Kristy Nielson, Ph.D.

Nielson headshot
Kristy Nielson, Ph.D.Marquette University

Cramer Hall, 317

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-1796

Professor

Psychology

Dr. Nielson enjoys volleyball and all things sports, music, guitar, cooking, cats and dogs, travel, great food and drink, and Milwaukee Bungalows.

Research Lab: Aging, Imaging and Memory Lab (AIM)

Education

Ph.D., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1992

Post-doctoral Fellow, Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia, University of California, Irvine, 1993-1996 

Courses Taught

Dr. Nielson's teaching interests include experimental psychology and research design; cognition; brain and behavior; adult development and aging; psychopharmacology; and neuropsychology and neurological disease.

Research Interests

Dr. Nielson's research interests include cognition, psychobiology and neuropsychology, specifically related to memory, attention, aging, dementia, and functional MRI. She principally studies how memories are enhanced or impaired, how aging affects memory, the prediction of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease using fMRI and risk factors, and methods to enhance memory and performance across the lifespan in environments such as classrooms and at work.

Selected Publications

  • memory and reduces false memory in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 144, 198-207.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2017.07.009.
  • Chirles, T.J., Reiter, K., Weiss, L.R., Alfini, A.J., Nielson, K.A., & Smith, J.C. (2017). Effects of a 12-week exercise intervention on connectivity of the posterior cingulate and precuneus in MCI and healthy elders. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 57, 845-856. DOI 10.3233/JAD-161151.
  • Kay, C.D., Seidenberg, M., Durgerian, S., Woodard, J.L., Nielson, K.A., Smith, J.C., & Rao, S.M. (2017). Motor timing intraindividual variability in elders at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. doi:10.1080/13803395.2016.1273321. Online Jan 4, 2017.
  • Reiter, K., Nielson, K.A., Durgerian, S., Woodard, J.L., Smith, J.C., Seidenberg, M., Kelly, D.A., and Rao, S.M. (2017).  Five-year longitudinal changes in brain volumes in healthy elders at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 55 (4), 1363-1377. doi:10.3233/JAD-160504, PMID:  27834774.
  • Reiter, K., Nielson, K.A., Durgerian, S., Woodard, J.L., Smith, J.C., Seidenberg, M., Kelly, D.A., and Rao, S.M. (2016). Five-year longitudinal changes in brain volumes in healthy elders at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease.In press, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Lancaster, M., Seidenberg, M., Durgerian, S., Smith, J.C., Nielson, K.A.,Woodard, J.L., & Rao, S.M. (2016). White matter integrity through Diffusion Tensor Imaging predicts future cognitive decline in individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. In press, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.
  • Smith, J.C., Lancaster, M.A., Nielson, K.A., Woodard, J.L., Seidenberg, M., Durgerian, S., Sakaie, K., & Rao, S.M. (2016). Interactive effects of physical activity and APOE e4on white matter tract diffusivity in healthy elders. Neuroimage, 131, 102-112. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.08.007. PMID:26265157. Online Aug 8, 2015.
  • Reiter, K., Nielson, K.A., Smith, T.J., Weiss, L.R., Alfini, A.J., & Smith, J.C. (2015). Improved cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with increased cortical thickness in Mild Cognitive Impairment. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 21 (10), 757-767. doi: 10.1017/S135561771500079X. PMC4822501.
  • Pereira, H.M., Spears, V.C., Schlinder-Delap, B., Yoon, T., Nielson, K.A., & Hunter, S.K. (2015). Age and sex differences in steadiness of elbow flexor muscles with imposed cognitive demand. European Journal of Exercise Physiology, in press.
  • Rao, S.M., Bonner-Jackson, A., Nielson, K.A., Woodard, J.L., Seidenberg, M., Smith, J.C., & Durgerian, S. (2015). Genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease alters the 5-year trajectory of semantic memory activation in cognitively intact elders. Neuroimage, 111, 136-146.  doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.02.011.
  • Pereira, H.M., Spears, V.C., Schlinder-Delap, B., Yoon, T., Harkins, A., Nielson, K.A., Hoeger-Bement, M., & Hunter, S.K. (2015). Sex differences in arm muscle fatigability with cognitive demand in older adults. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 473 (3), online 2/25/15. DOI 10.1007/s11999-015-4205-1. PMID: 25712862.
  • Hazlett, K. E., Figueroa, C. M., & Nielson, K.A. (2015).  Executive functioning and risk for Alzheimer disease in the cognitively intact: family history predicts Wisconsin Card Sorting Test Performance. Neuropsychology, in press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/neu0000181.
  • Yoon, T., Vanden Noven, M., Nielson, K.A., & Hunter, S.K. (2014). Brain areas associated with force steadiness and intensity during isometric ankle dosiflexion in men and women. Experimental Brain Research, 232(10): 3133-3145. 10.1007/s00221-014-3976-z. PMID: 24903120.
  • Dressaire, D., Stone, C., Nielson, K.A., Guerdoux, E., Martin, S., Grouillet, D. & Luminet, O. (2014). Alexithymia impairs the cognitive control of both negative and neutral emotional material in adults: a directed forgetting study. Cognition and Emotion 29, online May 23, 1-18, 2014. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2014.919898.
  • Vanden Noven, M., Pereria, H.M., Yoon, T., Stevens, A.A., Nielson, K.A., & Hunter, S.K. (2014). Large age-related motor variability during sustained contractions when cognitive demand is increased. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 6:97, doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2014.00097.
  • Smith, J.C., Nielson, K.A., Woodard, J.L., Seidenberg, M., Durgerian, S., Hazlett, K.E., Figueroa, C.M., Kandah, C.C., Kay, C.D., Mathews, M.A. & Rao, S.M. (2014).  Physical activity reduces hippocampal atrophy in elders at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 6:61, 1-7, DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00061.
  • Keller-Ross, M.L., Pereira, H.M., Pruse, J., Yoon, T., Schlinder-DeLap, B., Nielson, K.A., & Hunter, S.K. (2014). Stressor-induced increase in muscle fatigability of young men and women is predicted by strength but not voluntary activation. Journal of Applied Physiology 116(7), 767-778. DOI:10.1152/japplphysiol.01129.2013
  • Nielson, K.A., Wulff, L. & Arentsen, T.J. (2014). Muscle tension induced after learning enhances long-term narrative and visual memory in healthy older adults. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 109, 144-150. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2014.01.008.
  • Sugarman, M.A., Woodard, J.L., Nielson, K.A., Smith, J.C., Seidenberg, M., Durgerian, S., Norman, A., Hantke, N.C., & Rao, S.M. (2014).  Performance variability during a multitrial list-learning task as a predictor of future cognitive decline in healthy elders. J. of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 36(3), 236-43, doi: 10.1080/13803395.2013.877875.
  • Smith, J.C., Nielson, K.A., Antuono, P., Lyons, J.-A., Hanson, R.T., Butts, A.M., Hantke, N.C., and Verber, M.D. (2013). Semantic memory fMRI and cognitive functioning after exercise intervention in Mild Cognitive Impairment. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 37,197-215.
  • Seidenberg, M., Guidotti-Breting, L., Novitsky, J., Woodard, J.L., Nielson, K.A., Smith, J.C., Lancaster, M., Matthews, M., Hantke, N., Butts, A., & Rao, S.M. (2013). Recognition of famous names predicts episodic memory decline in cognitively intact elders. Neuropsychology, 27(3), 333-342.
  • Smith, J.C., Nielson, K.A., Woodard, J.L., Seidenberg, M., & Rao, S.M. Physical activity and brain function in older adults at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease (2013). Brain Sciences 3, 54-83; doi:10.3390/brainsci3010054.
  • Hantke, N., Nielson, K.A., Woodard, J.L., Guidotti-Breting, L.M., Butts, A.M., Seidenberg, M., Smith, J.C., Durgerian, S., Lancaster, M.A., Sugarman, M.A., Matthews, M., and Rao, S.M. (2012). Comparison of semantic and episodic memory BOLD fMRI activation in predicting cognitive decline in older adults. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 19, 11-21. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355617712000951; PMID: 23199565.
  • Nielson, K.A. & Arentsen, T.J. (2012). Memory modulation in the classroom: selective enhancement of college examination performance by arousal induced after lecture. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 98(1), 12-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2012.04.002
  • Woodard, J.L., Sugarman, M., Nielson, K.A., Seidenberg, M., Durgerian, S., Smith, J.C., Butts, A., Hantke, N.C., Lancaster, M., Matthews, M., and Rao, S.M. (2012). Lifestyle and genetic contributions to cognitive decline and hippocampal integrity in healthy aging. Current Alzheimer Research, 9(4), 436-446.
  • Sugarman, M.A., Woodard, J.L., Nielson, K.A., Seidenberg, M., Smith, J.C., Durgerian, S., & Rao, S.M. (2012). Functional magnetic resonance imaging of semantic memory as a presymptomatic biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease risk. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease, 1822(3), 442-456; available online 10/3/2011, doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2011.09.016.
  • Smith, J.C., Nielson, K.A., Woodard, J.L., Seidenberg, M., Durgerian, S., Antuono, P., Butts, A., Hantke, N.C., Lancaster, M.A., & Rao, S.M. (2011). Physical activity and semantic memory activation in Mild Cognitive Impairment. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 193, 60-62.
  • Arentsen, T.J., Bock, B., and Nielson, K.A. (2011). Individual differences associated with the repeated endorsement of post-event misinformation. In Bertrand, L.M. & Nielson, R.A. (Eds.)  Psychology of Individual Differences, New York: Nova Science Publishers. ISBN: 978-1-61209-926-2 (March, 2011).
  • Smith, J.C., Nielson, K.A., Butts, A., Hantke, N., Woodard, J.L., Seidenberg, M., Durgerian, S., Rao, S.M. (2011). Interactive effects of physical activity and APOE-ε4 on BOLD semantic memory activation in healthy elders. NeuroImage, 54, 635-644. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.07.070.
  • Meltzer, M.A. & Nielson, K.A. (2010). Memory for emotionally provocative words in alexithymia. Consciousness and Cognition 19, 1062-1068 doi:10.1016/j.concog.2010.05.008.
  • English, S. & Nielson, K. A. (2010). Reduction of the misinformation effect by arousal induced after learning. Cognition, 117, 237-242. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2010.08.014.
  • Woodard, J.L., Seidenberg, M., Nielson, K.A., Antuono, P., Durgerian, S., Zhang, Q., & Rao, S.M. (2010).  Prediction of 18-month cognitive decline in healthy older adults using functional MRI. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 21(3), 871-885, DOI 10.3233/JAD2010091693.
  • Nielson, K. A., Seidenberg, M., Woodard, J.L., Durgerian, S., Zhang, Q., Gross, W., Gander, A., Guidotti, L., & Rao, S.M.  (2010).  Common neural systems associated with the recognition of famous faces and names: an event-related functional-MRI study. Brain and Cognition, 72, 491-498. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2010.01.006, PMID: 20167415.
  • Nielson, K.A. & Meltzer, M. A. (2009). Modulation of long-term memory by arousal in alexithymia: the role of interpretation. Consciousness and Cognition, 18, 786-793. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2009.06.001
  • Seidenberg, M., Guidotti, L., Nielson, K.A., Woodard, J.L., Durgerian, S., Antuono, P., Zhang, Q., & Rao, S.M. (2009). Semantic memory activation in individuals at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology, 73, 612-620. This Week in Neurologyfeature, 8/25/09. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181b389ad
  • Woodard, J.L., Seidenberg, M., Nielson, K.A., Antuono, P., Guidotti. L., Durgerian, S., Zhang, Q., Lancaster, M., Hantke, N., Butts, A., & Rao, S.M. (2009). Semantic memory activation in amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Brain 132 (8), 2068-2078. doi:10.1093/brain/awp157
  • Nielson, K.A. & Lorber, W. (2009). Memory modulation by arousal after learning is influenced by arousal predisposition and emotion regulation but not by stimulus valence or arousal. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 92, 70-79. doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2009.03.002
  • Wright, S.L., Langenecker, S.A., Deldin, P.J., Rapport, L.J., Nielson, K. A., Kade, A.A., Own, L.S., Akil, H., Young, E.A., Zubieta, J.K. (2009). Gender-specific disruptions in emotion processing in younger adults with depression. Depression and Anxiety, 26(2), 182-189. doi:10.1002/da.20502
  • Seidenberg, M., Guidotti, L., Nielson, K.A., Woodard, J.L., Durgerian, S., Zhang, Q., Gander, A., Franczak, M., Antuono, P., & Rao, S.M. (2009). Semantic knowledge for famous names in Mild Cognitive Impairment. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Association, 15, 9-18. doi: 10.1017/S1355617708090103; PMCID: PMC2774216
  • Langenecker, S.A., Zubieta, J.K., Young, E.A., Akil, H., & Nielson, K.A. (2007). A task to manipulate attentional load, set-shifting, and inhibitory control: Convergent validity and test-retest reliability of the Parametric Go/No-go test. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 29(8), 842-853. doi:10.1080/13803390601147611
  • Langenecker, S.A., Caveney, A., Giordani, B., Young, E.A., Nielson, K.A., Rapport, L., Bieliauskas, L., Mordhorst, M., Marcus, S., Yodkovik, N., Kerber, K., Berent, S., Zubieta, J. K. (2007). The sensitivity and psychometric properties of a brief computer-based cognitive screening battery in a depression clinic. Psychiatry Research, 152, 143-154. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2006.03.019
  • Nielson, K.A., and Powless, M. (2007). Positive and negative sources of emotional arousal enhance long-term word-list retention when induced as long as thirty minutes after learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 88, 40-47. doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2007.03.005
  • Woodard, J.L., Seidenberg, M., Nielson, K.A., Miller, S.K., Franczak, M., Antuono, P., Douville, K.L., & Rao, S.M. (2007). Temporally graded activation of neocortical regions in response to memories of different ages. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19(7), 1-12. doi: 10.1162/jocn.2007.19.7.1113; PMCID: PMC2078236
  • Langenecker, S.A., Briceno, E.M., Hamid, N.M., & Nielson, K.A. (2007). An evaluation of distinct volumetric and functional MRI contributions toward understanding age and task performance: a study in the basal ganglia. Brain Research, 1158, 58-68. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2006.11.068; PMCID: PMC2078239
  • Nielson, K.A., Douville, K.L., Seidenberg, M., Woodard, J.L., Miller, S.K., Antuono, P., Franczak, M., & Rao, S.M. (2006). Age-related functional recruitment during the recognition of famous names: an event-related fMRI study. Neurobiology of Aging, 27, 1494-1504. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2005.08.022; PMCID: PMC2078241
  • Nielson, K.A., & Bryant, T. (2005). The effects of non-contingent extrinsic and intrinsic rewards on memory consolidation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 84, 42-48. doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2005.03.004
  • Nielson, K.A., Yee, D., & Erickson, K.I. (2005). Memory enhancement by a semantically unrelated emotional arousal source induced after learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 84, 49-56. doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2005.04.001
  • Douville, K., Woodard, J L., Seidenberg, M., Miller, S., Leveroni, C.L., Nielson, K.A., Franczak, M., Antuono, P., & Rao, S.M. (2005). Medial temporal lobe activity for recognition of recent and remote famous names: an event-related fMRI study. Neuropsychologia, 43, 693-703. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2004.09.005
  • Nielson, K.A., Langenecker, S.A., Ross, T.J., Garavan, H., Rao, S.M., & Stein, E.A. (2004). Comparability of functional MRI response in young and old during inhibition. Neuroreport: For Rapid Communication of Neuroscience Research, 15(1), 129-133. doi:10.1097/01.wnr.0000093293.85057.d6; PMCID: PMC2078238
  • Langenecker, S.A., Nielson, K.A., & Rao, S.M. (2004). fMRI of healthy older adults during Stroop interference. Neuroimage, 21(1),192-200. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.08.027; PMCID: PMC2078238
  • Langenecker, S.A., & Nielson, K.A. (2003). Frontal recruitment during response inhibition in older adults replicated with fMRI. Neuroimage, 20, 1384-1392. doi:10.1016/S1053-8119(03)00372-0
  • Nielson, K.A., Langenecker, S.A., and Garavan, H. (2002) Differences in the functional neuroanatomy of inhibitory control across the adult life span. Psychology and Aging, 17(1), 56-71. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.17.1.56
  • Stone, L.A. & Nielson, K.A. (2001). Physiological response to arousal and impaired emotional expression in alexithymia. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 70, 92-102. doi:10.1159/000056232
  • Czech, D.A., Nielson, K.A., & Laubmeier, K.K. (2000). Chronic administration of propranolol impairs Morris water maze retention in the mouse. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 74, 17-26. doi:10.1006/nlme.1999.3944
  • Nielson, K.A., Czech, D.A, & Laubmeier, K.K. (1999). Chronic administration of propranolol impairs inhibitory avoidance retention in the mouse. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 71, 248-257. doi:10.1006/nlme.1998.3873
  • Victoroff, J.I., Mack, W.J., & Nielson, K.A. (1998). Psychiatric complications of dementia: Impact on caregivers? Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 9, 50-55. DOI: 10.1159/000017022
  • Victoroff, J.I., Nielson, K.A., & Mungas, D. (1997). Caregiver and clinician assessment of behavior disorders: The California Dementia Behavior Questionnaire. International Psychogeriatrics, 9(2), 155-174. doi:10.1017/S1041610297004316
  • Satou, T., Cummings, B J., Head, E., Nielson, K.A., Hahn, F.F., Milgram, N.W., Velazquez, P., Cribbs, D., Tenner, A., & Cotman, C.W. (1997). The progression of ß-amyloid deposition in the frontal cortex of the aged canine. Brain Research, 774, 35-43. doi:10.1016/S0006-8993(97)81684-8
  • Nielson, K.A., Radtke, R.C., & Jensen, R.A. (1996). Arousal-induced modulation of memory storage processes in humans. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 66, 133-142. doi:10.1006/nlme.1996.0054
  • Nielson, K.A., Nolan, J., Berchtold, N., Sandman, C., Mulnard, R. & Cotman, C. (1996). Apolipoprotein-E genotyping of diabetic dementia patients: Is diabetes rare in Alzheimer disease? Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 44 (8), 897-904.
  • Nielson, K.A., Cummings, B.J., & Cotman, CW. (1996). Constructional apraxia in Alzheimer’s disease correlates with neuritic neuropathology in occipital cortex. Brain Research, 741(1-2), 284-293. doi:10.1016/S0006-8993(96)00983-3
  • Shankle, W.R., Nielson, K.A., & Cotman, C.W. (1995). Low-dose propranolol reduces aggression and agitation resembling that associated with orbitofrontal dysfunction in elderly demented patients. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 9(4), 233-237.
  • Dick, M.B., Nielson, K.A., Beth, R.E., Shankle, W.R., & Cotman, C.W. (1995). Acquisition and long-term retention of a fine motor skill in Alzheimer's disease. Brain and Cognition, 29(3), 294-306. doi:10.1006/brcg.1995.1283
  • Nielson, K.A., & Jensen, R.A. (1994). Beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist antihypertensive medications impair arousal-induced modulation of working memory in elderly humans. Behavioral and Neural Biology, 62, 190-200.

Other Professional Activities

  • Active faculty participant in programs in Psychology (B.A., Ph.D.), Cognitive Science (B.S.), and Neuroscience (Ph.D.)
  • Fellow, American Psychological Association
  • Department of Neurology and the Center for Imaging Research, Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Consulting Editor, Neuropsychology, American Psychological Association Press
  • Currently research-funded by the National Institute on Aging
  • Member, Executive Board, Integrative Neuroscience Research Center, Marquette University
  • Consulting Editor, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • Associate Adjunct Professor of Neurology,Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Member, CTSI and Functional Imaging Research Center, Medical College of Wisconsin

Faculty & Staff Directory


CONTACT

Department of Psychology
Cramer Hall, 317
604 N. 16th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-7218

Contact Us