Kirk Erickson, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Department of Psychology

Graduate Student Advisees:

Sarah Aghjayan

Jamie Cohen

Swathi Gujral

Alina Lesnovskaya

Lauren Oberlin

Education & Training

  • PhD, University of Illinois

Research Interest Summary

Cognitive aging methods (i.e., exercise) to improve cognition.

Research Interests

Aging; factors and mechanisms of cognitive impairment; factors that promote healthy aging including physical activity, intellectual engagement, vitamin supplementation, hormone supplementation; the influence of genetics on brain and cognition; translating molecular neuroscience to cognitive neuroscience; neuroplasticity and learning related changes in brain and behavior.

Representative Publications

Erickson, KI, Raji, C, Lopez, O, Becker, JT, Rosano, C, Newman, AB, Gach, HM, Thompson, PM, Ho, AJ, Kuller, LH. (2010). Physical activity predicts gray matter volume in late adulthood: the Cardiovascular Health Study. Neurology. 75: 1415-22.

Erickson KI, Miller DL, Roecklein KA. (2012). The aging hippocampus: interactions between exercise, depression, and BDNF. Neuroscientist, 18: 82-97.

Weinstein, AM, Voss, MW, Prakash, RS, Chaddock L, Szabo, A, White, SM, Wojcicki, TR, Mailey, E, McAuley, E, Kramer, AF, Erickson, KI. (2012). The association between aerobic fitness and executive function is mediated by prefrontal cortex volume. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 26:811-9.

Verstynen, TD, Weinstein, AM, Schneider, WW, Jakicic, JM, Rofey, DL, Erickson, KI. (in press). Increased body mass index is associated with global decreases in white matter microstructural integrity. Psychosomatic Medicine.

Gianaros, PJ, Marsland, AL, Sheu, LK, Erickson, KI, Verstynen, TD. (in press). Inflammatory pathways link socioeconomic disadvantage to white matter architecture. Cerebral Cortex.

Erickson, KI, Barr, LL, Weinstein, AM, Banducci, SE, Akl, SL, Santo, NM, Leckie, RL, Oakley, M, Saxton, J, Aizenstein, HJ, Becker, JT, Lopez, OL. (in press). Measuring physical activity with accelerometry in a community sample with dementia. Journal of the American Geriatic Society.

Wilckens, K. A., Erickson, K. I., and Wheeler, M. E. (2012 online). Age-related decline in controlled retrieval: The role of the PFC and sleep. Neural Plasticity. doi:10.1155/2012/624795

Erickson KI, Voss, MW, Prakash, RS, Basak, C, Szabo, A, Chaddock, L, Kim, JS, Heo,S, Alves, H, White, SM, Wojcicki, TR, Mailey, E, Vieira, VJ, Martin, SA, Pence, BP, Woods, JA, McAuley, E, Kramer, AF. (2011). Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108: 3017-22.

Voss, MW, Prakash, RS, Erickson, KI, Basak, C, Chaddock, L, Kim, JS, Alves, H, Heo, S, Szabo, A, White, SM, Wojcicki, TR, Klamm, E, Gothe, N, Olson, EA, McAuley, E, Kramer, AF. (2010). Plasticity of brain networks in a randomized intervention trial of exercise training in older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 2: 1-17.

Erickson, KI, Prakash, RS, Voss, MW, Chaddock, L, Heo, S, McLaren, M, Pence, BD, Martin, SA, Vieira, VJ, Woods, JA, McAuley, E, Kramer, AF. (2010). BDNF is associated with age-related decline in hippocampal volume. Journal of Neuroscience. 30: 5368-75.

Erickson, KI, Boot, WR, Basak, C, Neider, MB, Prakash, RS, Voss, MW, Graybiel, AM, Simons, DJ, Fabiani, M, Gratton, G, Kramer, AF. (2010). Striatum volume predicts level of video game skill acquisition. Cerebral Cortex. 20(11): 2522-30.

Accepting Graduate Students