PhD, Wayne State University
Healthy Aging of Brain Structure, Function and Cognition
VP 815a, JO 3.308
Dr. Kennedy received her BA in psychology from Hendrix College, her MS in clinical psychology from Emporia State University in Kansas, and her PhD in psychology from Wayne State University in Michigan.
Prior to her faculty appointment, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Denise Park, co-director of the Center for Vital Longevity. In 2010, Dr. Kennedy received a prestigious Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institute on Aging, a highly competitive 5-year career-development grant given to only a handful of recipients each year. Her dissertation work was recognized by a Dissertation Research Award by the American Psychological Association. Most recently, she was named a Young Research Fellow by the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, one of only two young scientists to receive the honor in 2012.
Numerous factors influence the aging of the brain and in part determine how well we are able to age cognitively. I am interested in the neural, genetic and lifestyle factors that guide this process. My research uses structural and functional neuroimaging techniques to investigate how the health of our brain's structure supports the brain's function and how these impact our cognitive performance as we age.
Dr. Kennedy's current research project involves investigating the role of white matter in the reorganization of age-related brain function using structural and functional imaging techniques. I am interested in understanding how the brain changes with age, both adaptively, and detrimentally, and how this knowledge might be used to stave off cognitive decline.
Kennedy, K. M., Rodrigue, K.M., Devous, M.D., Sr., Hebrank, A.C., Bischof, G. N., & Park, D.C. (2012). Effects of beta-amyloid accumulation on neural function during encoding across the adult lifespan. NeuroImage, 62, 1-8.
Rodrigue, K. M. & Kennedy, K. M. (2011). The cognitive consequences of structural changes to the aging brain. In K. W. Schaie, S. L. Willis (Eds.) Handbook of the Psychology of Aging, 7th ed., Ch 5, 73-92, New York: Elsevier.
Kennedy, K.M. & Raz, N. (2009). Aging White Matter and Cognition: Differential Effects of Regional Variations in Diffusion Properties on Memory, Executive Functions, and Speed. Neuropsychologia, 47(3), 916-927.