Leslie Gaynor is a doctoral student at the University of Florida (UF) in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. Leslie graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida in 2015 with a dual degree in Interdisciplinary Studies of Neurobiological Sciences and English. Leslie is part of the Neuropsychology track, where she works under the mentorship of Dr. Russell M. Bauer. With guidance from Dr. Bauer, Leslie completed her master’s thesis in fall 2017 which involved identifying a novel behavioral biomarker of cognitive impairment in early Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. She is currently working toward completing her dissertation research project, which involves an examination of how structural and functional neuroimaging markers mediate the relationship between clinical diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease risk (Pre- Mild Cognitive Impairment, Mild Cognitive Impairment), and performance on a translational visual object discrimination task in an ethnically diverse population. Currently, she also works with Dr. Sara Burke in the Department of Neuroscience to study human disease mechanisms using analogous behavioral paradigms to assess the behavioral function of preclinical aging in animal models. She recently received a Research Pilot Award from the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute and matching funds from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation Age-Related Memory Loss Program to complete her project, Network connectivity signatures of cognitive aging: using the functional connectome to create a translational bridge.
Leslie’s primary research interest involves the use of animal-human approaches to study how patterns of memory and other cognitive impairment relate to mechanisms of neurobiological change. Her secondary and supportive interests include assessing social factors affecting cognitive aging and developing culturally fair computerized cognitive assessments.
Honors and Awards
- Conference Scholarship, Advanced Psychometric Methods in Cognitive Aging Conference, 2019
- Robert Levitt Award, Institute for Learning in Retirement, Oak Hammock at University of Florida, 2019
- Greiffenstein-Kaplan Student Research Award, American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, 2017
- Outstanding Research Award, PHHP Research Day, College of Public Health and Health Professions, 2017
- Psychological Science Research Grant (PSRG) Honorable Mention, American Psychological Association Graduate Students Science Committee, 2017
- 4-year Graduate Student Fellowship, University of Florida, 2015
- 3rd Place Poster Award, Brain Awareness Week Poster Conference, North Central Florida Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, 2015
- Research Pilot Award (PI; $4300), Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Florida, 2018, Network connectivity signatures of cognitive aging: using the functional connectome to create a translational bridge
- Research Award Matching Fund ($7500), Age-Related Memory Loss Program, McKnight Brain Research Foundation, 2018, Network connectivity signatures of cognitive aging: using the functional connectome to create a translational bridge
Professional Organizations & Academic Society Memberships
American Psychological Association Graduate Students Science Subcommittee
2017 – 2019
Position(s): Interim Chair (2018 – 2019); Elected Subcommittee Member (2017 – 2018)
- Manage and oversee committee preparation for student research grant review
- Facilitate committee-wide grant review training via phone conference
- Determine eligibility of reviewers for Translational Issues in Psychological Science journal
- Propose, develop, and present convention programming at the APA annual convention
Association of Neuropsychology Students in Training, University of Florida Chapter
2016 – Present
Position(s): Elected Cohort Representative (2018 – 2019); Free Therapy Night Volunteer (2016 – Present)
- Identify and contact potential guests for future ANST student meetings
- Communicate with student body with regards to gaps in didactic training
- Facilitate student meetings with visiting professors and scientists
- Select students to receive travel awards
Curriculum Committee, Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida
2015 – 2018
Position(s): Elected Student Representative
- Approve departmental policies affecting student academic requirements
- Communicate feedback from student body about didactic and clinical training to faculty members
- Discuss results of recent APA accreditation visit and assist in planning department response
Other Professional/Academic Memberships
- North Central Florida Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience (NCF SfN) – Member
- American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN) – Student Member
- American Psychological Association (APA) – Student Member
- Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (APA Div. 40) – Member
- Women in Neuropsychology (APA Div. 40 WIN) – Listserv Member
Service & Scientific Communication
Navigating Neuropsychology Podcast
Position: Co-Production Coordinator (2018 – Present)
- Research and identify potential future guests for podcast episodes
- Manage social media presence and curate online content
- Prepare literature review for assigned episode, revise proposed interview questions, and draft show notes
- Karen Postal, Ph.D. ABPP-CN (Episode 17) Neuropsychological Feedback That Sticks
- Adam Brickman, Ph.D. (Episode 20) The Interplay Between Cerebrovascular Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Jacobus Donders, Ph.D. ABPP (Episode 25) Neuropsych Essentials: Enhancing the Quality and Efficiency of Our Clinical Reports
- Ryan Van Patten, Ph.D. & John Bellone, Ph.D. (Episode 26) Neuropsych Essentials: Commentary on Clinical Report Writing
- Karen Postal, Ph.D. ABPP-CN (Episode 29) The Art and Science of Delivering Feedback
- Julie Hook, MBA Ph.D. ABPP-CN (Episode 30) The NIH Toolbox
North Central Florida Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience
Position: Brain Awareness Week Chair (2016 -2017)
- Organized 60 graduate and undergraduate student volunteers
- Arranged interactive classes at 17 schools (K-12) in the Gainesville and North Central Florida area
- Reached almost 2,000 students with neuroscience-related games and activities (i.e., sheep/human brain dissection, brain art, infamous clinical case stories, etc.)
Translational Issues in Psychological Science Journal
Position: Editorial Board Member (2017 – 2019)
- Design and approve future issues
- Contribute to decision-making with regards to modifying the mission statement and style of the current journal
- Identify potential editors for future issues
- Participate in journal preparation as an ad-hoc reviewer
Accepted, In Press, or Published
Gaynor, L.S., Curiel, R., Penate, A., Wicklund, M., Loewenstein, D.A., & Bauer, R.M. (2019). Increasing specificity of prediction of preclinical cognitive impairment with a translational object discrimination task. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 1-11.
Gaynor, L.S., Mizell, J.M., Santacroce, L.S., Mcewen, C., Campos, K., Johnson, S.A., Maurer, A., & Burke, S.N. (2018). Impaired Discrimination with Intact Crossmodal Association in Aged Rats: A Dissociation of Perirhinal Cortical-Dependent Behaviors. Behavioral Neuroscience.132(3), 138.
Burke, S.N., Gaynor, L.S., Barnes, C.A., Bauer, R.M., Bizon, J.L., Roberson, E.D., & Ryan, L. (2018). Perirhinal and Parahippocampal Cross Talk: Implications for Cognitive Aging. Trends in Neurosciences. 41(6), 349-359.
Asken, B., Snyder, A., Clugston, J., Gaynor, L.S., Sullan, M., & Bauer, R.M. (2017). Prevalence of Concussion-Like Symptoms in Healthy Collegiate Athletes. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 10, 1-9.
Yoder, W.M., Gaynor, L.S., Burke, S.N., Setlow, B., Smith, D.W., & Bizon, J.L. (2017). Interaction between Age and Perceptual Similarity in Olfactory Discrimination Learning in F344 Rats: Relationships with Spatial learning. Neurobiology of Aging. 53, 122-137.
Johnson, S.A., Sacks, P.K., Turner, S.M., Gaynor, L.S., Ormerod, B.K., Maurer, A.P., Bizon, J.L., & Burke, S.N. (2016) Discrimination performance in aging is vulnerable to interference and dissociable from spatial memory. Learning & Memory. 23, 339-348.
Yoder, W.M., Gaynor, L., Windham, E., Lyman, M., Munizza, O., Setlow, B., Bizon, J.L., & Smith D.W. (2015). Characterizing olfactory binary mixture interactions in Fischer 344 rats using behavioral reaction times. Chemical Senses, 40(5), 325-334
In Preparation, In Submission, or Under Review
Gaynor, L.S., Turner, S.M., Curiel, R., Wicklund, M., Loewenstein, D.A., & Bauer, R.M. (Anticipated for Submission 11/2019). Novel Visual Object Discrimination Task Identifies Modest Levels of Cognitive and Functional Impairment in Individuals at Risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Gaynor, L.S., Levy, S., Amofa, P., Arce, M., Vonk, J., Thomas, K., Turney, I., Koscik, R., Hohman, T., Manly, J. & Glymour, M. (In Preparation). Cross-national differences in memory performance by age.
Vonk, J., Gross, A., Zammit, A., Olufisayo, E., Amofa, P., Gaynor, L.S., Arce, M., Staffaroni, A., Suemoto, C., Bertola, L., Kobayashi, L., O’Connell, M., Jutten, R., Avila-Rieger, J., Turney, I., Manly, J. & Zahodne, L. (In Preparation). Cross-national harmonization of cognition across HRS-HCAP (USA) and LASI-DAD (India): Methods, harmonized data, and differential item functioning per cohort.
Gaynor, L.S. & Bauer, R.M. (In Press). Functional Neuroanatomy and Essential Neuropharmacology. In Clinical Neuropsychology Study Guide and Board Review. Eds. Stucky KJ, Kirkwood MW, Donders J. Oxford; Oxford University Press.
Bauer, R.M., Gaynor, L., Moreno, C., & Kuhn, T. (2019). Episodic and semantic memory disorders. In L.D. Ravdin and H.L. Katzen (eds.), Handbook on the Neuropsychology of Aging and Dementia, Clinical Handbooks in Neuropsychology (2nd Ed.), pp. 619-639. New York: Springer.
Gaynor, L.S. & Bauer, R.M. (2017). Neurofibrillary Tangles. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Gaynor, L.S., Odafe, M., Arenson, M., Warner, R., & Young, A. APAGS Presents: Diversity in Research. American Psychological Association Convention, Chicago IL (August 2019).
Gaynor, L.S. A Cross-Species Study of Perirhinal Cortical-Dependent Task Performance and the Functional Brain Connectome. Robert Levitt Paper Award Ceremony, Gainesville FL (March 2019).
Gaynor L.S., Curiel, R., Penate, A., Wicklund, M., Loewenstein, D., & Bauer, R.M. Translational object discrimination task and associated imaging variables improve prediction of early cognitive impairment related to AD. International Neuropsychological Society 46th Annual Meeting, Washington DC (February 2018).
Gaynor L.S. Translational object discrimination task identifies preclinical cognitive decline better than traditional neuropsychological tests. 2017 Public Health and Health Professions Research Day Award Ceremony, Gainesville FL (April 2017).
Gaynor L.S. Early Detection and Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s & Related Disorders Caregiver Workshop, Gainesville FL (May 2017).
Gaynor, L.S., Curiel, R., Penate, A., Rosselli, M., Wicklund, M., Loewenstein, D., & Bauer, R.M. Prediction of Mild Functional Impairment Related to Clinical Alzheimer’s Disease Progression is Enhanced by Novel Object Discrimination Task. International Neuropsychological Society 47th Annual Meeting, New York City NY (February 2019).
Turner, S.M., Gaynor, L.S., Ellison, C., Dunn, C., Janus, C., & Bauer, R.M. Allocentric Search Strategy Use in a Spatial Navigation Task Reveals Differences in Normal and Abnormal Aging. International Neuropsychological Society 47th Annual Meeting, New York City NY (February 2019).
Gaynor, L.S., Turner, S.M., Curiel, R., Penate, A., Wicklund, M., Loewenstein, D., & Bauer, R.M. Translational object discrimination task and regional amyloid load improve prediction of early cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer’s disease. 2018 American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology Annual Meeting, San Diego CA (June 2018).
Gaynor, L.S., Curiel, R., Penate, A., Wicklund, M., Loewenstein, D.A., & Bauer, R.M. Increasing specificity of prediction of preclinical cognitive impairment with a translational object discrimination task. 2017 American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology Annual Meeting, Boston MA (June 2017).
Turner, S.M., Gaynor, L.S., Ellison, C.N., Dunn, C.B., Janus, C.G., & Bauer, R.M. Qualitative measurement of spatial navigation task reveals reduced allocentric search strategy use in normal and abnormal aging. 2017 American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology Annual Meeting, Boston MA (June 2017).
Gaynor L.S., Sullan, M., Gullett, J., Amin, M., Bohsali, A., Bauer, R., Mareci, T., & FitzGerald, D. Alteration and/or loss of consciousness is associated with increased symptom report of PTSD, depression, sleep-related anxiety, and larger amygdala volume in OIF/OEF/OND Veterans. International Neuropsychological Society 45th Annual Meeting, New Orleans LA (February 2017). Abstract number: 2593989.
Gaynor L.S., Mizell, J., Campos, K.T., Santacroce, L., Mcewen, C., Chetram, D.K., Maurer, A.P., Bauer, R.M., & Burke, S.N. Stimulus modality affects recognition behavior during spontaneous object recognition and crossmodal object recognition tasks. Society for Neuroscience Conference, San Diego CA (November 2016). Abstract number: 2016-S-9778-SfN.
Gaynor, L., Asken, B., Clugston, J., & Bauer, R.M. Base Rates of Concussion-like Symptoms in Healthy Collegiate Athletes: A Predictive Tool for Post-Concussive Recovery Time. International Neuropsychological Society 44th Annual Meeting, Boston MA (February 2016). Abstract number: 2367361.
Gaynor. L., Johnson, S.A., Sacks, P., Maurer, A.P., Bizon, J.L., & Burke, S.N. Cholinergic modulation of spatial discrimination performance in young and aged rats. Society for Neuroscience Conference, Chicago IL (October 2015). Abstract number: 2015-S-9414-SfN.
Johnson, S.A., Gaynor, L., Sacks, P., Turner, S.M., Yoder, W.M., Ormerod, B.K., Maurer, A.P., Bizon, J.L., & Burke, S.N. Age-related decline of spatial discrimination performance based on difficulty may reflect pattern separation deficits. Society for Neuroscience Conference, Chicago IL (October 2015). Abstract number: 2015-S-9164-SfN.
Yoder, W.M., Gaynor, L., Windham, E., Setlow, B., Bizon, J.L., Setlow, B., & Smith, D.W. A psychophysical technique for characterizing age-associated alterations in olfactory function. Society for Neuroscience, Washington D.C. (November 2014).
CLP 4420 Introduction to Neuropsychology – Spring 2017; Spring 2018
Position(s): Course TA (Spring 2018); Invited lecture (Spring 2017)
PSB 4934 Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging – Spring 2016; Fall 2016
Position(s): Invited lecture
CLP 6430 Clinical Psychological Assessment – Spring 2017
Position(s): Course TA
GMS 6705 Functional Human Neuroanatomy – Summer 2015; Summer 2018
Position(s): Lab and Lecture TA (Summer 2015); Invited lecture (Summer 2018)