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

Kristen M. Kennedy

Associate Professor
Program Head, Cognition and Neuroscience PhD

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


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 972-883-3739
Office: JO_3.308
Campus Mail Code: VP10
Website: Kennedy Neuroimaging of Aging and Cognition (KNAC) Lab


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. Her research is currently funded by an R01 from the National Institute on Aging. 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

Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals

Miranda, G. G., Rodrigue, K. M., Kennedy, K. M. (2018). Fronto-parietal cortical thickness mediates the effect of COMT Val158Met polymorphism on age-associated executive function. Neurobiology of Aging. (DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2018.08.027)

Kennedy, K. M., Foster, C. M., Rodrigue, K. M. (2018). Increasing beta-amyloid deposition in cognitively healthy aging predicts nonlinear change in BOLD modulation to difficulty. NeuroImage, 183, 142-149. Special Issue on Imaging the Nonpathological Brain. (DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.08.017)

Kennedy, K. M., Boylan, M. A., Rieck, J. R., Foster, C. M., & Rodrigue, K. M. (2017). Dynamic range in BOLD modulation: Lifespan aging trajectories and association with performance. Neurobiology of Aging, 60, 153-163. (DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.08.027).

Gerstenecker, A., Hoagey, D.A., Marson, D. C., Kennedy, K.M. (2017). White Matter Degradation is Associated with Reduced Financial Capacity in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 60 537-547. (DOI: 10.3233/JAD-170341).

Rieck, J. R., Rodrigue, K. M., Boylan, M. A., & Kennedy, K. M. (2017). Age-related Reduction of BOLD Modulation to Cognitive Difficulty Predicts Poorer Task Accuracy and Poorer Fluid Reasoning Ability. NeuroImage, 147, 262-271. (DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.12.022).

View more of Kristen Kennedy’s publications