Molly McLaren, M.S.

Graduate Student

MM

Molly McLaren, M.S.

M.S., Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
B.S., Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

E-mail:  memclaren@phhp.ufl.edu

Primary Appointment:

Neuropsychology Intern, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

Graduate Student, Woods Lab
Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory
Department of Clinical and Health Psychology
College of Public Health and Health Professions
University of Florida

Professional Interests

Molly McLaren, M.S., is a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida (UF) in the Department of Clinical and Healthy Psychology.  Molly completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh with a double major in neuroscience and psychology and a minor in chemistry.  Following graduation in 2011, Molly worked as a research assistant on the ENLIGHTEN study at Duke Medical Center with Dr. James Blumenthal and Dr. Patrick Smith. She began her doctoral training in clinical neuropsychology in the fall of 2013 at UF under the mentorship of Dr. Vonetta Dotson in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging and Depression laboratory.  Molly obtained her Master of Science from UF in 2015.  Throughout graduate school Molly volunteered in the Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory and officially joined Dr. Adam Woods’ laboratory as a graduate student in her 4th year. She received a pre-doctoral T32 training fellowship from the National Institute on Aging in her 5th year.  Molly successfully defended her dissertation titled “Identification of Age and Mood-Associated Brain Differences in Reward Network Functioning” in June 2018.  She is currently completing her pre-doctoral internship in clinical neuropsychology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

Research Focus

Molly’s research interests involve examining the relationship between mood symptoms and cognitive functioning in older adults and how brain aging may impact both cognition and mood.  Molly’s interests also include examining how various interventions (e.g., diet, exercise, cognitive rehabilitation, non-invasive brain stimulation) may impact both mood and cognition.

Publications & Presentations

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Gomes-Osman, J., Rice, J., Cabral, D. L. F., Fried, P. J., Nissim, N. R., Aksu, S., McLaren, M.E., & Woods, A. J. (2018). Non-invasive brain stimulation: probing intracortical circuits and improving cognition in the aging brain. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 10, 177.

McLaren, M. E., Nissim, N. R., & Woods, A. J. (2018). The effects of medication use in transcranial direct current stimulation: A brief review. Brain Stimulation: Basic, Translational, and Clinical Research in Neuromodulation, 11(1), 52-58.

Szymkowicz, S.M.,Dotson, V.M., McLaren, M.E., De Wit, L., O’Shea, D.M., Talty, F., O’Shea, A., Porges, E., Cohen, R. A., & Woods, A.J. (2017). Precuneus abnormalities in middle-aged to older adults with depressive symptoms: An analysis of BDI-II symptom dimensions. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 268, 9-14.

McLaren, M.E.,Szymkowicz, S.M., O’Shea, A., Woods, A.J., Anton, S.D., & Dotson, V.M. (2017). Vertex-wise examination of depressive symptom dimensions and brain volumes in older adults.Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 260, 70-75.

De Wit, L., Kirton, J.W., O’Shea, D.M., Szymkowicz, S.M., McLaren, M.E., & Dotson, V.M. (2017). Effects of body mass index and education and verbal and nonverbal memory. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 24(3), 256-263.

Szymkowicz, S.M., McLaren, M.E., O’Shea, A., Woods, A.J., Anton, S.D., & Dotson, V.M. (2017). Depressive symptoms modify age effects on hippocampal subfields in older adults. Geriatrics & Gerontology International, 17(10), 1494-1500.

Szymkowicz, S.M., McLaren, M.E., Suryadevara, U., & Woods, A.J. (2016). Transcranial direct current stimulation use in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders: A brief review. Psychiatric Annals, 46(11), 642-646.

O’Shea, D.M., De Wit, L., Szymkowicz, S.M., McLaren, M.E., Talty, F., & Dotson, V.M. (2016). Anxiety modifies the association between fatigue and verbal fluency in cognitively normal adults. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology,31(8), 1043-1049.

Asken, B.M., Sullan, M.J., Snyder, A.R., Houck, Z.M., Bryant, V.E., Hizel, L.P., McLaren, M.E., Dede, D.E., Jaffee, M.S., DeKosky, S.T., Bauer, R.M. (2016). Factors influencing clinical correlates of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE): A review. Neuropsychology Review, 26(4), 340-363. doi:10.1007/s11065-016-9327-z

McLaren, M.E., Szymkowicz, S.M., O’Shea, A., Woods, A.J., Anton, S.D., & Dotson, V.M. (2016). Dimensions of depressive symptoms and cingulate volumes in older adults. Translational Psychiatry, 6(4).

Dotson, V.M., Szymkowicz, S.M., Sozda, C.N., Kirton, J.W., Green, M.L., O’Shea, A., McLaren, M.E., Anton, S.D., Manini, T.M., & Woods, A.J. (2016). Age differences in prefrontal surface area and thickness in middle aged to older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 7,250.

Szymkowicz, S.M., McLaren, M.E., Kirton, J.W., O’Shea, A., Woods, A.J., Manini, T.W., Anton, S.D., & Dotson, V.M. (2016). Depressive symptom severity is associated with increased cortical thickness in older adults. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 31(4), 325-333.

McLaren, M.E., Szymkowicz, S.M., Kirton, J.W., & Dotson, V.M. (2015). Impact of education on memory deficits in subclinical depression. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 30(5), 387-393.

Dotson, V.M., Szymkowicz, S.M., Kirton, J.W.,McLaren, M.E., Green, M.L., & Rohani, J.Y. (2014). Unique and interactive effect of anxiety and depressive symptoms on cognitive and brain function in young and older adults. Journal of Depression and Anxiety. S1:22565.

Smith, P.J., Potter, G.G., McLaren, M.E., Blumenthal, J.A. (2013).  Impact of aerobic exercise on neurobehavioral outcomes. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 6(3), 139-153.

Erickson, K.I., Prakash, R.S., Voss, M.W, Chaddock, L., Heo, S., McLaren, M., Pence, B.D., Martin, S.A., Vieira, V.J., Woods, J.A., McAuley, E., Kramer, A.F. (2010). Brain derived neurotrophic factor is associated with age-related decline in hippocampal volume.The Journal of Neuroscience, 30(15), 5368-5375.

 

Published Abstracts

McLaren, M.E., Dotson, V.M., Szymkowicz, S.M., O’Shea, D.M., O’Shea, A., Porges, E., Coehn, R., & Woods, A.J. (2017). Association of subthreshold depressive symptoms with cortical thickness and surface area of the insula. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 23(Supplement 1). 25.

O’Shea, D.M., Szymkowicz, S.M., McLaren, M.E., De Wit, L., Dotson, V. M. (2017). Prospective memory strategy use as a predictor of cognitive status in older adults: The role of subjective memory.  Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 23(Supplement 1). 335.

De Wit, L., O’Shea, D.M., McLaren, M.E., Szymkowicz, S.M., & Dotson, V.M. ​(2017). The effects of depressive symptom dimensions and education on verbal memory. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 23(Supplement 1). 333.

McLaren, M.E., Szymkowicz, S.M., O’Shea, A., Woods, A.J., Anton, S.D. & Dotson, V.M. (2016). Symptom dimensions of depression and age impact subfield hippocampal volume. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 22 (Supplement 1). 203.

Szymkowicz, S.M., McLaren, M.E., De Wit, L., O’Shea, A., Woods, A.J., Anton, S.D., & Dotson, V.M. (2016). Structural abnormalities in cortical thickness, surface area, and volume of the precuneus in older adults with depressive symptoms. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 22 (Supplement 1). 207.

McLaren, M.E., Szymkowicz, S.M., O’Shea, A., Woods, A.J., Manini, T.M., Anton, S.D., & Dotson, V.M. (2015). Symptom dimensions of depression and frontal brain volume in older adults. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 21 (Supplement 1). 140.

Szymkowicz, S.M.,McLaren, M.E.,O’Shea, A., Woods, A.J., Manini, T.M., Anton, S.D., & Dotson, V.M. (2015). Subthreshold depressive symptoms are associated with age-related structural brain changes. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 21 (Supplement 1).144.

Grants

4 T32 AG020499-14 (PI: Michael Marsiske)   4/17 – 8/18
NIH/NIA
Title: Physical, Cognitive and Mental Health in Social Context
The major goal of this project is to educate pre-doctoral researchers in the behavioral theories, methodologies, and analyses needed to address concerns related to health, independence, and functioning in older adults
Role: Research Fellow/ Trainee (2017-2018)

Professional Memberships

Association of Neuropsychology Students & Trainees (ANST)

Honors and Awards

University of Florida Graduate Student Council Travel Award Winner (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)

University of Florida ANST Travel Award Winner (2016)

Spotlight on Aging Research Day poster award winner (2016)

University of Florida’s ANST 4thyear representative (2016)

University of Florida’s PHHP travel award winner (2014)

University of Florida Graduate Assistantship (2013-2017)

Inducted into Phi Betta Kappa (2010)