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

Denise C. Park

Director of Research, Center for Vital Longevity
Distinguished University Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences
UT Regents’ Research Scholar

Research Interests

Cognitive neuroscience of aging; preclinical Alzheimer’s disease; effect of an engaged lifestyle on cognition; cultural neuroscience

Curriculum Vitae


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 972-883-3255
Office: VP_8.09
Campus Mail Code: VP 10
Website: Park Aging Mind Laboratory


Dr. Denise Park is Distinguished University Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she founded the Center for Vital Longevity and is now Director of Research. She has held previous appointments as Professor of Psychology at the University of Georgia, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois. Her research career has been focused on the study of normal aging. At present, through her work on the Dallas Lifespan Brain Study, she is focused on isolating a neural footprint early in the lifespan that identifies future cognitive resilience and cognitive decline with age. She is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Psychological Sciences (APS). She has received both the Distinguished Research Contribution Award (2002) and the Distinguished Mentorship Award (2015) from the Division of Adult Development of Aging of the APA. She was elected President of this Division in 1991 and also chaired the Board of Scientific Affairs of the APA. She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Association for the APS. She has chaired two NIH study sections and presently serves on one. She holds a MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging and has received continuous support of her research from the NIA for over 30 years. For a brief summary of Dr. Park’s research interests and scientific contributions please see her NIH Biosketch.

Recent and Selected Representative Publications


Farrell M.E., Chen X., Rundle M.M., Chan M.Y., Wig G.S., Park D.C. (2018) Regional amyloid accumulation and cognitive decline in initially amyloid-negative adults. Neurology 91, 1809-1820

Festini, S. B., McDonough, I. M., Park, D. C. (2016). The busier the better: Greater busyness is associated with better cognition. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 8,(98). doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00098

McDonough, IM; Haber, S; Bischof, GN; Park, DC. (2015). The synapse project: Engagement in mentally challenging activities enhances neural efficiency. Restorative neurology and neuroscience, 33(6), 865-82.

Park, D.C., & Farrell, M. (2015). Amyloid deposition and progression toward Alzheimer’s disease. In Schaie, W.K. and Willis, S. (Eds.)Handbook of the Psychology of Aging: Eighth Edition. New York: Elsevier.

Rieck, JR; Rodrigue, KM; Kennedy, KM; Devous, MD; Park, DC. (2015). The effect of beta-amyloid on face processing in young and old adults: A multivariate analysis of the BOLD signal. Human brain mapping.

Reuter-Lorenz, P.A., Park, D.C. (2014). How does it STAC Up? Revisiting the Scaffolding Theory of Aging and Cognition. Neuropsychology Review, 24(3), 355-70.

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