It is recognized that cognitive changes may occur in aging, ranging from subtle alterations to frank dementia. Detecting and characterizing these cognitive changes, as well as understanding their physiologic basis, diagnostic implication and functional correlates has been a major and growing research domain. Neuropsychology and cognitive psychology clearly play a major role in this research. We have established a 2 to 3-year training program designed to give the trainee a solid research background in the cognition and neuropsychology of aging. To date, the program supports 2 trainees at any one time. We propose to increase this to 3 trainees. The trainee is exposed to and participates in studies utilizing a broad range of interrelated research approaches, including classic neuropsychological evaluation, experimental cognitive techniques, neuroepidemiology, and cognitive neuroimaging. The primary emphasis is on fostering the skills needed to formulate and carry out research, and to report findings in peer-reviewedjournals. Primary training comes through the trainee-preceptor relationship. Formal classes and seminars plus opportunities for more informal training are available. Trainees are encouraged to avail themselves of the expertise of the entire program faculty. While our goal is not to train clinicians, we include some clinical training because this area requires specialized clinical skills and much good research stems from astute clinical observation. The Cognitive Neuroscience Division at the Sergievsky Center and Taub Institute is uniquely equipped to provide the proposed training. Its strengths include a wide range of faculties expertise and ongoing research, diversity of patient and normal elderly populations available for research and clinical training, a strong emphasis on multicultural research, and expertise of faculty members available for consultation.

Public Health Relevance

This proposed training program will equip trainees with the skills to make major contributions to our knowledge in the areas of neuropsychology and cognition in aging and dementia. Given the projected increases in older individuals, increased understanding of the nature, causes, and consequencesof cognitive changes in aging and diseases of aging will be crucial and will be required for developing or testing any new interventions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-7 (J4))
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Wagster, Molly V
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Columbia University (N.Y.)
Schools of Medicine
New York
United States
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