David Johnson, PhD

David K. Johnson

    Director of Neuropsychology


Research Interests

My primary interest is in clinical research that identifies cognitive and emotional processes that characterize healthy aging and dementia. Although some age-related change may be part of healthy aging processes, there are certain changes in memory and cognition that are early markers of dementia pathology leading to profound intellectual decrements in individuals with dementia. My research explores neuropsychological changes in aging and how these changes impact thinking and emotion. I am motivated by a framework that suggests multiple, co-occurring factors that affect cognitive aging. I focus on understanding these diverse, and dissociable, brain changes in aging and dementia and how they affect cognition and emotion.

I am a licensed clinical psychologist with specialty training in Gerontology and Neuropsychology. I have considerable multidisciplinary experience and worked closely with Geriatricians, Neurologists, Neuropathologists, Psychiatrists, Nurse Practitioners, and Biostatisticians in medical and academic settings. I also received specialty training in longitudinal data analysis as a postdoctoral fellow in Neurology at the Washington University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, examining white matter disease, Alzheimer's dementia, Lewy Body disease, and dementia associated with Parkinson's disease. I am also adjunct faculty in Neurology at KU Medical Center and work closely with Dr. Jeff Burns of the Brain Aging Project and the Alzheimer Disease Center in Kansas City.

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