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Jennifer D. Davis Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (Clinical)

Jennifer Duncan Davis is a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in geriatrics, epilepsy, and medical neuropsychology. She completed her BA in Biopsychology at Bates College and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Neuropsychology specialization) at the University of Utah. She came to Brown in 2000 to complete her predoctoral internship in neuropsychology and remained as a clinical fellow in adult general medical neuropsychology at Rhode Island Hospital (RIH). After completing her clinical fellowship, she joined the neuropsychology staff in the Department of Psychiatry at RIH and remained at Brown as a Dementia T32 fellow to continue her research training in aging and dementia. Her current research focuses on ways to reduce burden and minimize physical and mental health declines in dementia caregivers. Other research includes identifying predictors of driving safety in dementia and normal aging and cognitive and brain imaging correlates of depression in patients with temporal epilepsy.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

Davis, J.D., Papandonatos, G.D., Miller, L.A., Hewitt, S.D., Festa, E.K., Heindel, W.C., Ott, B.R. (in press). Road Test and Home Driving Performance in Healthy and Cognitively Impaired Older Adults: Does Environment Matter?

Tremont, G., Smith, M. M., Bauer, L., Alosco, M. L., Davis, J. D., Blum, A. S., & LaFrance, W.C., Jr. (2012). Comparison of personality characteristics on the Bear-Fedio Inventory between patients with epilepsy and non-epileptic seizures. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 21(1), 47-52. PMID:22450613

Ott, B.R., Papandonatos, G.P., Davis, J.D., Barco, PP., Carr, D.B. (2012). Naturalistic validation of an on-road driving test of older drivers. Human Factors: The Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 54(4), 663-674.

LaFrance Jr, W.C., Lancman G., Machan J.T., Davis J.D., Blum A.S. (2012). Depression symptoms as a function of duration of intractable or controlled epilepsy. Epilepsy and Behavior, 24, 116-119 PMID: 22516797

Davis, J.D., Tremont, G., Bishop, D.S., Fortinsky, R.H. (2011). A telephone-delivered psychosocial intervention improves dementia caregiver adjustment following nursing home placement. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(4), 380-387. PMID:20842759

LaFrance, W.C., Jr., Alosco, M.L., Davis, J.D., Tremont, G., Ryan, C.E., Keitner, G.I., Miller, I.W., Blum, A.S. (2011). Impact of family functioning on quality of life in patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures versus epilepsy. Epilepsia, 52(2), 292-300. PMID:21299547

Ott, R.B., Festa, E.K., Amick, M.M., Grace, J., Davis, J.D., Heindel, W.C. (2008). Computerized maze navigation and on-road performance by drivers with dementia. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 21, 18-25. PMID:18287166

Ott B.R., Heindel W.C., Papandonatos G., Festa E.K., Davis J.D., Daiello L.A., Morris J.C. (2008). A longitudinal study of drivers with dementia. Neurology, 70, 1171-1178. PMID:18216302

Davis, J.D., Podolanczuk, A., Donahue, J.E., Stopa, E., Hennessey, J.V., Luo, L.G., Lim, Y.P., & Stern, R.A. (2008). Thyroid hormone concentrations in prefrontal cortex of post mortem brains of Alzheimer's disease patients and controls. Current Aging Science, 1(3), 175-181. PMID:20021390

Tremont, G., Davis, J.D., Bishop, D.S., Fortinsky, R. (2008). A Telephone-delivered psychosocial intervention reduces burden in dementia caregivers. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 7(4), 503-520. PMID:20228893

Davis, J.D., Tremont, G. (2007). Impact of frontal systems behavioral functioning in dementia on caregiver burden. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 19, 43-49. PMID:17308226

Davis, J.D., Filoteo, J.V., Kesner, R.P. (2007). Is short-term memory for discrete arm movements impaired in Huntington's disease? Cortex, 43, 255-263. PMID:17405671

Tremont, G., Davis, J.D., & Bishop, D.S. (2006). Unique contribution of family functioning in caregivers of patients with mild to moderate dementia. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 21, 170-174. PMID:16397397

Spitznagel, M.B., Tremont, G., Davis, J.D., & Foster, S.M. (2006). Psychosocial predictors of dementia caregiver desire to institutionalize: Caregiver, care recipient, and family relationship factors. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 19(1), 16-20. PMID:16449755

Stern, R.A., Davis, J.D., Rogers, B.L., Smith, K.M., Harrington, C., Ott, B.R., Jackson, I.M.D., & Prange, A.R. (2004). Preliminary study of the relationship between thyroid status and cognitive and neuropsychiatric functioning in euthyroid patients with Alzheimer's dementia. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, 17, 219-223. PMID:15622018

research overview

Jennifer Davis's research focuses on identifying ways to reduce burden and minimize physical and mental health declines in dementia caregivers. By developing easily accessible interventions, this work could help improve the quality of life of caregivers and the individuals they care for at home or after nursing home placement. Relatedly, she studies non-pharmacological interventions that may slow cognitive decline in MCI and early AD (e.g., health and wellness education and yoga). She also studies cognitive risk factors for driving safety in normal aging and in patients with Alzheimer's dementia. Finally, she investigates depression in epilepsy and its cognitive and neuroimaging correlates.

research statement

Jennifer Davis is a clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Her primary research focuses on developing telephone-delivered psychosocial interventions to reduce caregiver burden to minimize future risk of physical health declines, psychiatric illness, and morbidity in dementia caregivers. Thus far, our research has shown that using an active problem-solving and family systems intervention approach can reduce caregiver burden compared to standard care. She is also using both clinical neuropsychological methods and cognitive neuroscience approaches to identify cognitive predictors of hazardous driving in normal aging and in patients with dementia. Secondarily, she studies studies cognitive and neuroimagiing correlates of depression in temporal lobe epilepsy.

funded research

Epilepsy Foundation of America, Brain MRI Quantification in Epilepsy and Depression (PI), $49,963. 2011-2013.

NIH, Psychosocial Telephone Intervention for Dementia Caregivers (Co-I), $1,269,929, 2007-2013.

NIH, Naturalistic Assessment of the Driving Ability of Cognitive Impaired Elders (Co-I), $1,506,839. 2007-2012.

ECOR, Yoga for Mild Cognitive Impairment (Co-I), $19,968, 2007-2008.

NIH, Dementia Caregiver Treatment for Nursing Home Transition (PI), $100,000, 2005-2007

Epilepsy Foundation of America, Executive Dysfunction and Depression in Epilepsy (PI), $35,000, 2006-2007.

NIH, A Longitudinal Study of Hazardous Drivers with Dementia (Co-I), $1,089,390, 2001-2007

NIH, Brown University Dementia Fellowship (T32), 2003–2005