Jennifer Manly, PhD is a Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurology at the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for Research in Aging and Alzheimer’s disease at Columbia University. Her research on cultural, medical, and genetic predictors of cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease among African Americans and Hispanics has been funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Dr. Manly aims to improve the diagnostic accuracy of neuropsychological tests when used to detect cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease among African American and Hispanic elders. This work clarifies the independent influences of language, acculturation, educational experiences, racial socialization, and socioeconomic status on cognitive test performance, with the ultimate goal of understanding more about the relationship between culture and cognition. Recent work focuses on the specificity of cognitive tasks in detecting subtle cognitive decline among illiterate and low-literacy older adults. This work has important implications for determining the complex influence of reading and writing skills on brain function.