My research examines on how aging, health and disease can influence a person’s ability to memorize, reason and concentrate. Specifically, I am interested in linking micro-level processes (e.g., daily stress, affect, rumination) to long-term changes in mental, physical and cognitive health. My current research falls into three general areas.
First, I am interested in the developmental pathways leading from stressful experiences to cognitive impairment. A theoretical model guiding this research links environmental influences (e.g., daily stressors, life events) to physiological dysregulation and cognitive decline via ruminative processes (e.g., intrusive thoughts). This model offers mechanisms to explain how stress can influence cognitive function across different time scales, ranging from days to years. Results from several of our studies have demonstrated transient and reversible associations between the experience of stress and cognitive function that manifest across days as well as more enduring effects of stress on cognition that transpire over years. We are following up on these results in several ongoing studies that employ intensive measurement designs (e.g., daily diaries, ecological momentary assessments, measurement bursts) to better understand the time course connecting stressful experiences, emotional responses, physiological dysregulation and cognitive performance.
Second, my lab is developing tools for conducting repeated assessments to improve the sensitivity and accuracy of measuring cognitive change in individuals. Toward this end, we have developed and applied a mathematical model that allows separation of retest related gains in cognitive performance from aging related losses of asymptotic (ie optimal) performance. We have also developed software and tests for assessing cognitive function repeatedly over the World Wide Web and are currently developing tools for measuring cognitive function using handheld computing devices (e.g., smart phones, handheld gaming devices).
A third project involves collaboration with the longitudinal Einstein Aging Studies (EAS) and focuses on longitudinal analyses of cognitive, physiological and health risk and protective factors for preclinical dementia. We are beginning a new study that will explore the role of pain and stress and independent risk factors for cognitive impairment and dementia. This study will employ daily diary methods, markers of neuroendocrine, cardiovascular and inflammatory processes, genetic and psychosocial risk factors and neuroimaging.
- Ph.D., 1992, Psychology (Neuropsychology), City University of New York
- B.A., 1986, Interdisciplinary Studies, Georgetown University, Washington DC
- 2008- Present: Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Director of the Center for Healthy Aging
- 2006-2008: Professor, Department of Psychology, Syracuse University
- 2000-2006: Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Syracuse University
- 1999-2000: Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- 1995-2000: Director of Biometrics Unit, Rose F. Kennedy Center for Mental Retardation and Human Development, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- 1994-1998: Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- 1993-1994: Assistant Director of Biometrics Unit, Rose F. Kennedy Center for Mental Retardation and Human Development, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- 1992-1994: Instructor, Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- 1990-1992: Statistical analyst, Biometrics Unit, Rose F. Kennedy Center for Mental Retardation and Human Development, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Phi Beta Kappa, Psi Chi, Magna Cum Laude 1986
- Graduate Fellow, City University of New York, 1986-1988
- Annual award for outstanding student paper on topics in theoretical and philosophical psychology, Division 24, APA
- Sliwinski, M., Hoffman, L., & Hofer, S. (in press). Evaluating convergence of within-person change and between-person age differences in age-heterogeneous longitudinal studies. Research on Human Development.
- Sliwinski, M., Hoffman, L., & Hofer, S. (2010). Evaluating convergence of within-person change and between-person age differences in age-heterogeneous longitudinal studies. Research on Human Development, 7(1), 45-60.
- Hall, C.B., Lipton, R.B., Sliwinski, M., Katz, MJ, Derby CA, Verghese, J (2009). Cognitive activities delay onset of memory decline in persons who develop dementia. Neurology, 73, 356-361.
- Sliwinski, MJ, Almeida, DM, Smyth, JM, & Stawski, RS (2009). Intraindividual change and variability in daily stress processes: Findings from two measurement-burst diary studies. Psychology and Aging, 24, 828-840.
- Stawski, Robert S., Sliwinski, Martin J. and Smyth, Joshua M. (2009). The effects of an acute psychosocial stressor on episodic memory, European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 21, 897-918.
- Mogle, JA, Lovett, BJ, Stawski, RS, Sliwinski, MJ (2008) What’s so special about working memory? An Examination of the relationships among working memory, secondary memory and fluid intelligence. Psychological Science, 19, 1071-1077.
- Sliwinski, MJ (2008). Measurement-Burst Designs for Social Health Research,Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2/1, 245-261.
- Stawski, R.S., Sliwinski, M.J., Almeida, D.M, & Smyth, J.M. (2008). Reported exposure and emotional reactivity to daily stressors: the roles of adult-age and global perceived stress. Psychology and Aging, 23, 52-61.
- Sliwinski, M.J., Stawski, R.S., Katz, M., Verghese, J., & Lipton, R. (2006). On the importance of distinguishing pre-terminal and terminal cognitive decline.European Psychologist., 11, 172-181
- Sliwinski, M.J., Smyth, J.M., Hofer, S.M., & Stawski, R.S. (2006). Intraindividual coupling of daily stress and cognition. Psychology and Aging, 21, 545-557.
- Human Development
- Domains of Health and Behavior
My research focuses on the psychological and sociological processes related to successful, healthy aging. I am especially interested in leisure time use and behaviors which facilitate improved health and well-being. I seek to understand the effects of leisure behaviors on stress related to life transitions, especially those experienced during the later life span.
Currently, these areas of interest and research merge in my role at the Center for Healthy Aging where I facilitate opportunities to bridge healthy aging research and its application in everyday life.
- Ph.D., 2009, Leisure Behavior, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
- M.A., 1996, History Museum Studies, Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York at Oneonta
- B.A., 1989, History, University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN
- 2009-2011, Research Associate and Project Manager, Intraindividual Study on Health, Aging, and Interpersonal Behavior, The Pennsylvania State University
- 2002-2009, Training Instructor/Visiting Lecturer, National Park Service (NPS) and Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands (EPPLEY), Indiana University
- 2004-2009, Consultant and Project Coordinator, EPPLEY for NPS, Indiana University
- 2000-present, Professional Facilitator
Weight Watchers International, Inc., State College, PA
Challenge Discovery, Inc., Richmond, VA
Triangle Training, Inc., Pittsboro, NC
North Carolina Outward Bound Professional, Charlotte, NC
TeamQuest, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Wolf Ridge Environmental Center, Isabella, MN
- 2008: Garrett G. Eppley Fellowship, Indiana University
- 2006: Ted Deppe Administrative Fellow, Indiana University
- 2005: Outreach Scholar, Indiana University
- 2005: Crystal Owl Team Award for Training and Development Excellence, National Park Service
- 2004: NPS STAR performance award for developing and delivering outstanding training
Lorek, A., Ewert, A. W., & Dattilo, J. (2012). Learning as Leisure: Motivation and Outcome in Adult Free Time Learning. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 30(1), 1-18.
- Human Development
- Contexts and Social Institutions
- Domains of Health and Behavior
EducationNo degree, just 40 years of experience ;-)
- B.S., 2011, Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State University