Anna MacKay-Brandt, Ph.D.

Anna MacKay-Brandt, Ph.D.

Research Scientist
Clinical Evaluation Center

Dr. Anna MacKay-Brandt is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialized training in neuropsychology and geriatrics. She received her PhD from Washington University in St Louis and completed her clinical internship at the Warren Alpert Brown Medical School of Brown University. 

As a T32 NIMH postdoctoral fellow within the Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Taub Institute at Columbia University, her research focused on age-associated differences in executive control; cognitive and functional change associated with normative aging, health factors, and underlying Alzheimer’s disease; and interventional approaches to optimize cognition.

Dr. MacKay-Brandt’s research investigates biopsychosocial factors that affect cognitive performance and mental health within the context of the aging process. A goal of this work is to facilitate the development and translation of cognitive neuroscience advances to applications with clinical and public health utility. Multidisciplinary, open-science collaboration and the advancement of measurement tools are critical to further these goals and are the focus of current projects. Interventional approaches aimed to alter brain structure and function to optimize cognitive and mental health are concurrent lines of active research.


Select Publications

  • Mackay-Brandt A. Training attentional control in older adults. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn. 2011 Jul;18(4):432-51. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2011.568046. PubMed PMID: 21728889; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3671853.
  • Beaudreau SA, MacKay-Brandt A, Reynolds J. Application of a cognitive neuroscience perspective of cognitive control to late-life anxiety. J Anxiety Disord. 2013 Aug;27(6):559-66. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.03.006. Review. PubMed PMID: 23602352; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3762945.
  • Gross AL, Mungas DM, Crane PK, Gibbons LE, MacKay-Brandt A, Manly JJ, Mukherjee S, Romero H, Sachs B, Thomas M, Potter GG, Jones RN. Effects of education and race on cognitive decline: An integrative study of generalizability versus study-specific results. Psychol Aging. 2015 Dec;30(4):863-880. doi: 10.1037/pag0000032. Epub 2015 Nov 2. PMID: 26523693; PMCID: PMC4679562.
  • Stern Y, MacKay-Brandt A, Lee S, McKinley P, McIntyre K, Razlighi Q, Agarunov E, Bartels M, Sloan RP. Effect of aerobic exercise on cognition in younger adults: A randomized clinical trial. Neurology. 2019 Feb 26;92(9):e905-e916. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000007003. Epub 2019 Jan 30. PubMed PMID: 30700591; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6404470.
  • Stan J. Colcombe, Michael P. Milham, Anna MacKay-Brandt, Alex Franco, F. Xavier Castellanos, R. Cameron Craddock, Jessica Cloud. Relative Concentration of Brain Iron (rcFe) Derived from Standard Functional MRI (2019) bioRxiv 579763; doi: