School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Kristen M. Kennedy

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Normal aging of human brain structure and function (using neuroimaging tools) and their cognitive consequences (using neuropsychological/cognitive assessments); health, lifestyle and genetic modifiers of these age-related changes in brain and cognition.

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Kristen Kennedy is known for her research in the area of cognitive neuroscience of aging, a field that studies the adult lifespan to determine which characteristics determine how well people age, both cognitively and neurally. Dr. Kennedy studies the ways in which healthy functioning of the brain relates to the aging of the brain’s structural health or integrity. Before integrating brain structure function to study aging, Dr. Kennedy’s major area of expertise was in understanding how brain structure (e.g., brain volume and white matter connectivity) was altered by aging and how it relates to cognitive performance. Dr. Kennedy is one of the few researchers to have been awarded a K99/R00 “Pathway to Independence” Award from the National Institute on Aging and she has received a dissertation research award by the American Psychological Association for her dissertation. Dr. Kennedy in 2012 was named a Young Research Fellow by the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and in 2013 was named a “Rising Star” by the American Psychological Society. She currently serves as an editor for the journal NeuroImage. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Hendrix College, a master’s degree at Emporia State University, and her PhD at Wayne State University.

Recent and Selected Representative Publications

Book Chapter

Kennedy, K. M., & Raz, N. A. W. Toga (Ed). Normal Aging of the Brain, Ch 68. In Brain Mapping: An Encyclopedic Reference. (2015). vol 3, ch 68, pp 603-617. Academic Press: Elsevier.

Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals

Kennedy, K. M., Reese, E., Horn, M., Sizemore, A., Unni, A., Meerbrey, M., Kalich, A., Rodrigue, K. M. (2015) Polymorphism Affects Aging of Multiple Types of Memory. Brain Research, Special Issue on Memory and Aging, 1612, 104-117.

Kennedy, K. M., Rodrigue, K. M., Bischof, G. N., Hebrank, A. C., Reuter-Lorenz, P. A., Park, D. C. (2015). Lifespan Age Trajectory Differences in Functional Brain Activation Under Conditions of Low and High Processing Demands. NeuroImage, 104, 21-34. PMC4252495