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School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences - The University of Texas at Dallas

Denise Park


Denise Park


Co-Director, Center for Vital Longevity;
UT Regents' Research Scholar;
Distinguished University Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences

PhD, State University of New York at Albany

Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging


VP 8.09

972-883-3255 phone email


Center for Vital Longevity website
















About Denise Park


Denise Park received her PhD from the State University of New York at Albany in 1977. She is the Co-Director of the Center for Vital Longevity, Distinguished University Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and Regents' Research Scholar at UT Dallas. Park is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America. She received the APA Distinguished Contribution Award in the Psychology of Aging; she has chaired the Board of Scientific Affairs of the APA and been a member of the Board of Directors of the APS. She has chaired two NIH study sections. In 2006, she received an NIH MERIT Award for her cognitive neuroscience of aging research, an award made to less than 5% of all NIH grantees.


Research Interests


Dr. Park's primary research focus is on (a) understanding the neural mechanisms that account for age-related cognitive decline, and (b) determining how enriching and cognitive demanding experiences can facilitate cognitive health, thus delaying brain aging and the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Park has also pioneered research in cultural neuroscience, focusing on understanding how cultural experiences sculpt neural function and behavior in both old and young adults.


Recent Publications


Park, D.C., Lodi-Smith, J., Drew, L.M., Haber, S.H., Hebrank, A.C., Bischof, G.N., & Aamodt, W. (2013). The impact of sustained engagement on cognitive function in older adults: The Synapse Project. Psychological Science. 25(1), 103-112. PMCID: 24214244.


Park, D.C. & McDonough, I. (2013). The dynamic aging mind: Revelations from functional neuroimaging research. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 8, 62-67.


Rodrigue, KM; Rieck, JR; Kennedy, KM; Devous, MD; Diaz-Arrastia, R; Park, DC. (2013). Risk Factors for β-Amyloid Deposition in Healthy Aging: Vascular and Genetic Effects. JAMA neurology, : 1-7.