Kirk Erickson, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Psychology

Graduate Student Advisees:

  • Sarah Aghjayan
  • Jermon Drake
  • Rae Harrison
  • Alina Lesnovskaya
  • Hayley Ripperger

Education & Training

  • PhD, University of Illinois

Research Interest Summary

Cognitive Aging Methods; Exercise; Improving Cognition

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.

Representative Publications

Erickson, KI, Prakash, RS, Voss, MW, Chaddock, L, Hu, L, Morris, KS, White, SM, Wojcicki, TR, McAuley, E, Kramer, AF.  (2009).  Aerobic fitness is associated with hippocampal volume in elderly humans.  Hippocampus. 19(10): 1030-1039.

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.

Leckie, RL, Weinstein, AM, Hodzic, JC, Erickson, KI. (2012).  Potential moderators of physical activity on brain health.  Journal of Aging Research, 2012: 948981.

Verstynen, TD, Weinstein, AM, Schneider, WW, Jakicic, JM, Rofey, DL, Erickson, KI. (2012).  Increased body mass index is associated with global decreases in white matter microstructural integrity. Psychosomatic Medicine, 74: 682-90.

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.

Erickson, KI, Creswell, JD, Verstynen, T, Gianaros, PJ. (2014).  Health Neuroscience: Defining a new field.   Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23: 446-53.

Oberlin, LE, Verstynen, TD, Burzynska, AZ, Voss, MW, Prakash, RS, Chaddock-Heyman, L, Wong, C, Fanning, J, Awick, E, Gothe, N, Phillips, SM, Mailey, E, Ehlers, D, Olson, E, Wojcicki, T, McAuley, E, Kramer, AF, Erickson, KI.  (2016).  White matter microstructure mediates the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and spatial working memory in older adults.  NeuroImage, 131: 91-101.

Stillman, CM, Cohen, J, Lehman, M, Erickson, KI. (2016). Mediators of physical activity on neurocognitive function: a review at multiple levels of analysis.  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10: 626.

Oberlin, LE, Waiwood, A, Cumming, T, Marsland, A, Bernhardt, J, Erickson, KI.  (2017).  Effects of physical activity on post-stroke cognitive function: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.  Stroke, 48: 3093-3100.

Gujral, S, McAuley, E, Oberlin, LE, Kramer, AF, Erickson, KI. (2018).  Neural predictors of adherence to a 12-month randomized physical activity trial.  Psychosomatic Medicine. 80: 69-77.

Stillman, CM, Uyar, F, Huang, H, Grove, GA, Watt, JC, Wollam, ME, Erickson, KI. (2018).  Cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with enhanced hippocampal functional connectivity in healthy young adults. Hippocampus, 28: 239-247.

Stillman, CM, Erickson, KI. (2018).  Physical activity as a model for health neuroscience.  Annals of the New York Academy of Science. 1428: 103-111.

Accepting Graduate Students