I am a cognitive neuroscientist with research interests in perception, attention and memory in both neurologically-intact individuals and patients with neurocognitive disorders. I received my B.A. in psychology from the College of the Holy Cross in 1992, and my Ph.D. in experimental psychology with emphasis in visual psychophysics from Brown University in 1998. I then completed my postdoctoral training in cognitive neuropsychology at Brown University.
|He M, Heindel WC, Nassar MR, Siefert EM, Festa EK. "Age-related changes in the functional integrity of the phasic alerting system: a pupillometric investigation." Neurobiology of aging, vol. 91, 2020, pp. 136-147.|
|Lai LY, Frömer R, Festa EK, Heindel WC. "Age-related changes in the neural dynamics of bottom-up and top-down processing during visual object recognition: an electrophysiological investigation." Neurobiology of aging, vol. 94, 2020, pp. 38-49.|
"Cue-trace interactions during episodic memory retrieval: Synergistic ecphory and the pupillary old/new effect." Context and Episodic Memory Symposium, 2020.
|Kavanaugh, Brian, Tirrell, Eric, McLaughlin, Nicole, Sherman, Anna, Carpenter, Linda, Festa, Elena, Grammer, Jennifer, Ibanescu, Simona Temereanca, Oberman, Lindsay, Pizzagalli, Diego, Parade, Stephanie, Seifer, Ronald, Tyrka, Audrey. "Gamma Oscillations as a Potential Marker of Cognitive Control in Childhood Psychopathology." Biological Psychiatry, vol. 87, no. 9, 2020, pp. S175.|
|Matthews N, Welch L, Festa EK, Bruno AA, Schafer K. "Global depth perception alters local timing sensitivity." PLoS ONE, vol. 15, no. 1, 2020, pp. e0228080.|
|Korthauer LE, Heindel WC, Lai LY, Tremont G, Ott BR, Festa EK. "Impaired integration of object feature knowledge in amnestic mild cognitive impairment." Neuropsychology, vol. 34, no. 6, 2020, pp. 699-712.|
"Light- and task-induced pupillary response as indirect markers of cholinergic and noradrenergic function in prodromal Alzheimer’s disease." Alzheimer's Association International Conference, 2020.
|Karpouzian-Rogers T, Heindel WC, Ott BR, Tremont G, Festa EK. "Phasic alerting enhances spatial orienting in healthy aging but not in mild cognitive impairment." Neuropsychology, vol. 34, no. 2, 2020, pp. 144-154.|
|Lynn A, Festa EK, Heindel WC, Amso D. "What underlies visual selective attention development? Evidence that age-related improvements in visual feature integration influence visual selective attention performance." Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, vol. 191, 2020, pp. 104732.|
|Margolis SA, Festa EK, Papandonatos GD, Korthauer LE, Gonsalves MA, Oberman L, Heindel WC, Ott BR. "A pilot study of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in primary progressive aphasia." Brain Stimulation, vol. 12, no. 5, 2019, pp. 1340-1342.|
|Korthauer, Laura E., Salmon, David P., Festa, Elena K., Galasko, Douglas, Heindel, William C. "Alzheimer’s disease and the processing of uncertainty during choice task performance: Executive dysfunction within the Hick–Hyman law." Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, vol. 41, no. 4, 2019, pp. 380-389.|
|Venkatesan, Umesh M., Margolis, Seth A., Tremont, Geoffrey, Festa, Elena K., Heindel, William C. "Forward to the past: Revisiting the role of immediate recognition in the assessment of episodic memory." Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, vol. 42, no. 2, 2019, pp. 1-11.|
"Validation of the fNIRS Pioneer™, a Portable, Durable, Rugged Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) Device." HEALTHINF , 2019, pp. 521-531.
"Visual sensory binding in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease." Alzheimer's Association International Conference, 2019.
|Santos, Cláudia Y., Johnson, Lenworth N., Sinoff, Stuart E., Festa, Elena K., Heindel, William C., Snyder, Peter J. "Change in retinal structural anatomy during the preclinical stage of Alzheimer's disease." Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, vol. 10, no. 1, 2018, pp. 196-209.|
|Davis, Jennifer, Wang, Shuhang, Festa, Elena, Luo, Gang, Moharrer, Mojtaba, Bernier, Justine, Ott, Brian. "Detection of Risky Driving Behaviors in the Naturalistic Environment in Healthy Older Adults and Mild Alzheimer’s Disease." Geriatrics, vol. 3, no. 2, 2018, pp. 13.|
|Welch, Leslie, Matthews, Nestor, Festa, Elena, Schafer, Kendra. "Double Dissociation in Radial & Rotational Motion-Defined Temporal Order Judgments." Journal of Vision, vol. 18, no. 10, 2018, pp. 330.|
|Matthews N, Welch L, Festa E. "Superior Visual Timing Sensitivity in Auditory But Not Visual World Class Drum Corps Experts." eNeuro, vol. 5, no. 6, 2018.|
"Audiovisual sensory integration is sensitive to beta-amyloid load in the preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease." Alzheimer's Association International Conference, 2017.
"Controlled semantic retrieval is sensitive to changes in beta-amyloid load in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease: A neurocognitive stress test for Alzheimer-related disruptions to frontotemporal pathways." Alzheimer's Association International Conference, 2017.
|Venkatesan UM, Festa EK, Ott BR, Heindel WC. "Differential Contributions of Selective Attention and Sensory Integration to Driving Performance in Healthy Aging and Alzheimer's Disease." Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, vol. 24, no. 5, 2017, pp. 1-12.|
|Festa, Elena K., Katz, Andrew P., Ott, Brian R., Tremont, Geoffrey, Heindel, William C. "Dissociable Effects of Aging and Mild Cognitive Impairment on Bottom-Up Audiovisual Integration." Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, vol. 59, no. 1, 2017, pp. 155-167.|
"Effects of timbre distortion and arousal on memory for vocal and instrumental melodies." Association for Psychological Science, 2017.
|Landy KM, Salmon DP, Galasko D, Filoteo JV, Festa EK, Heindel WC, Hansen LA, Hamilton JM. "Motion discrimination in dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer disease." Neurology, vol. 85, no. 16, 2015, pp. 1376-1382.|
|Kane, Amy E., Festa, Elena K., Salmon, David P., Heindel, William C. "Repetition priming and cortical arousal in healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease." Neuropsychologia, vol. 70, 2015, pp. 145-155.|
|Ott BR, Davis JD, Papandonatos GD, Hewitt S, Festa EK, Heindel WC, Snellgrove CA, Carr DB. "Assessment of driving-related skills prediction of unsafe driving in older adults in the office setting." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol. 61, no. 7, 2013, pp. 1164-9.|
|Festa, Elena K., Ott, Brian R., Manning, Kevin J., Davis, Jennifer D., Heindel, William C. "Effect of Cognitive Status on Self-Regulatory Driving Behavior in Older Adults." Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, vol. 26, no. 1, 2013, pp. 10-18.|
|Heindel WC, Festa EK, Ott BR, Landy KM, Salmon DP. "Prototype learning and dissociable categorization systems in Alzheimer's disease." Neuropsychologia, vol. 51, no. 9, 2013, pp. 1699-708.|
|Matthews, N., Welch, L., Festa, E., Clement, A. "Remapping time across space." Journal of Vision, vol. 13, no. 8, 2013, pp. 2-2.|
|Davis JD, Papandonatos GD, Miller LA, Hewitt SD, Festa EK, Heindel WC, Ott BR. "Road test and naturalistic driving performance in healthy and cognitively impaired older adults: does environment matter?." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol. 60, no. 11, 2012, pp. 2056-62.|
|Festa, Elena K., Heindel, William C., Ott, Brian R. "Dual-task conditions modulate the efficiency of selective attention mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease." Neuropsychologia, vol. 48, no. 11, 2010, pp. 3252-61.|
|Daiello, Lori A., Ott, Brian R., Festa, Elena K., Friedman, Michael, Miller, Lindsay A., Heindel, William C. "Effects of cholinesterase inhibitors on visual attention in drivers with Alzheimer disease." Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, vol. 30, no. 3, 2010, pp. 245-251.|
|Ott BR, Heindel WC, Papandonatos GD, Festa EK, Davis JD, Daiello LA, Morris JC. "A longitudinal study of drivers with Alzheimer disease." Neurology, vol. 70, no. 14, 2008, pp. 1171-8.|
|Ott BR, Festa EK, Amick MM, Grace J, Davis JD, Heindel WC. "Computerized maze navigation and on-road performance by drivers with dementia." Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, vol. 21, no. 1, 2008, pp. 18-25.|
"Classifying n-back EEG data using entropy and mutual information features." European Symposium of Artificial Neural Networks (ESANN) Proceedings, 2007, pp. 61-66.
|Gitten, Jill C., Winer, Jesse L., Festa, Elena K., Heindel, William C. "Conditional associative learning of spatial and object information in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder." Child Neuropsychology, vol. 12, no. 1, 2006, pp. 39-56.|
|Festa EK, Ott BR, Heindel WC. "Considering phasic alerting in Alzheimer's disease: comment on Tales et al. (2006)." Neuropsychology, vol. 20, no. 6, 2006, pp. 757-760.|
|Festa, Elena K., Insler, Rachel Z., Salmon, David P., Paxton, Jessica, Hamilton, Joanne M., Heindel, William C. "Neocortical Disconnectivity Disrupts Sensory Integration in Alzheimer's Disease." Neuropsychology, vol. 19, no. 6, 2005, pp. 728-738.|
|GRACE, JANET, AMICK, MELISSA M., D'ABREU, ANELYSSA, FESTA, ELENA K., HEINDEL, WILLIAM C., OTT, BRIAN R. "Neuropsychological deficits associated with driving performance in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease." Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, vol. 11, no. 06, 2005, pp. 766-75.|
|Festa-Martino, Elena, Ott, Brian R., Heindel, William C. "Interactions Between Phasic Alerting and Spatial Orienting: Effects of Normal Aging and Alzheimer's Disease." Neuropsychology, vol. 18, no. 2, 2004, pp. 258-68.|
|Festa-Martino E, Welch L. "Motion capture depends on signal strength." Perception, vol. 30, no. 4, 2001, pp. 489-510.|
|Festa EK, Welch L. "Recruitment mechanisms in speed and fine-direction discrimination tasks." Vision research, vol. 37, no. 22, 1997, pp. 3129-43.|
Broadly defined, my research examines the mechanisms mediating perception, attention, and memory in both healthy individuals and patients with neurocognitive disorders. I am particularly interested in sensory integration, and how it interacts with attention and memory. My research is not only concerned with informing models of normal cognition, but also developing diagnostic and therapeutic tools for the early-detection and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders.
My current research focuses on understanding the differential effects of healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease on sensory integration, attention and memory using behavioral. electrophysiological (EEG), and pupillometric methodological approaches. I am particularly interested in how these data inform neural models of normal cognition. As part of several grant projects, I have also been examining the efficacy of neurofeedback training in improving affective and cognitive functioning in aging and dementia, and investigating the relationship of cognitive impairments and driving performance in elderly adults. The findings from these projects may ultimately lead to the development of novel diagnostic markers and therapeutic tools for the early-detection and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
NIA (1R01 AG069265-01): Mechanisms of Risk and Resilience to Age-Related Cognitive Decline: A 60-Year Prospective Prenatal Cohort, 9/15/20 - 4/30/25, Co-Investigator
NIA (1R01 AG064002-01A1): Novel Cognitive Markers of Early Alzheimer’s Disease, 9/01/20 - 4/30/25, Co-Investigator & Subcontract Principal Investigator
DOD (W81XWH-20-C-0058): Monitoring, Extracting, and Decoding Indicators of Cognitive Workload (MEDIC), 8/10/20 - 8/09/22, Subcontract Principal Investigator
Scientific Research Network on Decision Neuroscience and Aging: Mechanisms of Motivation and Cognitive Control in Healthy Older Adults, 6/01/19 - 5/31/20, Co-Investigator
Brown University Research Seed Funding Award: Combined EEG and Pupillometry Measures of Language Processing as Markers for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2/09/18 - 6/30/20, Co-Investigator
NASA (SBIR-NNX16CJ08C): Cognitive Assessment and Prediction to Promote Individualized Capability Augmentation and Reduce Decrement, 6/08/16 - 12/08/17, Subcontract Principal Investigator
NIA (2R01-AG16335-06A1): Naturalistic Assessment of the Driving Ability of Cognitively Impaired Elders, 5/15/07 - 4/30/13, Co-Investigator
Alzheimer’s Association (IIRG-07-59553): Efficacy of qEEG Neurocognitive Training in Early-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease, 9/01/07 - 6/30/11, Principal Investigator
Brown University Brain Science Program’s Pilot Research Award: Quantitative EEG and Neurofeedback in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, 4/01/06 - 3/31/07, Principal Investigator
Brown University Collaboration for Translational Brain Research: Multisensory Integration in Alzheimer’s Disease, 11/01/03 - 10/31/04, Co-Investigator
National Research Service Award (F32-AG05843): Feature Integration and Attention in Alzheimer’s Disease, 6/01/00 - 5/31/03, Postdoctoral Fellow
|1992||BA||College of the Holy Cross|
|Amso, Dima||Associate Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences|
|Badre, David||Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences|
|Carpenter, Linda||Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior|
|Daiello, Lori||Associate Professor of Neurology (Research), Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice (Research)|
|Davis, Jennifer||Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Clinician Educator|
|Grace, Janet||Professor Emerita of Psychiatry and Human Behavior|
|Heindel, William||Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences|
|Kavanaugh, Brian||Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (Research)|
|Margolis, Seth||Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Clinician Educator|
|Nassar, Matt||Assistant Professor of Neuroscience|
|Ott, Brian||Professor of Neurology|
|Papandonatos, George||Professor of Biostatistics (Research)|
|Seifer, Ronald||Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior|
|Shenhav, Amitai||Assistant Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences|
|Song, Joo-Hyun||Associate Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences|
|Tremont, Geoffrey||Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior|
|Tyrka, Audrey||Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior|
|Welch, Leslie||Associate Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences|
|CLPS 0010 - Elementary Psychology: An Introduction to Mind and Behavior|
|CLPS 0010 - Mind, Brain and Behavior: An Interdisciplinary Approach|
|CLPS 0450 - Brain Damage and the Mind|
|CLPS 1420 - Cognitive Neuropsychology|
|CLPS 1480B - Cognitive Aging and Dementia|