Harvard Department Of PsychiatryHarvard Medical School


Geriatric Neuropsychology Laboratory, Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center

VA Boston Healthcare: Jamaica Plain Campus

Regina McGlinchey-Berroth, Ph.D., William P. Milberg, Ph.D., and Christopher Brady, Ph.D

The Geriatric Neuropsychology Laboratory conducts a variety of projects concerned with the disruption of higher cognitive functions by diseases that primarily affect older adults. In the past our focus has been on understanding the nature of the semantic memory deficit in patients with Alzheimer's disease and how this form of dementia may be dissociated from dementia due to advanced cerebrovascular disease. In addition, the Geriatric Neuropsychology laboratory in concerned with identifying intact and impaired visual information processing in stroke patients with hemispatial neglect. Other basic cognitive neuroscience projects include associative learning using eyeblink classical conditioning paradigms in individuals with memory impairments secondary to medial temporal lobe damage and chronic alcoholism. The laboratory has recently focused on identifying early cognitive changes in executive function abilities in patients at risk for cerebrovascular disease. Within this focus, current projects include studies of healthy older veterans, community dwelling African-American adults in conjunction with the Harvard Claude D. Pepper Older American Independence Center, and the Nurses Health Study in collaboration with the Massachusetts Epidemiology and Information Center (MAVERIC). Lastly, the laboratory is devoted to the translation of basic research in cognitive neuroscience into clinically useful instruments and assessment techniques.

Key Words. Cerebrovascular Disease, Executive Functions, Dementia, Hemispatial Neglect, Neuropsychology, Associative Learning, Amnesia, Alcoholism.

Grant Support. Veterans Administration Merit Review: Analysis of Semantic Memory Deficits in Alzheimer's Disease (RMB, WM); VA Merit Review: Semantic Deficit Identification in Dementia (WM, RMB); VA Merit Review II: Cognitive Status in People at Risk for Cerebrovascular Disease (CB, WM, RMB); NIAAA (AA00187:29): Cognitive Deficits Related to Chronic Alcoholism (RMB); NIH NINDS (1P50NS26985) Component: Associative Learning in Amnesia (RMB); NIH NINDS (NS29342-01A3): Cognitive Processing in Hemispatial Neglect (WPM, RMB).

Project Sites. Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), VA Boston Healthcare System, Jamaica Plain Campus; Dept. of Neurology, Healthsouth Braintree Rehabilitation Behavioral Neurology Unit, Beth Israel Hospital, Hebrew Rehabilitation Home for the Aged;

Project Director. Regina McGlinchey-Berroth, Ph.D., GRECC (182JP), VA Boston Healthcare-JP, 150 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02459.

Contact Person. Regina McGlinchey, Ph.D. Tel. No. (617) 232-9500 x 2658. FAX. (617)278-4544. EMAIL. rmcglin@bu.edu.

Training Opportunities. Currently there are two pre-doctoral interns and one geropsychology post-doctoral fellow. There is usually one NIH funded Research Fellow but this position is currently vacant, three-four research associates. Supervision of medical fellows and graduate students is also available.

Representative Publications.

Milberg, W.P., McGlinchey-Berroth, R., Duncan, K.M., & Higgins, J. (1999). Alterations in the dynamics of semantic activation in Alzheimer's disease: Evidence for the Gain/Decay hypothesis of a disorder of semantic memory. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 5(7), 641-658.

McGlinchey-Berroth, R., Brawn, C.M. & Disterhoft, J.F. Temporal discrimination learning in severe amnesics reveals a deficit in the timing of eyeblink conditioned responses. Behavioral Neuroscience. 1999; 113: 1-9

Esterman, M., McGlinchey-Berroth, R., & Milberg, W. (2000). Parallel and Serial Search in hemispatial neglect: Evidence for preserved preattentive but impaired attentive processing. Neuropsychology, 14, 599-611.

Brady, CB, Spiro A, McGlinchey-Berroth, R, Milberg, W. (2001) Stroke Risk is Associated with Executive Function Decline J. Gerontology (In Press).

McGlinchey-Berroth, R., Brawn, C.M. & Disterhoft, J.F. Temporal discrimination learning in severe amnesics reveals a deficit in the timing of eyeblink conditioned responses. Behavioral Neuroscience. 1999; 113: 1-9.

Department Of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School - 2 West - Room 305 - 401 Park Drive - Boston, MA 02215