Brain Aging and Mental Health

The Brain Aging and Mental Health lab uses psychometric approaches to understand brain-behavioral relationships in the context of the aging process to inform mental health outcomes across the lifespan.

From a neuropsychology of aging perspective, we focus on the measurement of cognition using experimental and standardized clinical instruments to consider the biopsychosocial factors that affect cognitive performance and other mental health outcomes. A goal of our lab is to facilitate the translation of cognitive neuroscience advances to applications with clinical and public health utility. We collaborate on multidisciplinary open-science neuroimaging characterization studies aimed to deeply phenotype community samples and use experimental and interventional approaches to examine neural systems underlying cognitive and mental health behaviors and neurocognitive plasticity.

For more information about the NKI Rockland Sample open-science initiative see

Current Investigations

Advance the development of cognitive measurement across experimental and clinical assessment tools, including feasibility and validation of emerging tools.

Center for Brain Imaging and Neuromodulation collaborations:

Examine brain structural and functional features that change with age, are modified by health and contextual factors, and may confer risk or resilience to cognitive decline / mental illness.
Support the development of and access to open-science data sharing resources to advance a cognitive neuroscience informed understanding of mental health.
Test interventional approaches aimed to alter brain structure and function to optimize cognitive and mental health.

Stan Colcombe, PhD (Director, Design Acquisition and Neuromodulation Laboratories, NKI)
Sherry Beaudreau, PhD (PI, Mental Health, Neurocognition, & Treatment in Older Adults lab, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System; Clinical Professor (Affiliated), Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine)
Jessica Mingus, LMSW (Co-Executive Director, Lineage Project)
Khena Swallow, PhD (Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Cornell University)

Training Opportunities

Onsite and remote practical training opportunities are available for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level trainees.

Past and current lab trainees:

Andrea Suazo, Grinnell College ’24
Alyssa DiFalco, St. John’s University ’23
Kai Xuan Gan, UCLA ’23
Clare Culver, Fordham University ’23
Samantha Hutchinson, Skidmore College ’22
Amanda Alburquerque, Binghamton University ’23
Malvina Pietrzykowski, Eastern Connecticut State University ’19, Suffolk University, PhD in Psychology ’25
Galen Cassidy, Williams College ’22, University of Texas Austin, PhD in Psychology ’26
Diviya Rajesh, Columbia University ’20, Harvard Medical School ’24
Gwyneth Malloy, Williams College ’20, Yale University School of Medicine ’25