Stuart MacDonald

Dr. Stuart MacDonald is an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria, and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar.

His research is funded by operating grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the US National Institutes of Health.

MacDonald’s current research is conducted primarily within two research traditions: individual differences in cognitive aging and the cognitive neuroscience of aging. Longitudinal data from unique sources including the Victoria Longitudinal Study (Victoria, BC) and the Kungsholmen Project (Stockholm, Sweden) are used to examine patterns and predictors of cognitive decline in the healthy elderly, as well as for the developmental transition between primary and secondary aging (e.g. accelerated memory loss due to morbidity). Particular interest is focused on risk factors (genetic, biological, psychological) and indicators (intraindividual variability) that foreshadow cognitive impairment associated with age, dementia onset, and subsequent death. Recent research on variability in cognitive behavior, physiological function (gait, blood pressure), and brain activity targets the early detection of those at greatest risk for cognitive decline and dementia.


Recent Publications

Garrett, D.D., Samanez-Larkin, G.L., MacDonald, S.W.S., Lindenberger, U., McIntosh, A.R., & Grady, C.L. (2013). Moment-to-moment brain signal variability: A next frontier in brain mapping? Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 37, 610-624.

MacDonald, S.W.S., Karlsson, S., Rieckmann, A., Nyberg, L., & Bäckman, L. (2012). Aging-related increases in behavioral variability: Relations to losses of dopamine D1 receptors. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 8186-8191.

Laukka, E.J., MacDonald, S.W.S., Fratiglioni, L., & Bäckman, L. (2012). Preclinical cognitive trajectories differ for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 18, 191-199.

MacDonald, S.W.S., Karlsson, S., Fratiglioni, L., & Bäckman, L. (2011). Trajectories of cognitive decline following dementia onset: What accounts for variation in progression. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 31, 202–209.

MacDonald, S.W.S., DeCarlo, C.A., & Dixon, R.A. (2011). Linking biological and cognitive aging: Towards improving characterizations of developmental time. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 66B(S1), i59-i70.