Aging, Imaging and Memory Lab

Researcher - Dr. Kristy Nielson


The Research

My research focuses on the pursuit of neurobiological, cognitive, and psychosocial approaches toward understanding and enhancing learning, remembering and executive functions in normal aging and dementia. Specifically, I have two primary and interrelated branches to my research program.

First, I study memory formation and memory consolidation and the treatments and individual differences that influence it. Second, I study the neurobiological, physiological, and cognitive foundations of age- and dementia-related cognitive decline, along with methods designed to prevent or reverse such declines. Studies in the lab involve both graduate and undergraduate researchers as investigators, presenters and authors.


Current Studies Include:

  • studies of various agents and techniques, such as muscle tension, that may enhance memory via arousal mechanisms;
  • studies of the effects of emotion, thrill-seeking (such as skydiving), alexithymia and emotion regulation strategies on memory and executive functioning;
  • modulation of false memory and forgetting;
  • investigation of the physiological foundations of neural changes with age and the risk factors that interact with them, using MRI and fMRI;
  • investigations of the utility of EEG as a biomarker of AD using executive functioning and memory tasks.

Graduate Students

Anthony Correro, M.S.

AnthonyAnthony N. Correro II, M.S. graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.S.in psychology and minors in biological sciences and Italian. At that time, he obtained training in neuropsychology and dementia research. He completed an honors thesisin cognitive psychology and was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He currently works with Kristy Nielson, Ph.D. to study alexithymia, memory consolidation processes, and risk for premature cognitive decline. His master’s thesis focused on how emotional arousal affects false memory in healthy young adults on the alexithymia spectrum. His dissertation will investigate the roles of alexithymia and age on inhibitory control. Anthony has presented research with the AIM Laboratory nationally and internationally, and his future research will likely examine the impact of LGBTQ+ related stress on older adults’ cognitive functioning. Anthony’s clinical interests reside in neuropsychological assessment of older adults and psychotherapeutic interventions for elders. He aspires to spend a lifetime working with older adults and researching the unique factors that impact LGBTQ+ aging.


Publications

  • Guastello, S. J., Correro II, A. N., & Marra, D. E. (in press). Do emergent leaders experience greater workload? The swallowtail catastrophe model and changes in leadership in an emergency response task. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice.
  • Guastello, S. J., Correro II, A. N., & Marra, D. E. (in press). Cusp catastrophe models for cognitive workload and fatigue in teams. Applied Ergonomics.
  • Nielson, K. A., & Correro II, A. N. (2017). Post-learning arousal enhances veridical memory and reduces false memory in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm.Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 144(October 2017), 198-207. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2017.07.009
  • Correro II, A. N., Marra, D. E., Reiter, K., Byers, S. J., & Nielson, K. A. (2016). Executive functioning and verbal memory are predictive of alexithymia across the lifespan [Abstract]. Clinical Neuropsychologist, 30(3), 425.
  • Brouillette, R.M., Foil, H., Fontenot, S.,Correro, A., Allen, R., Martin, C.K., Bruce-Keller, A.J., & Keller, J.N. (2013). Feasibility, Reliability, and Validity of a Smartphone Based Application for the Assessment of Cognitive Function in the Elderly.PLoS ONE,8(6): e65925. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065925

Book Chapters

  • Guastello, S. J., Marra, D. E., Correro, A., Michels, M., & Schimmel, H. (2017). Elasticity and rigidity constructs and ratings of subjective workload for individuals and groups. In L. Longo & M. C. Leva (Eds.), Human mental workload: Models and applications (pp. 51-76). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-61061-0_4

Elizabeth Paitel, M.S.

ElizabethElizabeth R. Paitel graduated from St. Norbert College in 2016 with a B.A. in psychology and Spanish. There she began her research endeavors as a McNair Scholar investigating the impact of estradiol on spatial learning and memory in zebra finches. Following a year in this lab, she began work in the Developmental Decision-Making Laboratory conducting EEG and event-related potential (ERP) research on age-related changes in decision-making processes. Elizabeth currently works with Dr. Kristy Nielson in the Aging, Imaging, and Memory (AIM) Laboratory examining ERPs as biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease risk, neurocognitive deficits associated with alexithymia, and age-related changes in executive function and memory. Elizabeth has presented research with the AIM Lab nationally and internationally, and her future research will examine detection of early risk for Alzheimer’s disease as well as preventative and intervention measures.


Publications

  • Correro II, A.N., Paitel, E.R., Byers, S.J., & Nielson, K.A. (2019). The Role of Alexithymia in Memory and Executive Functioning Across the Lifespan. Cognition and Emotion, Special Issue on Alexithymia. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2019.1659232
  • Cowell, R.A., Paitel, E.R., & Peters, S. (2019). The Context of Caution: An Examination of Age, Social Context, and Sex on Measures of Inhibitory Control and Risky Decision-Making. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development. doi: 10.1177/0091415019836100
  • Bailey, D. J., Makeyeva, Y. V., Paitel, E. R., Pedersen, A. L., Hon, A. T., Gunderson, J. A., & Saldanha, C. J. (2017). Hippocampal Aromatization Modulates Spatial Memory and Characteristics of the Synaptic Membrane in the Male Zebra Finch. Endocrinology, 158(4), 852-859. doi: 10.1210/en.2106-1692

Sarah Evans, B.S.

N/A

 

Current Undergraduate/Post-graduate Research Assistants

Current Undergraduate/Post-graduate Research Assistants

  • Amelle Aldurra
  • Adam Bonventre
  • Carly Colman
  • Jaila Coleman
  • Genaro Herrera-Cano
  • Liza Kuckkan
  • Nyla Nazir
  • Jordan Offner
  • Erik O’Reilly
  • John Peabody
  • Marielle Samii
  • Alyssa Schutze
  • Mary Simons

Notable Lab Alumni

  • Timothy J. Arentsen, Ph.D.
  • Sheila Baer, Ph.D.
  • Benjamin Bock, Ph.D.
  • Steve Byers, Psy. D.
  • Alissa Butts, Ph.D.
  • Veronica Dixon, M.S.
  • Shaun English, Ph.D.
  • Kirk I. Erickson, Ph.D. (as an undergraduate)
  • Christina Figueroa, Ph.D. (Intern at Brown University, Providence, R.I., 2015-2016; Post-doc at Johns Hopkins University, 2016-)
  • Katie Hazlett Elverman, Ph. D.(Intern at Rush University, Chicago, IL, 2015-2016; Post-doc at the Medical College of Wisconsin, 2016-)
  • Nathan Hantke, Ph.D.
  • Trevor Hyde, Ph.D.
  • Anna Kiel, M.S.
  • Scott A. Langenecker, Ph.D.
  • Riley Marinelli, B.A., D.P.T
  • Mitchell A. Meltzer, Ph.D.
  • Andrew Newsom, Ph.D.
  • Mark Powless, Ph.D.
  • Katherine Reiter, M.S. Ph.D. (Intern at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University, 2016-2017; Post-doc at the Medical College of Wisconsin, 2017-)
  • Julie Riederer, M.S.
  • Linda F. Stone, Ph.D.
  • Laura Klockow Wulff, Ph.D.
  • Douglas Yee, M.S.

Where are they now?


Lab Photos

AIM

AIM Lab (left to right): David Marra,
Riley Marinelli, Christina Figueroa,
Dr. Nielson, Katie Hazlett, 
Anthony Correro,
and Kate Reiter 
at the Nora Finnigan Werra Faculty Achievement Award (Association of Marquette University Women) luncheon, 2014.


 zunfthaus-zur-meisen-zurich-eucas-2017

At the EUCAS dinner at the Zunfthaus zur
Meisen in Zurich, Switzerland, April 2017


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Poster session at EUCAS 2017, Volkshaus, Zurich. Find the AIM Lab presenters, Anthony Correro and Elizabeth Paitel!


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Day 1 of EEG training 2016


aim-students-001

Day 1 of EEG training 2016

aim-anthony

Anthony Correro, presenting at the 1st International Convention of Psychological Science in Amsterdam, Netherlands, March 2015.


elizabeth-paitel-eucas-2017

Elizabeth Paitel presenting at EUCAS 2017, Volkshaus, Zurich


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Us at the EUCAS Dinner at the Zunfthaus zur Meisen, Zurich


eegtrain-2017

EEG team training, 2017