My research program examines the interplay between brain and body fitness in the promotion of health. I use brain imaging methods to explore how neural network dynamics are affected by physical exercise and cognitive interventions for young adults, healthy older adults, and older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A key question is whether cognitive-physical interventions target a particular cognitive ability or generalize to everyday functioning. This work leads to two important clinical applications: (1) to establish neural biomarkers as screening protocols for the early detection of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and other dementias; and (2) to understand how lifestyle choices such as exercise can be used for disease prevention.
Clark, I.B., Vandermorris, S., Heisz, J.J. (accepted). Physical fitness and sociocognitive engagement are associated with different aspects of cognition in older adults. Journal of American Geriatric Society.
Heisz, J.J., Vandermorris, S., Zhengbo, W., McIntosh, A.R., and Ryan, J.D. (accepted). Age-dependent differences in the association of physical activity, sociocognitive engagement, and TV viewing on face memory. Health Psychology.
|PostDoc Fellow||Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest||2010-2013|