James Howard's Headshot


  • Psychology
  • School

  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Research Interest

    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. We are also affiliated with the joint Georgetown University / MedStar Rehabilitation Institute's Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery.