If you are interesting in participating our research studies, please email .

The B-BAL is beginning data collection for several studies. In general, our work focuses on how cognition (memory, thinking, attention) and the brain change as we age. A primary focus of the B-BAL is to study variables (aerobic fitness, strength, mobility, nutrition) that are associated with successful aging and stave off age-related cognitive and neural decline.

All of our studies usually include a behavioral testing session, fitness assessment, and brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Behavioral Assessment

These sessions usually require one or two appointments, each lasting up to 2 hours. The sessions are a series of brain teasers that involve paper and pencil, verbal, and computer-based tasks designed to examine thinking, memory, and attention. This may seem a bit daunting, but most participants enjoy the challenge, and of course, we give rest breaks as needed throughout the session.

Physical Fitness Assessment

To assess physical fitness, study participants exercise on a treadmill or bike while we assess heart and lung functions. Participants wear a mouth piece during the exercise test. The intensity of exercise increases at regular intervals (every 2-3 minutes). We also will assess your strength, and ask you to do different lower- and upper-body exercises under the supervision of trained staff.  We also collect a small sample of blood during the visit, which we use to examine additional indicators of cardiometabolic health.

MRI session

For the MRI session, participants lie on their back in the MRI scanner, and the scanner takes pictures of their brain while they look at words and pictures that are presented through a projector system. Participants hold a button box in their right hand to answer questions while viewing images in the scanner. The scanner occasionally shakes and makes a series of loud clicking noises. Participants are given ear plugs and padding around the head to lessen the noise and make the experience more comfortable. Some participants will be asked to exercise during their brain MRI scan. The session takes about 3 hours, although participants are in the scanner less than 2 hours.