The Lifelong Brain and Cognition laboratory investigates various aspects of cognition across the lifespan, with a focus on neuroplasticity. Below you will find some of our ongoing projects.

Children participated in coached activities in a gymnasium.

FIT Kids

The FIT Kids study investigates the cognitive and scholastic effects of a nine-month after-school physical activity program for children in grades K-6. This work is an ongoing collaboration with the Neurocognitive Kinesiology Laboratory. For more information, find out more →.

FLEX: Email for more information

Profile of a woman wearing head-mounted sensors in front of a computer screen.

Cognitive Training

Enhancement of cognitive performance in young and older adults is the focus of multiple studies being conducted in our lab. We use a variety of cognitive neuroscience approaches that include neuroimaging, computer-based training and transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) to understand skill acquisition and investigate the effects of training.

STINT: Email for more information

A man piloting a full-size flight simulator in ISL's virtual reality facilities.

Virtual Reality Simulations of Real World Skills and Behavior

At the Beckman Institute Illinois Simulator Laboratory, we use virtual-reality, eye-tracking, and electroencephalography paradigms to study attention in real-world tasks. Projects include investigating age differences and training strategies in older drivers, as well as cognitive workload and mind wandering during driving. We also examine the effects of distraction on traffic perception, individual differences in street crossing (gamers vs non-gamers, athletes vs non-athletes, high- vs low-fit adults), and how exposure to nature scenes may affect attention and creative abilities.

Past Research

The FAST logo.

The Fit and Active Seniors Trial

The FAST study investigates the neurocognitive effects of a 6-month fitness intervention on adults aged 55-80. This work is a collaboration with the Exercise Psychology Laboratory. If you are interested in participating, find out more →

A man acting on stage superimposed on a brain scan.

Theater Arts Study

The Theater Arts study is an ongoing investigation of the cognitive effects of a theater arts course on adults aged 60-85. Participants engage in a 4-week theater arts course taught by a theater professional that meets twice a week.

A close up of a brain scan.

Thyroid Study

The Thyroid study is an ongoing exploration of the neurocognitive effects of untreated adult-onset hypothyroidism, with a follow-up to monitor treatment related changes. This study is a new collaboration with Carle Foundation Hospital & the Lifelong Brain & Cognition Lab. If you, or some you know, has been recently diagnosed with adult-onset hypothyroidism and would be interested in taking part or finding out more information, then please contact us.

The ACCE logo.

Activity, Cancer, and Cognition Evaluation

The ACCE study examines the effects of physical activity and aerobic fitness in women aged 18-70 who have survived breast cancer. This work is in collaboration with the Exercise Psychology Laboratory . If you are interested in participating you can find out more here.

Want to participate in our research?

If you are interested in gaining research experience and earning psychology or MCB course credit, we offer courses in which you will receive credit hours for your work in our lab. We also are currently looking for participants for our studies from a variety of populations.

Learn More