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

Karen M. Rodrigue

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Understanding factors that contribute to individual differences in brain and cognitive aging over the lifespan, utilizing neuropsychology assessment, structural and functional MRI and PET imaging techniques

Curriculum Vitae


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 972-883-3738
Office: VP_8.20
Campus Mail Code: VP10
Website: Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging Lab


Dr. Karen Rodrigue is a leading researcher in the area of age-related changes in the brain in healthy aging and their impact on cognitive performance, as well as the study of the health modifiers of the neurocognitive aging process. Dr. Rodrigue recently examined the role of amyloid-beta deposition in non-pathological aging and investigated the effects of genetic risk and vascular risk factors on the accumulation of this Alzheimer’s disease biomarker. She is known for her cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of structural changes in the aging brain, the impact of hypertension on brain and cognitive health, and for studying the role of brain iron accumulation with aging. Dr. Rodrigue has been awarded a K99/R00 “Pathway to Independence” Award from the National Institute on Aging and, in 2007, her dissertation work on brain iron accumulation in aging was recognized with a Dissertation Research Award from the American Psychological Association. In 2013, Dr. Rodrigue was named a “Rising Star” by the American Psychological Society. She received her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University, her master’s degree from Emporia State University, and her PhD from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Recent and Selected Representative Publications

Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals

Daugherty, A. M., Hoagey, D. A., Kennedy, K. M., Rodrigue, K. M. 2018. Genetic predisposition for inflammation exacerbates effects of striatal iron content on cognitive switching ability in healthy aging. NeuroImage, 185, 471-478.

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.

Both hyper- and hypo-activation to cognitive challenge are associated with increased beta-amyloid deposition in healthy aging: A nonlinear effect. Foster CM, Kennedy KM, Horn MM, Hoagey DA, Rodrigue KM. Neuroimage. 2017 Nov 13;166:285-292. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.10.068. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29108941.

Differential Aging Trajectories of Modulation of Activation to Cognitive Challenge in APOE ϵ4 Groups: Reduced Modulation Predicts Poorer Cognitive Performance. Foster CM, Kennedy KM, Rodrigue KM. J Neurosci. 2017 Jul 19;37(29):6894-6901. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3900-16.2017. Epub 2017 Jun 26. PMID: 28652414.

Dynamic range in BOLD modulation: lifespan aging trajectories and association with performance. Kennedy KM, Boylan MA, Rieck JR, Foster CM, Rodrigue KM. Neurobiol Aging. 2017 Dec; 60:153-163. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.08.027. Epub 2017 Sep 5. PMID: 28946019.