The Catholic University of America

 

James H. Howard, Jr.

Wylma R. and James R. Curtin Professor

email: howard@cua.edu

lab: Cognitive Aging Lab

308 O'Boyle (202) 319-4791


 My research group studies how one’s ability to learn and make decisions changes in the course of healthy aging with a particular focus on implicit learning, the kind of learning that takes place without effort or even awareness. To accomplish this we investigate the brain basis of these changes in healthy older adults as well as in various neuropsychological populations. We are also interested in the many factors that contribute to individual differences in successful cognitive aging -- why do some healthy people maintain high function well into old age whereas others do not? We employ a variety of methods including both cognitive behavioral studies and functional (e.g., fMRI) and structural (e.g., DTI) neuroimaging methods. For the past 20 years we have worked in close collaboration with Darlene Howard and her lab at Georgetown University. Our work is supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging.

 


Education

Ph.D. (1974) Experimental Psychology, Brown University

Sc.M. (1972) Experimental Psychology, Brown University

A.B. (1969) magna cum laude, Psychology, Providence College

Selected Publications

Howard, D.V. & Howard, J.H., Jr. (2012). Dissociable Forms of Implicit Learning in Aging. In Naveh-Benjamin, M. & Ohta, N. (Eds.). In M. Naveh-Benjamin & N. Ohta (Eds.), Memory and Aging: Current Issues and Future Directions. New York: Psychology Press, ISBN 978-1-84872-918-6

Simon, J.R., Vaidya, C.J., Howard, J.H., Jr., & Howard, D.V. (2012). The effects of aging on the neural basis of implicit associative learning in a probabilistic Triplets Learning Task. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(2), 451-462. (pdf)

Bennett, I.J., Madden, D.J, Vaidya, C.J., Howard, J.H., Jr., & Howard, D.V. (2011). White matter integrity correlates of implicit sequence learning in healthy aging. Neurobiology of Aging, 32, 2317.e1-2317.e12. NIHMS193472. (pdf)

Bennett, I.J., Madden, D.J., Vaidya, C.J., Howard, D.V., & Howard, J.H., Jr. (2010). Age-Related Differences in Multiple Measures of White Matter Integrity: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study of Healthy Aging. Human Brain Mapping, 31(3): 378-390. PMC2826569. (pdf)

Simon, J.R., Stollstorff, M., Westbay, L.C., Vaidya, C.J., Howard, J.H., Jr., & Howard, D.V. (2011). Dopamine transporter genotype predicts implicit sequence learning. Behavioural Brain Research, 216, 452-457; doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2010.08.043. (pdf)

See Lab site for additional publications.


Courses

Psychology 240: The Aging Mind (Spring, 2013)

Psychology 371: Sensation & Perception (Fall, 2013)

Psychology: 624: Cognitive Aging Seminar (Fall, 2012)

Psychology 625: Selected Topics in Cognitive Science & Cognitive Neuroscience

Psychology 710: Cognitive and Social Foundations (Spring, 2012, with Marty Safer)