Elucidating the Necessary Components and Mechanisms of Cognitive Training

Project: Research project

Project Details


Project Title: Elucidating the Necessary Components and Mechanisms of Cognitive Training Project Dates: June 1, 2020-Mary 31, 2021 Project Number: U01AG062370 The continued goal of this project (grant title: Elucidating the Necessary Components and Mechanisms of Cognitive Training, U01AG062370) and associated supplement is to develop and evaluate the protocol to examine behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying multiple cognitive training programs in older adults. Dr. Ross relocated to Clemson University and seeks approval to move the grant to Clemson with subcontracts returned to Penn State, Einstein, and UAB to complete the work as originally planned. The overall goal and aims of the project are the same with changes outlined below primarily due to COVID-19. Changes due to PI move to Clemson: None. Dr. Ross has attained an Endowed Chair position in Aging and Cognition. This position includes no teaching responsibilities for two years which allows her to focus on research. Additionally, the Dr. Ross will maintain a faculty affiliate position at Penn State ensuring maintained access to Penn State systems. Dr. Ross holds several standing meetings with study staff and coinvestigators via zoom to ensure clear communication. These included weekly lab meetings to review study progress and weekly joint staff meetings with co- investigators and staff regarding any project difficulties. Additionally, all staff meet individually with Dr. Ross every other week and with the Center for Healthy Aging?s administrative leader monthly to address study or personnel issues. Dr. Sliwinski (mPI) will continue to oversee the Penn State subcontract as site PI. Given these multiple lines of communication which are already being implemented, Dr. Ross will be able to oversee the study from Clemson University. Changes due to COVID-19: The original project involved four in-person data collection visits and two additional in-person visits for the MRI subsample. Due to COVID-19, we redesigned all study materials and re-budgeted for additional equipment to allow us to collect all data remotely. In order facilitate the project moving forward, especially given concerns about possible additional waves of COVID in the winter of 2020-2021, we are moving to remote data collection. This decision was reached in consultation, and with approval, by NIA. The changes will allow us to collect cognitive, psychosocial, everyday functioning and self-reported sensory functioning using study-provided laptops at baseline, posttest, and follow-up. The smartphone data collection process has not changed and still includes cognitive and psychosocial measures administered daily throughout the study period. We are using the NIA-funded M2C2 mobile phone platform for daily assessments (Ambulatory Methods for Measuring Cognitive Change; U2C AG060408) which has been piloted using multiple phones over the last eight months. We have also partnered with established online assessment and training companies (Posit Science, TestMyBrain, and iFunction) to include established remote data collection assessments as well as newer ones developed or adapted for the purpose of this study (DECA, ANT). This provides significant overlap across new and established assessments in case there are technical difficulties with the newer remote data collection. Other changes: Given the complexity of remote data collection, we have included Dr. Christine Phillips as a Co-Investigator on the project. Dr. Phillips is a research assistant professor at Clemson and has worked with Dr. Ross for over 6 years. She will assist Dr. Ross with overseeing all aspects of the study.
Effective start/end date9/30/185/31/19


  • National Institute on Aging: $909,806.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $850,322.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $405,367.00


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