Yaakov Stern, PhD

Yaakov Stern, PhD

Research Interest

  • Chief, Cognitive Neuroscience Division, Department of Neurology

Cognitive Reserve: I am interested in understanding why some individuals show more cognitive deficit than others given the same degree of brain pathology. My own research, and that of others in the field, has shown that aspects of life experience, such as educational or occupational attainment, can impart reserve against brain pathology, allowing some people to maintain function longer than others. Ongoing imaging studies are designed to explore how this "cognitive reserve" is implemented in the brain.

Cognitive Intervention in Normal Aging: We are exploring potential non-pharmacologic interventions that might improve cognition or cognitive/functional outcomes in normal aging. Currently we are completing an aerobic exercise intervention.

Cognitive Aging: We are trying to understand why some cognitive processes are more affected by aging then others. Age-related change as measured by cognitive tasks can summarized into four domains, or latent variables. We are imaged individuals, from 20 through 80 years of age, with 12 tasks, 3 from each domain, and trying to dermine if we can identify a common neural substrate for each domain. We are now following these people over time to investigate how these netwoks are affected by aging.

Heterogeneity of Alzheimer's Disease: I am conducting a study designed to explore individual differences in the rate of decline and in the manifestation of cognitive, behavioral, psychiatric, and neurologic features in patients with Alzheimer's disease. For one aim of this study, we have developed an algorithm for the prediction of important disease endpoints in individual patients. We are also exploring the economic impact of the disease.

“My primary research addresses the neural bais for cognitive aging and cognitive reserve.“

  • City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center
  • Stern, Y. (2002). What is cognitive reserve? Theory and research applications of the reserve concept. J. Internat. Neuropsycholog. Soc. (JINS), 8: 448-460.
  • Stern Y, Zarahn E, Habeck C, Holtzer R, Rakitin BC, Kumar A, Flynn J, Steffener J, Brown T. A common neural network for cognitive reserve in verbal and object working memory in young but not old. Cerebral Cortex 2008;18:959-967.
  • Stern, Y. Cognitive reserve. Neuropsychologia 2009;47:2015–2028.
  • Stern Y, Blumen H, Rich L, Richards A, Herzberg G, Gopher D. Space fortress game training and executive control in older adults: a pilot intervention. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition 2011;18(6);653-77.
  • Steffener J, Stern Y. Exploring the neural basis of cognitive reserve in aging. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) 2011;1822(3);467-73.
  • Gazes Y, Rakitin B, Habeck C, Steffener J, Stern Y. Age differences of multivariate network expressions during task-switching and their associations with behavior. Neuropsychologia Sep 2012;50(14);3509-18.
  • Stern Y, Rakitin B, Habeck C, Gazes Y, Steffener J, Kumar A, Reuben A. Task difficulty modulates young-old differences in network expression. Brain Res 2012;1435:130-45.
  • Razlighi QR, Stallard E, Brandt J, Blacker D, Albert M, Scarmeas N, Kinosian B, Yashin AI, Stern Y. A new algorithm for predicting time to disease endpoints in Alzheimer's patients. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2014;38(3):661-668.
  • Steffener J, Barulli D, Habeck C, O'Shea D, Razlighi Q, Stern Y. The role of education and verbal abilities in altering the effect of age-related gray matter differences on cognition. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 13;9(3):e91196. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091196. eCollection 2014.

For a complete list of publications, please visit PubMed.gov