Neal J. Cohen

Title University of Illinois

Neal J. Cohen has been recently named Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Initiative Director. In this role, Professor Cohen will work closely with researchers across campus, as well as the Offices of the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Research, and relevant academic and research units, to develop a new Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute as envisioned in the Campus Strategic Plan. He is a Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and the Beckman Institute, as well as founding Director of the Neuroscience Program (NSP), the Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory (CNLM), and the Center for Lifelong Improvement of Minds & Brains (CLIMB).

Neal received his Ph.D. In Neuroscience from the University of California San Diego, was a postdoc and then Research Scientist at MIT, and a faculty member at The Johns Hopkins University, before joining the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990. His work on human learning and memory has been instrumental in identifying and characterizing multiple memory systems in the brain that support different aspects of performance, and has emphasized development of novel methods and paradigms for assessment of different aspects or forms of memory (e.g., using eye movements as a sensitive measure of memory). Work in his lab includes neuropsychological, functional imaging, and eye tracking studies of memory, intervention studies (exercise, fitness, and cognitive training) across the lifespan, and computational modeling.