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Research Talk by Dr. Jessica Finlay

March 15, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Research Talk Title: “Cognability: An ecological theory of neighborhoods and cognitive aging”

Summary: Individuals and families in every city, town, and rural area feel the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. While a growing body of evidence points to potentially modifiable individual risk factors for dementia, the everyday environments in which people develop and navigate cognitive decline are largely overlooked. This talk introduces a new theoretical concept, Cognability, to investigate how well your community supports cognitive health through places to exercise, connect with other people, and keep your mind active. Not everyone has access to these places, and some of us face additional health threats such as pollution from local factories and highways. It is important to identify which communities lack neighborhood resources to support cognitive health. That way we can prioritize community changes and neighborhood investments to create more equitable opportunities for healthy aging.

Speaker Biography: Dr. Jessica Finlay is a health geographer and environmental gerontologist in the Social Environment and Health Program at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. She uses qualitative, geospatial, and mixed methods to investigate the role of built, social, and natural environments for health and well-being in later life. Her research focuses on how neighborhood environments may increase risk for dementia or help buffer against cognitive decline. Dr. Finlay also investigates multifaceted impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical, mental, social, and cognitive health of aging adults.

This lecture may be viewed in-person at the Rudy North Lecture Theatre in the Centre for Brain Health at UBC or over Zoom. A light lunch will be provided for those attending in person.


To connect over Zoom:

Zoom Meeting ID: 98589 778241

Step 1: Open https://ubc.zoom.us/ and click on ‘Join a Meeting’.

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Step 4: Enter the last 6 digits of the Zoom Meeting ID found above in the passcode field then click ‘Join Meeting.’