Martin J. Sliwinski , Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Healthy Aging, Gregory H. Wolf Professor of Aging Studies, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
My research examines how aspects of everyday experiences influence a person’s ability to memorize, reason and concentrate. Specifically, I am interested in linking micro-level processes (e.g., everyday 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 in middle and older aged adults. 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 moments within a day to years.
Second, I'm interested in developing tools for ambulatory assessment of cognitive function in daily life and measurement of cognitive change over longer intervals. Traditional measurement approaches rely on objective (performance based) and subjective (self-report) assessments of cognition made in clinic or interview settings on a single occasion. Unmeasured sources of within-person variability, retrospective reporting biases and the artificial nature of standard testing environments negatively impact test reliability, measurement accuracy, and ecological validity of standard approaches to cognitive assessment. These problems impede the sensitive measurement of cognitive change and delay detection of clinical conditions, such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. To address these problems, we use mobile technology to embed brief cognitive assessments into ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and daily diary designs.
- 1992 Ph.D. Psychology (subspecialty: Neuropsychology) City University of New York.
- 1986 B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
- 2009 Director: The Center for Healthy Aging (formerly The Gerontology Center), Pennsylvania State University
- 2009 Professor: Pennsylvania State University, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
- 2006 Professor: Syracuse University, Department of Psychology. 2000-2006 Associate Professor: Syracuse University, Department of Psychology.
- 1999-2000 Associate Professor: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Neurology
- 1995-2000 Director of Biometrics Unit: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Rose F. Kennedy Center for Mental Retardation and Human Development.
- 1994-1998 Assistant Professor: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Neurology