Principal Investigator

Dawn Bowers, Ph.D., ABPP/CN


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Dr. Bowers is the director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory and  Professor in the departments of Clinical & Health Psychology and Neurology.  She is a  board certified clinical neuropsychologist with  longstanding research and clinical expertise in cognitive and emotional sequelae of  age related neurologic diseases including Parkinson disease and other disorders.  She has been a funded researcher for over 30 years, with over 225 publications.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida, interned at Boston University/Boston Veterans Administration Hospital, externed  at the Framingham Heart Project, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Behavioral Neurology at the University of Florida. She has a keen understanding of the cognitive and emotional sequelae of Parkinson disease, essential tremor, and the consequences of DBS stimulation surgery.  As lead neuropsychologist for the UF Movement Disorders Center, she oversee the neurocognitive module of the INFORM database.   She provides peer review for NIH and VAMC research panels, has served on various journal editorial boards and in leadership roles at local , national, and international levels.  She is passionate about patient care and training the next generation of scientist-clinicians.  In line with this passion, she and her colleague, Dr. David Vaillancourt, currently co-direct a NINDS funded T32 predoctoral training grant focusing on Interdisciplinary Training in Movement Disorders and  Neurorestoration.

The overall goal of the Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory is to optimize brain health and identify novel interventions that might alter disease progression or minimize nonmotor  symptoms experienced by our patients. We take a multipronged approach for  studying cognition, emotion, and motivation by using state of the art electrophysiologic  techniques (ERP, startle eyeblink, SCR),  functional and metabolic  (MRS) brain imaging,  noninvasive brain stimulation, and advanced statistical modeling. Current research focuses on psychophysiologic and behavioral signatures of apathy and depression, predictors of decline and well-being, psychometric precision of new tools, and novel treatment approaches for cognitive and motor changes in older adults and those with Parkinson disease and other disorders.  

More details on Dr. Bowers research can be viewed at Google Scholar and ResearchGate