Jennifer Manly, PhD
Associate Professor of Neuropsychology (in Neurology, the Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute)
630 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032
I am interested in examining cognition in developmental disorders that are well-characterized by etiology.
Cognitive test performance of African American elders: Cognitive tests have poor specificity among minority populations and cannot reliably differentiate subtle impairment associated with the early stages of dementia from the effects of normal aging. Misdiagnosis of dementia is thus more likely among cognitively normal African Americans as compared to non-Hispanic Whites. I am directly addressing this problem by investigating the cultural and educational determinants of individual variation in neuropsychological test performance. Thus far, this work has identified aspects of cultural and educational experience that can be explicitly measured and has related these variables to test performance both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. In future years, we will identify the most accurate measures of quality of education and identify whether we can improve diagnostic accuracy (regardless of race) when taking these variables into account.
Literacy as a proxy for cognitive reserve: Another research interest is whether literacy level is a more meaningful proxy for "cognitive reserve" than years of education or occupation among ethnically diverse elders. In a study of the relationship of literacy level to change in memory ability over time, I found that elders with both high and low levels of literacy declined in immediate and delayed memory over time; however, the decline was more rapid among low literacy elders. This suggests that high literacy skills do not provide complete preservation of memory skills but rather a slowing of age-related decline. In future years, we will determine if literacy is a significant predictor of who will develop Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
Literacy and working memory: Neuropsychological studies of illiterates have led several researchers to propose that the acquisition of written language modulates the so-called phonological loop. However, prior research of my group and others has shown a profound effect of literacy on performance on a wide range of verbal and nonverbal cognitive tests. I am currently exploring whether the effect of literacy is primarily on the phonological loop (verbal short term memory), or whether it also has independent effects on other aspects of working memory, including visuospatial short-term memory.
Manly, J.J., Byrd D, Touradji P, Sanchez D, Stern Y. Literacy and cognitive change among ethnically diverse elders. International Journal of Psychology, 2004:39(1); 47-60.
Byrd DA, Touradji P, Tang MX, Manly J.J. Cancellation test performance in African American, Hispanic, and White elderly. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 2004:10;401-411.
Manly, J.J., Jacobs, D.M., Sano, M., Merchant, C.A., Small, S.A., & Stern, Y. Effect of literacy on neuropsychological test performance in nondemented, education-matched elders. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 1999; 5: 191-202.
Manly, J.J. & Jacobs, D. (2002). Future directions in neuropsychological assessment with African Americans. In Ferrarro, R., ed. Minority and Cross-cultural Aspects of Neuropsychological Assessment. Swets & Zeitlinger: 79-96.
Manly, J.J., Jacobs, D.M., Touradji, P., Small, S.A., & Stern, Y. Reading level attenuates differences in neuropsychological test performance between African American and White elders. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 2002; 8: 341-348.
Manly, J.J., Touradji, P., Tang, M-X., & Stern, Y. Literacy and memory decline among ethnically diverse elders. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2003; 25: 680-690.
Manly, J.J., Byrd, D., Touradji, P., & Stern, Y. Acculturation, reading level, and neuropsychological test performance among African American elders. Applied Neuropsychology 2004; 11: 37 – 46.
Manly, J.J. Advantages and disadvantages of separate norms for African Americans. The Clinical Neuropsychologist 2005; 19: 270 – 275.
Byrd, D.A., Jacobs, D.J., Hilton, H.J., Stern, Y., & Manly, J.J.. Sources of errors on visuoperceptual tasks: The role of education, literacy, and search strategy. Brain and Cognition 2005; 58: 251 - 257.
Byrd, D.A., Sanchez, D., & Manly, J.J. Neuropsychological test performance among Caribbean-born and U.S.-born African American elderly: the role of age, education and reading level. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2005; 27: 1056 - 1069.
Manly, J.J., Bell-McGinty, S., Tang, M.-X., Schupf, N., Stern, Y., & Mayeux, R. Implementing diagnostic criteria and estimating frequency of Mild Cognitive Impairment in an urban community. Archives of Neurology 2005; 62: 1739 - 1746.
Brickman, A.M., Cabo, R., & Manly, J.J., Ethical issues in cross-cultural neuropsychology. Applied Neuropsychology 2006; 13: 91 - 100.
Cosentino, S., Manly, J.J., & Mungas, D. Do reading scores measure the same construct across ethnic and linguistic groups? Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 2007; 13: 228-236.
Manly, J.J., & Echemendia, R.J. Race-specific norms: Using the model of hypertension to understand issues of race, culture, and education in neuropsychology. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 2007; 22: 319–325.
Manly, J.J., Tang, M.-X., Schupf, N., Stern, Y., & Mayeux, R. Frequency and course of Mild Cognitive Impairment in a multiethnic community. Annals of Neurology, 2008; 63: 494–506. NIHMSID46337.
Glymour, M.M., Manly, J.J. Lifecourse social conditions and racial and ethnic patterns of cognitive aging. Neuropsychology Review, 2008; 18: 223-54.
Manly, J.J., Schupf, N., Stern, Y., Brickman, A.M., Tang, M.-X., Mayeux, R. Telephone-based identification of MCI and dementia in a multicultural cohort. Archives of Neurology, 2011;68:607-614. NIHMSID297337
Glymour, M.M., Kosheleva, A., Wadley, V.G., Weiss, C., Manly, J.J. The geographic distribution of dementia mortality: elevated mortality rates for Black and White Americans by place of birth. Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders. (in press).
Manly, J.J., Smith, C., Crystal, H.A., Richardson, J., Golub, E.T., Greenblatt, R., Robison, E., Martin, E.M., and Young, M. Relationship of ethnicity, age, education, and reading level to speed and executive function among HIV+ and HIV- women: The WIHS Neurocognitive Substudy. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 2011; 33:853-863.
Zahodne, L.B., Glymour, M.M., Sparks, C., Bontempo, D., Dixon, R.A., MacDonald, S.W.S., & Manly, J.J. Education does not slow cognitive decline over 12 years: evidence from the Victoria Longitudinal Study of Aging. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. (in press).