Yaakov Stern

Yaakov Stern, Ph.D.

Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, Psychology

Physicians & Surgeons
Tel +1 212-342-1350

Area of Research

Brain Imaging, Cognitive/Systems Neuroscience


Neuroimaging approaches to cognition across the life span, cognitive neuroscience of aging, and heterogeneity of Alzheimer


Cognitive reserve: I am interested in understanding the basis for individual differences in task performance in general, and more specifically, the reason why some individuals show more cognitive deficit than others given the same degree of brain pathology. Ongoing fMRI studies explore this issue using paradigms that evaluate differential expression of brain networks across young and old healthy individuals and patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Heterogeneity of Alzheimer’s disease: a prospective study is designed to explore individual differences in the rate of decline and in the manifestation of cognitive, behavioral, psychiatric, and neurologic features in AD patients. Ongoing clinicopathologic studies may give insight into the heterogeneity.

Cognitive neuroscience division: this division consists of investigators who focus on cognitive-experimental and Neuroimaging approaches to cognition across the life span. There is an emphasis on normal and abnormal aging, and degenerative neurological disease. Current cognitive experimental studies include the effects on task performance of memory domains such as basic timing mechanisms and attention, as well as social domains such as literacy and ethnicity.


Stern, Y., Habeck, C., Moeller, J., Scarmeas, N., Anderson, K.E., Hilton, J.H., Flynn, J., Sackeim, H., van Heertum, R. (2004). Brain networks associated with cognitive reserve in healthy young and old adults. Cerebral Cortex, doi:10.1093/cercor/bhh142 (Epub.)

Zarahn, E., Rakitin, B., Abela, D., Flynn, J., Stern, Y. (2004).Positive evidence against human hippocampal involvement in workingmemory maintenance of familiar stimuli. Cerebral Cortex, 9/13 (Epub.)

Scarmeas, N., Habeck, C.G., Zarahn, E., Anderson, K.E., Park, A.,Hilton, J., Pelton, G., Tabert, M.H., Honig, L.S., Moeller, J.R.,Devanand, D.P., Stern, Y. (2004). Covariance PET patterns in earlyAlzheimer's disease and subjects with cognitive impairment but nodementia: utility in group discrimination and correlations withfunctional performance. Neuroimage, 23: 35-45.

Stern, Y., Zarahn, E., Hilton, H.J., Flynn, J., DeLa Paz, R., Rakitin,B. (2003). Exploring the neural basis of cognitive reserve. J. Clin.Exp. Neuropsychol., 5: 691-701.

Stern, Y. (2002). What is cognitive reserve? Theory and research applications of the reserve concept. J. Internat. Neuropsycholog. Soc. (JINS), 8: 448-460.