 26, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

    The Dynamics of Hippocampal-Entorhinal Memory System in Mice

    Dr. Jun Yamamoto
    UT Southwestern Medical Center


  • Dec. 3, 2018 | Science Luncheon Series

    Cerebrovascular Contributions to Brain Aging and Dementia

    Dr. David Salat
    Harvard University


*The full Fall 2018 schedule is available for download here. Click here for the previous semester’s (Spring 2018) schedule. To access the archive of all CVL Science Luncheons since 2014, click here.

To see a listing of the ALL series taking place across the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, click here.