Current Projects

Feasibility and Enjoyment of Exergames Study (FLEX) assesses older adults’ perceptions of using exergames, such as Xbox Kinect, for exercise and maintaining cognition. The main goals of the project are to gather information on (1) older adults’ experience using exergame technology; (2) barriers to physical activity; (3) enjoyment of exergames; and (4) interest in participating in future exergame-based interventions. Older adults will play exergames in the lab and respond to questionnaires before and after playing the games. The project is led by graduate students Briana Sprague and Sara Freed, and overseen by mentor Dr. Ross. FLEX is funded by the College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society.
Status: Now recruiting participants! Please call us at 814-865-4773 to hear more.

Everyday Function Intervention Trial (E-FIT) will assess potential cognitive and
psychosocial mechanisms underlying the transfer of cognitive training to everyday functioning in older adults. Participants will complete measures of cognition, health, sensory functioning, physical functioning and psychosocial factors before, after and then six months after training.  Participants will also complete daily cognitive and psychosocial assessments across the study using smart phones. The overall goal of the study is to assess what aspects cognitive and psychosocial functioning are responsible for improvements in everyday life after the cognitive training intervention. The project is led by Dr. Ross with collaborators at Penn State and is funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging.
Status: Project planning underway; Data collection will begin in early Summer 2019.

Elucidating the Necessary Active Components of Training (ENACT) will assess potential cognitive, psychosocial, neural, and biological mechanisms underlying the transfer of several types of cognitive training to everyday functioning in older adults. Participants will complete a wide range of measures, receive a blood draw, and then be randomly assigned to one of several types of cognitive training. Some participants will also complete functional MRI scans before and after training. We will collect measures of cognition, mood, perceptions, well-being and everyday functioning across the study. Participants will also complete daily cognitive and psychosocial assessments across the study using smart phones.  The overall goal of the study is to assess what aspects of the brain games are responsible for improvements in everyday life. The project is led by Dr. Ross with collaborators at Penn State and is funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging.

Status: Project planning underway; Data collection will begin in Fall 2019.

Senior and Adolescent Naturalistic Driving Study (SANDS) is a project that addresses one of the leading causes of death for individuals across the lifespan: motor vehicle crashes. The overarching goal is to examine unbiased real-world driving in at-risk drivers across the lifespan, namely younger (16-19) and older (65+) adults. Participants will undergo a detailed baseline assessment of demographic, cognitive, sensory, physical functioning and health status. Their vehicles will then be installed with a data recording device that will provide information detailed data regarding the trip including driving behaviors, driving environment, and driving safety across two weeks. Finally, participants will return for a post-test assessment and for removal of the devices. The project is led by Drs. Ross and Stavrinos and is currently funded by the UAB Faculty Development Grant Program, Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development & Education Center (STRIDE), Alabama Department of Transportation, and the UAB Roybal Center for Translational Research on Aging and Mobility.

Status: Data Collection is Complete; Data Analysis is Ongoing

 

Cognitive Training Gains and Mobility Outcomes in ACTIVE III is a secondary analysis of crash-related mobility outcome measures from the multi-site randomized clinical trial entitled Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE), conducted from 1998-2011. This project aims to determine the associations between elements of the ACTIVE screening battery and crash risk in older adults across ten years, examine the impact of each of the three ACTIVE cognitive interventions and booster training on crash risk, and to determine the associations between elements of the ACTIVE screening battery and self-report mobility measures.  This project is led by Dr. Ross and is funded by the UAB Roybal Center for Translational Research on Aging and Mobility and the UAB Faculty Development Grant Program. 

Status: Data Collection is Complete; Data Analysis is Ongoing

 

Cognitive and Physical Exercise Study (CAPES) is a project that investigates the impact of cognitive training, exercise training, and the possible effects of a combined physical and cognitive program against a no-contact control group. Older adults will be randomized to these four groups in order to examine if the combined condition elicits similar or greater improvements on everyday functioning than either cognitive or physical interventions alone.  Additionally, this project will examine whether the three training conditions represent feasible, intrinsically- motivating training programs for older adults. This study is led by Dr. Ross and is currently funded by the UAB Roybal Center for Translational Research on Aging and Mobility.

Status: Data Collection is Complete; Data Analysis is Ongoing

 

Visual Integrity and Neural plasticity in the Elderly Study (VINES) has the goal to investigate the neural mechanisms of processing speed and processing speed training in a sample of older adults using fMRI.  Older adults were randomized to one of three arms: the intervention (speed of processing training) group, a social-contact control group, and a no-contact control group. In addition to the behavioral and neuroimaging data, genetic data is also being collected. The correlations of everyday activities, neural changes resulting from processing speed training, and potential influence of genetics will also be investigated. This project is led by Dr. Ross in close collaboration with Dr. Visscher and is funded by the Center for Clinical & Translational Science, Center for Aging, and the Vision Research Science Center.  Additionally, the UAB Center for Translational Research on Aging and Mobility has also provided support and resources for this project.

Status: Data Collection is Complete; Data Analysis is Ongoing