Research

NECC considers research a critical aspect and proving the efficacy of its programs is paramount. To coordinate these scientific efforts, NECC organized its Research Advisory Team. This team is made up of scientific experts and lead by Jeffrey Buchanan, Ph.D. The Research Advisory Team operates independently from NECC and functions to make recommendations for program improvement, to coordinate efficacy testing as a means of measuring the potential benefits of the programs to participants, and to publish the results of their findings. In that they are independent of NECC, their feedback remains objective and has proven invaluable.

Primary Research Partners

Jeffrey Buchanan, Ph.D. NECC Research Lead

Dr. Jeffrey Buchanan has been an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota since 2004. He is currently Director of Clinical Training at MSU. Dr. Buchanan received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno and completed a clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship with an emphasis in geropsychology at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Buchanan’s primary research interests are in behavioral gerontology. Much of his research is designed to improve the quality of life of both direct care staff as well as residents with cognitive impairments. His current research is in the areas of managing challenging behaviors in dementia patients, training long-term care staff to use non-pharmacological behavior management strategies, developing methods to increase the frequency of positive emotional experiences in dementia patients living in long-term care, stress and coping among caregivers of persons with dementia, the assessment of ageism, the analysis of communication styles used by nursing assistants when caring for persons with dementia and developing memory enhancement interventions or persons with dementia.

Anjali Thapar, Ph.D. NECC Research Partner

Dr. Anjali Thapar is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Bryn Mawr College. Dr. Thapar received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Case Western Reserve University in 1994. Her research investigates the effects of aging on cognitive abilities. The primary focus of this research is to identify how cognitive processing changes as a result of the aging process and how these changes contribute to the cognitive impairments associated with healthy aging and with dementia. Current projects in the lab include research on the effects of aging and dementia on mechanisms of executive control, the frontal lobe hypothesis of cognitive aging, and the benefits of cognitive rehabilitation.