Jenna L. Merenstein, Ph.D.

I obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University and Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Dr. Lani Bennett's Laboratory of Aging and Neurocognitive Imaging at the University of California, Riverside. Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Scholar in Dr. Dave Madden's laboratory at Duke University Medical Center. My postdoctoral work is funded by an F32 National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Aging (NIA). In the next stage of my career goal, I aim to establish my own laboratory investigating the neurobiological substrates of healthy cognitive aging and they differ from Alzheimer's disease.
Human aging is associated with some degree of cognitive decline, even in healthy older adults without dementia. But our cognitive abilities are not equally affected across the lifespan. Some abilities, like world knowledge, hold steady, or even increase as we age. Other abilities based on processing speed, like attention and memory, show more substantial decline. I focus on these “fluid” cognitive abilities as they are the chief complaint among healthy older adults. I specifically seek to understand whether age-related decline in fluid cognition can be attributed to differences in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of brain structure and function. My work is motivated by the cortical disconnection model, which proposes that degradation of the white matter regions that connect distributed gray matter regions contributes to age-related cognitive dysfunction.

Brain Imaging and Analysis Center

Box 3918

Duke University Medical Center

Durham, NC 27710

Contact Information
Twitter: @j_merenstein
Google Scholar
Curriculum Vitae (Version: May 2024)