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Denise Cortis Park
Research Scientist-Faculty-Behavioral & Brain Sciences, Professor-Behavioral & Brain Sciences, School of
Office MailstopMail Box: CBH, Room No.: VP 8.09 
Email Address  dcp071000@utdallas.edu    Primary Phone Number 972-883-3255    URL UTD Webpage    Media Contact
 Professional Preparation
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 DegreeMajorInstitutionYear
 Ph.DExperimental PsychologyState University of New York at Albany1977
 B.A.PsychologyAlbion College1973
Collapse Section Expand Section Research and Expertise
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RESEARCH INTERESTS

Dr. Park focuses her research program on understanding how the mind changes and adapts as we age. She is interested not only in the function of the mind and brain, but in determining whether stimulation can maintain the health of the aging brain. She is also focusing on isolating a "neural signature" of middle-aged adults who will age with vitality versus those who are at greater risk of less adaptive cognitive aging.

Her research interests includes : 

  • The neuroscience of memory and aging
  • Cognitive neuroscience of aging, and culture
  • Cognition in medical settings and aging
  • Social cognition and aging
Collapse Section Expand Section Publications
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 2 3 4 Next>> 9>>  
  YearPublication  Type
in press
Park, D.C. & McDonough, I. (In press). The dynamic aging mind: Revelations from functional neuroimaging research. Perspectives in Psychological Science.
Other
in press
Kennedy, K.M., Rodrigue, K.M., Devous, M.D., Hebrank, A.C., Bischof, G.N. (in press). Beta-amyloid burden is associated with altered functional activation during encoding across the adult lifespan. Neuroimage.
Other
?
Grossmann, I; Na, J; Varnum, ME; Park, DC; Kitayama, S; Nisbett, RE. (in press). Reasoning about social conflicts improves into old age. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Category: National Academy of Sciences of the United States ...
Conference paper
2012
Peiying, L., Hebrank, A.C., Rodrigue, K.M., Kennedy, K.M., Park, D.C., & Lu, H. (2012). A comparison of physiologic modulators of FMRI signals. Human Brain Mapping
Other
2012
Park, J., Carp, J., Kennedy, K.M., Rodrigue, K.M., Bischof, G.N., Huang, C.M., Rieck, J.R., Polk, T.A., & Park, D.C. (2012). Neural broadening or neural attenuation? Investigating age-related dedifferentiation in the face network in a large lifespan sample. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 2154-2158.
Other
Collapse Section Expand Section Appointments
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DurationRankDepartment / SchoolCollege / OfficeUniversity / Company
2008-PresentDirector & Professor & University of Texas Regents Research ScholarCenter for Vital Longevity The University of Texas at Dallas
2008-PresentAdjunct Professor of PsychiatryPsychiatry The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
2008-2010T. Boone Pickens Distinguished ChairBrain Science The University of Texas at Dallas
2002-2004Cognitive Division Chair  The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2002-2007DirectorCenter for Healthy Minds The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2002-2007ProfessorBeckman Institute The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2002-2007ProfessorPsychology The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1995-2002ProfessorPsychology The University of Michigan
1995-2002Senior Research ScientistThe Institute for Social Research The University of Michigan
1989-1995ProfessorPsychology The University of Georgia
1989-1995ChairCognitive/Experimental Program The University of Georgia
1989-1995DirectorSoutheastern Center for Applied Cognitive Aging Research The University of Georgia
1985-1989Associate ProfessorPsychology The University of Georgia
1985-1989Associate DirectorGerontology Center The University of Georgia
1983-1985Associate ProfessorPsychology The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
1977-1983Assistant ProfessorPsychology The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
 Support
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 DurationTitleSponsorAmountStatus
2007-2012Active interventions for the aging mindNational Institute on Aging$1.461 millionCurrent
2009-2011Impact of Exercise and Engagement on Cognition in Older AdultsNational Institute on Aging Challenge Grant$1,000,000Current
2009-2011Competitive Supplement to Neuroimaging of Dedifferentiation and Memory across the LifespanNational Institute on Aging$800,000Current
2009-2011Administrative Supplement: Active Interventions for the Aging MindNational Institute on Aging$300,000Current
2006-2011Neuroimaging of dedifferentiation and memory across the lifespanNIH MERIT Award$2.71 millionCurrent
2009-2010Center for Healthy MindsNational Institute on Aging$350,000Current
2009-2010Deposition, Aging and Neurocognitive FunctionAlzheimer's Association IIRG.$200,000Current
2005-2010The cognitive neuroscience of aging and cultureNational Institute on Aging$2,100,000Current
 Neuroimaging of dedifferentiation and memory across the lifespanNational Institute on Aging$350,000Current
 News Articles
UT Dallas Researcher on International Panel Addressing Alzheimer’s Research
UT Dallas News Center

For the first time in 27 years, revised criteria for the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease have been published, along with a new research agenda for studying the earliest stages of the disease, before symptoms appear.
 
Three expert workgroups spearheaded by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association published their guidelines for clinicians and recommended research priorities in a series of articles available online April 19 and in the May 2011 print issue of Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
 
The guidelines mark a significant change in how experts think about and study Alzheimer’s, said Dr. Denise Park, co-director of UT Dallas’ Center for Vital Longevity, who served on the 21-member international workgroup responsible for laying out the new research agenda.

Brain Scientist Appears in PBS TV Series on Aging
UT Dallas News Center
Dr. Denise Park, director of UT Dallas’ newly formed Center for Vital Longevity, is a featured expert in a new public television documentary series exploring aging issues for baby boomers.
 
Park’s research is aimed at understanding how the mind changes and adapts as individuals age. She is interested not only in evaluating brain function but also in figuring out whether stimulation can maintain the health of aging brains.
 
The public television series, About Life (Part 2), is hosted by Robert Lipsyte, an Emmy winner and former New York Times columnist. The episodes include roundtable discussions, on-location field pieces, one-on-one interviews and video essays. Producers provide viewers with insights regarding health, finances, care giving, careers and other issues they will face as they pass into their senior years.

Twins Study Looks at Genetic Influences on Thinking
UT Dallas News Center
A groundbreaking study by UT Dallas’ Center for Vital Longevity is focusing on twins in an effort to answer some long-debated questions about the rival influences of nature vs. nurture.
 
Researchers are seeking participants for the Texas Twins Study, which tests the genetic component of neurocognitive development among young adults. The study uses functional MRI technology to investigate brain activity among pairs of identical and fraternal twins.
 
Dr. Denise Park, director of the Center for Vital Longevity, is conducting this work in collaboration with Dr. Thad Polk, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology at The University of Michigan.  

Prof Seeks Link Between Leisure and Brain Fitness
UT Dallas News Center
How can older adults stave off cognitive decline as they age? Can taking up hobbies improve cognitive function as we get older? UT Dallas neuroscientist Dr. Denise Park, one of the nation’s leading experts on the aging brain, is conducting a National Institutes of Health-funded study to find answers.
 
To find what it takes to improve brain function in older people, Park, a UT System Regent’s Research Scholar and the T. Boone Pickens Distinguished University Chair in Clinical Brain Science, has recruited 400 Dallas residents over age 60 to participate in her “Synapse – Actively Engaging the Aging Mind” study. Synapse is designed to provide one of the first large-scale scientific investigations of the impact of stimulating leisure activities on the aging brain.

Denise Park Named T. Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair in Clinical Brain Science at UT Dallas
UT Dallas News Center
Dr. Denise Cortis Park, a talented scientist in the booming field of cognitive research of the aging, will join The University of Texas at Dallas in January as the T. Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair in Clinical Brain Science.
 
The $2 million endowed chair is part of the University's School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, headed by Dr. Bert Moore. Park, who also will hold the title Regents' Research Scholar, will work closely with researchers in UT Dallas' Center for BrainHealth.
 
Park's professional areas of interest include the neuroscience of memory and aging, as well as how cultural differences may affect patterns of neural activation. She is particularly interested in whether stimulating cognitive and social experiences can enhance brain function in older adults.

Prof Is Tapped to Monitor National Women’s Study
Read More...
Dr. Denise Park, director of the Center for Vital Longevity at The University of Texas at Dallas, has been appointed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to serve on the Observational Study Monitoring Board for the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI).
 
Launched by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1991, the Women's Health Initiative was a 15-year, multimillion-dollar endeavor, and one of the largest U.S. studies of its kind. It was designed to gather critical data on diseases affecting women, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis. The WHI originally consisted of a set of clinical trials and an observational study, which together involved nearly 162,000 women across the U.S.
 
In 2010 the NIH extended the program through 2015, with some changes in focus. During this renewal period, researchers will continue to study many chronic diseases of aging, but they also will focus on age-related cardiovascular conditions, cognition and predictors of healthy aging.

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 Additional Information
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AWARDS AND HONOR SOCIETIES
  • Summa Cum Laude Graduate of Albion College
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Albion College Fellow
  • Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society
  • Recipient of the William Owens Award given to the outstanding social and behavioral researcher at the University of Georgia, 1995
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Albion College, 1997
  • Faculty Research Award, University of Michigan, 1998, College of Literature, Science and The Arts
  • Distinguished Contribution Award to Psychology of Aging, Division 20, Adult Development and Aging, American Psychological Association, August 2002.
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Fellow, American Psychological Association, Div. 1, 3, 20
  • Fellow, Gerontological Society of America
  • Fellow, American Psychological Society
  • NIH MERIT Award, "Neuroimaging dedifferentiation in the aging mind," 2006-2015
  • "2008 Best Article Award" from the Association for Consumer Research

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Society
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • International Association of Applied Psychology
  • Psychonomic Society
  • Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
  • Society for the Study of Human Development
  • Fellow American Psychological Association
  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Sciences (APS)

MAJOR NATIONAL AND INTERNATONAL COMMITTEES
  • Chair, External Advisory Committee (Beirat) for the Max Planck Center for Human Development, Berlin, Germany, 2006-2008
  • Chair, Cognition & Perception Review Panel, National Institutes of Health, 2003-2005
  • Board of Directors, American Psychological Society, 2002-2005.
  • Committee on a Research Agenda for Social Psychology, The National Academies of Sciences, 2002-2004.
  • Chair, The Beirat (external evaluation committee), The Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. 2004-present.
  • Presidential Task Force on Scientific Affairs, American Psychological Association, 2000-2001.
  • Chair, Board of Scientific Affairs, American Psychological Association, 1998-1999, Member, 1997-2000
  • Committee on Aging, The American Psychological Association, 1996-1997
  • Chair, National Institute of Health, Mental Disorders of Aging Study Section, 1995-1997, Member, 1993-1997
  • Chair, American Psychological Society, 1995 National Meeting, June 30-July 2, New York
  • Council of Representatives, American Psychological Association 1994-1997, Division 20 Representative
  • Chair, American Psychological Association Science Initiative, 1994-1995
  • Chair, The Human Capital Initiative, American Psychological Society, "Vitality for Life: Productive Aging and Psychological Research, a component of the Human Capital Initiative," APS, 1992-1993
  • President, Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging), American Psychological Association; 1991-1992

OTHER NATIONAL COMMITTEES
  • Task Force on Aging Report (TFAR), 1994-1995. Member of Advisory Board
  • Interim Advisory Science Committee of the American Psychological Association, 1994
  • American Psychological Society, Program Committee, 1994
  • Federation of Behavioral, Psychological & Cognitive
  • Sciences Member, Sciences Seminar Committee, 1993
  • 1995Membership Committee, Division 20, 1989-1991
  • Network Committee, Division 1, 1987 to 1994
  • Science, Leaders Council, American Psychological Association, 1997-present
  • Chair, Science Forum Committee, Federation of Cognitive and Behavioral Scientists, 1997-present
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences Board, The Gerontological Society of American; 1996-2000 Election Committee, Division 1, 1987
  • Continuing Education Committee, Division 20, 1986-1989
  • Program Committee, Division 20, 1986, 1987
  • Elections Committee, Division 20, 1986
  • Member at large, Division 1 (General Psychology), 1985-1991
  • Elections Committee, Division 1, 1985, 1988
  • Program Committee, Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging), 1985
  • Executive Committee, Division 20, 1984-1997
  • Network Committee, Division 20, 1983
  • Election Committee, Division 20, 1982
  • Program Committee, Division 20, 1982
  • Program Committee, Division 1, 1982

Conferences Organized (since 1995)
  • Dallas-ACC (Aging & Cognition Conference), Dallas, TX, January 2010.
  • Second Symposium on Neuroscience, Aging & Cognition, Sponsored by the University of Illinois and Duke University, New York, NY, April 2003
  • Symposium on Neuroscience, Aging & Cognition, Funded by National Science Foundation & National Institute on Aging, San Francisco, CA. April 2002
  • Conference on Following Your Doctor's Instructions: Cognitive and Social Psychological Perspectives, Funded by National Institute on Aging, St. Pete Beach, Florida, February 2002
  • Conference on Human Factors Interventions for the Health Care of Older Adults, Funded by National Institute on Aging, Destin, Florida, February 2000
  • Conference on Aging and Communication: Opportunities and Challenges of Technology, Funded by German-American Academic Council Foundation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 1999
  • Conference on Elderly - Their Health and Functioning, Funded by German-American Academic Council Foundation, Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany, December 1998
  • Conference on Cognition, Aging, and Survey Measurement, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, February 1997
  • Conference on Medical Information Processing and Aging, Funded by National Institute on Aging, Destin, Florida, February 1997

Editorships
  • Science Editor, The American Psychologist, 1996 to present
  • Associate Editor, The Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 1995 to 1997

Editorial Boards and Review Committees
Member, Editorial Board:
  • Cognition, Aging, & Neuropsychology, 1998-present
  • Gerontology, 1998-present
  • Journal of Gerontology, 1984 to 1996
  • Psychology and Aging, 1988 to 1997
  • Perspectives on Psychological Science
Ad hoc reviewer for numerous journals.

Study Section Membership
  • Chair, Cognition and Perception Study Section, National Institutes of Health, 2003-2006
  • Member, Study Section, Cognition and Perception Study Section, National Institutes of Health, October 2001 to October 2003
  • Chair, Study Section, Mental Disorders of Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, 1994 to 1996
  • Member, Study Section, Mental Disorders of Aging, NIMH, June 1992 to 1994
  • Member, Study Section, SBIR Vision Review Committee for the NIH, October 1994
  • Member, Site Visit Team for University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer's Center, National Institute on Aging, October 1994
  • Member, Special Study Section, National Institute of Health, Vision/Diabetes SBIR Grants, March 1993
  • Ad Hoc Member, Study Section, National Institute of Mental Health Clinical Psychopathology Review Committee, February 1993
  • Ad Hoc Member, Study Section, MRS Biomedical Research Special Review Panel, NIH, April 1991
  • Ad Hoc Member, Study Section, National Institute of Mental Health Epidemiologic & Services Research, 1987

PERSONAL STATEMENT

Denise Park, PhD, moved from the Psychology Department at the University of Illinois to The University of Texas at Dallas, where she is the founder and co-director of the Center for Vital Longevity, as well as a University of Texas Regents Research Scholar.

She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; received the American Psychological Association's award for Distinguished Contributions to the Psychology of Aging, and recently served on the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Society. She has an NIH Merit Award for her research and also directs an NIA Roybal Translational Research Center on Aging. She has chaired, in the past, the NIMH study section on the Mental Disorders of Aging and most recently chaired the NIH Cognition and Perception Study Section.


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