Aron Keith Barbey, Director, Center for Brain Plasticity

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Aron K. Barbey is Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He directs the Center for Brain Plasticity, the Intelligence, Learning, and Plasticity Initiative, and the Decision Neuroscience Laboratory at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He received a Ph.D. in Psychology from Emory University in 2007 and completed a research fellowship in Cognitive Neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health in 2011. Professor Barbey’s research investigates the neural foundations of human intelligence and decision making, with particular emphasis on enhancing these functions through cognitive neuroscience, physical fitness, and nutritional intervention. He has won more than $25 million in private and federal research grants since joining the University of Illinois in 2011, receiving support from the NIH BRAIN Initiative, the research division of the United States Director of National Intelligence (IARPA), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and Abbott Nutrition. He has received multiple academic achievement awards and serves on the editorial board of IntelligenceThinking & Reasoning, and NeuroImage.

Professional Information

Our research investigates the principles of brain organization that underlie executive control, reasoning and decision making. Through a combination of human behavioral, computational modeling, functional neuroimaging (fMRI) and neuropsychological patient data, we seek to uncover the mechanisms that shape higher cognitive processes and to develop predictive models of brain function that link neural systems to specific patterns of inference and behavior. An important motivation for our work is the development of a theoretically sound foundation for research on the relationship between disturbances of brain function and their manifestation as disorders of thought and behavior in psychiatric illness and neurological disease.

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., Emory University

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Research Output 2003 2019

Clinico-Neuropathological Findings in the Oldest Old from the Georgia Centenarian Study

Tanprasertsuk, J., Johnson, E. J., Johnson, M. A., Poon, L. W., Nelson, P. T., Davey, A., Martin, P., Barbey, A. K., Barger, K., Wang, X. D. & Scott, T. M., Jan 1 2019, In : Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 70, 1, p. 35-49 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Neurofibrillary Tangles
TDP-43 Proteinopathies
National Institute on Aging (U.S.)
Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy

Cognitive and neural architecture of decision making competence

Román, F. J., Colom, R., Hillman, C. H., Kramer, A. F., Cohen, N. J. & Barbey, A. K., Oct 1 2019, In : NeuroImage. 199, p. 172-183 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mental Competency
Decision Making

Essential Amino Acids, Vitamins, and Minerals Moderate the Relationship between the Right Frontal Pole and Measures of Memory

Key, M. N., Zwilling, C. E., Talukdar, T. & Barbey, A. K., Jan 1 2019, In : Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 63, 15, 1801048.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Essential Amino Acids
essential amino acids

Individual differences in analogical reasoning revealed by multivariate task-based functional brain imaging

Hammer, R., Paul, E. J., Hillman, C. H., Kramer, A. F., Cohen, N. J. & Barbey, A. K., Jan 1 2019, In : NeuroImage. 184, p. 993-1004 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Functional Neuroimaging
Occipital Lobe

Investigation into repetitive concussion in sport (RECOS): Study protocol of a prospective, exploratory, observational cohort study

Yakoub, K. M., Davies, D. J., Su, Z., Bentley, C., Forcione, M., Toman, E., Hammond, D., Watson, C. N., Bishop, J., Cooper, L., Barbey, A. K., Sawlani, V., Di Pietro, V., Grey, M. J. & Belli, A., Jul 1 2019, In : BMJ Open. 9, 7, e029883.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Observational Studies
Cohort Studies
Neuropsychological Tests