Janine Jennings

jenningj@wfu.edu
Associate Professor of Psychology
(336) 758-3632
Greene Hall 429

My research encompasses several areas. First, I am interested in the cognitive changes that occur as we grow older. In particular, my work explores declines in memory and attention in cognitively healthy older adults and in older individuals who have been classified as having Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). With respect to memory and attention, my research focuses largely on unconscious and conscious processes. This work includes studies of source memory, false memory, recollection, and working memory, all of which tends to show conscious processing is strongly affected by both aging and MCI.

Given these findings, my latest work has investigated ways of improving memory and attention in older adults through cognitive training or rehabilitation. By making use of a technique known as the repetition-lag procedure, I have found that cognitively healthy older adults and those with MCI can show substantial gains in long-term memory, working memory, and tasks involving conscious processes and the frontal lobes of the brain. More recently, I have begun to examine the possibility of enhancing older adults’ ability to selectively attend to information under distracting conditions and their ability to shift their attention from one task to another.

Lastly, my research has focused on factors that mimic the effects of aging on cognition or that enhance it. this work examines the influence of state and trait anxiety on memory, the effects of testing times (peak vs. off-peak) on performance, and the impact of nicotine.

Representative Publications:

  • Jennings, J.M., Dagenbach, D., Engle, C.M., & Funke, L.J. (in press). Age-related changes and the attention network task: An examination of alerting, orienting, and executive function. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition.
  • Weisser, V.D., Jennings, J.M., Laurienti, P.J., Dagenbach, D., & Mozolic, J. (2006, April). The effects of attention process training in older adults. Poster presented at the meetings of the Cognitive Aging Conference, Atlanta, GA.
  • Lowder, M.W., & Jennings, J.M. (2006, February). Understanding the implicit false memory effect: Aging, perceptual identification, and explicit contamination. Poster presented at the meetings of the North Carolina Cognition Conference, University of NC at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC.
  • Kleykamp, B. A., Jennings, J. M., Blank, M., & Eissenberg, T. (2005). The effects of nicotine on specific cognitive processes in never-smokers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 19, 433-438.
  • Jennings, J. M., Webster, L.M., Kleykamp, B. A., & Dagenbach, D. (2005). Recollection training and transfer effects in older adults: Successful use of a repetition lag procedure. Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition, 12, 278-298.
  • Jennings, J. M., & Jacoby, L. L. (2003). Improving memory in older adults: Training recollection. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 13, 417-440.
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Research in Developmental Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Introductory Psychology