Kirk Erickson, Ph.D.


3107 Sennott Square 210 S. Bouquet St.

Pittsburgh, PA 15260





My Website >

Research Interests

Cognitive aging methods (i.e., exercise) to improve cognition.


Download CV here

Research Interests: Aging; factors and mechanisms of cognitive impairment; factors that promote healthy aging including physical activity, intellectual engagement, vitamin supplementation, hormone supplementation; the influence of genetics on brain and cognition; translating molecular neuroscience to cognitive neuroscience; neuroplasticity and learning related changes in brain and behavior.

Accepting Graduate Students: Yes

Graduate Student Advisees:

  • Hemachandra, Swathi
  • Oberlin, Lauren
  • Jamie Cohen


  • PhD, University of Illinois


  • University of Pittsburgh Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award (2015)
  • Paul D. Doolen Scholarship for the Study of Aging (2003-2004)
  • NIMH Cognitive Psychophysiology Training grant (2001; 2004)
  • Beckman Institute Predoctoral Fellowship (2002-2003)


  • Publication 754

    Erickson, KI, Raji, C, Lopez, O, Becker, JT, Rosano, C, Newman, AB, Gach, HM, Thompson, PM, Ho, AJ, Kuller, LH. (2010). Physical activity predicts gray matter volume in late adulthood: the Cardiovascular Health Study. Neurology. 75: 1415-22.

  • Publication 850

    Erickson KI, Miller DL, Roecklein KA. (2012). The aging hippocampus: interactions between exercise, depression, and BDNF. Neuroscientist, 18: 82-97.

  • Publication 943

    Weinstein, AM, Voss, MW, Prakash, RS, Chaddock L, Szabo, A, White, SM, Wojcicki, TR, Mailey, E, McAuley, E, Kramer, AF, Erickson, KI. (2012). The association between aerobic fitness and executive function is mediated by prefrontal cortex volume. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 26:811-9.

  • Publication 944

    Verstynen, TD, Weinstein, AM, Schneider, WW, Jakicic, JM, Rofey, DL, Erickson, KI. (in press). Increased body mass index is associated with global decreases in white matter microstructural integrity. Psychosomatic Medicine.

  • Publication 945

    Gianaros, PJ, Marsland, AL, Sheu, LK, Erickson, KI, Verstynen, TD. (in press). Inflammatory pathways link socioeconomic disadvantage to white matter architecture. Cerebral Cortex.

  • Publication 946

    Erickson, KI, Barr, LL, Weinstein, AM, Banducci, SE, Akl, SL, Santo, NM, Leckie, RL, Oakley, M, Saxton, J, Aizenstein, HJ, Becker, JT, Lopez, OL. (in press). Measuring physical activity with accelerometry in a community sample with dementia. Journal of the American Geriatic Society.

  • Publication 948

    Wilckens, K. A., Erickson, K. I., and Wheeler, M. E. (2012 online). Age-related decline in controlled retrieval: The role of the PFC and sleep. Neural Plasticity. doi:10.1155/2012/624795

  • Publication 849

    Erickson KI, Voss, MW, Prakash, RS, Basak, C, Szabo, A, Chaddock, L, Kim, JS, Heo,S, Alves, H, White, SM, Wojcicki, TR, Mailey, E, Vieira, VJ, Martin, SA, Pence, BP, Woods, JA, McAuley, E, Kramer, AF. (2011). Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108: 3017-22.

  • Publication 753

    Voss, MW, Prakash, RS, Erickson, KI, Basak, C, Chaddock, L, Kim, JS, Alves, H, Heo, S, Szabo, A, White, SM, Wojcicki, TR, Klamm, E, Gothe, N, Olson, EA, McAuley, E, Kramer, AF. (2010). Plasticity of brain networks in a randomized intervention trial of exercise training in older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 2: 1-17.

  • Publication 752

    Erickson, KI, Prakash, RS, Voss, MW, Chaddock, L, Heo, S, McLaren, M, Pence, BD, Martin, SA, Vieira, VJ, Woods, JA, McAuley, E, Kramer, AF. (2010). BDNF is associated with age-related decline in hippocampal volume. Journal of Neuroscience. 30: 5368-75.

  • Publication 751

    Erickson, KI, Boot, WR, Basak, C, Neider, MB, Prakash, RS, Voss, MW, Graybiel, AM, Simons, DJ, Fabiani, M, Gratton, G, Kramer, AF. (2010). Striatum volume predicts level of video game skill acquisition. Cerebral Cortex. 20(11): 2522-30.