Dawn Bowers, Ph.D.

Dawn BowersProfessor
(Ph.D., 1978, University of Florida)

Full CV


Joint appointment in Neurology
Internship   1976-77, Boston VAMC
Ph.D.  1978, University of Florida
Post-Doc   1979, Behavioral Neurology, University of Florida

Email: dawnbowers@Phhp.ufl.edu
Office: 352-273-6152
Neuropsychology Website


Dr. Bowers is a Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and Area Head of the Neuropsychology area. She directs the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Bowers joined the UF faculty in Neurology in 1980 and transitioned to the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology in 1998. She is a founding member of the Center for Neuropsychological Studies (CNS), the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, and the author of the Florida Affect Battery. She serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society and The Clinical Neuropsychologist. Dr. Bowers has over 200 publications, has been continuously grant funded by NIH since 1980, and serves on NIH and VA research review panels.

Research Focus

The dominant research theme of my research is the neuropsychology of cognition and emotion, with specific emphasis on the role of limbic, basal ganglia, and cortical systems in mediating different aspects of emotional behavior. The impetus for my research is twofold:   a) to develop better understanding of the neural mechanisms that underlie emotional and cognitive changes in older adults, including those with dopaminergic depletion disorders (Parkinson disease) and other age-related neurodegeneration; and b) to develop evidence based treatment approaches for addressing cognitive and emotional changes in these populations. Current research focuses on psychophysiologic and electrophysiological signatures of apathy and depression, emotion regulation and executive function, and the interactive effects of cognitive training and novel therapies (e.g., NIR, mindfulness) on mood and cognition. My Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory uses a variety of tools (startle, ERP, pupillometry, computational modeling) to facilitate hypothesis driven research and we collaborate with imaging experts.   I have been a funded researcher for many years including support for randomized clinical trials, one for treatment of apathy using rTMS, another for treatment of masked faces in Parkinson disease using face digitizing approaches, and another for combined cognitive training-exercise intervention with older adults . I am currently partnering with small business for development of telehealth interventions for mood/cognition in older adults and those with Parkinson disease.

Research Funding

  • MPI: Interdisciplinary Training in Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration. NIH/NINDS, T32-NS082168, 2015-2020. (MPI with D. Vaillancourt; Co-I = M.S. Okun, T. Golde)
  • MPI: Re-Vitalize: Improving Memory in MCI.   Sante Fe/Avmed Village Retirement Community (MPI: M Marsiske), 2014-2017
  • PI: Emotion Regulation, Executive Function, and Parkinson Disease. NIH R21NS079767, 2012-2015.
  • Co-I:   Novel Markers in Alzheimer’s Disease, State of Florida (Overall PI: D. Loewenstein, Ph.D., Site PI: Meredith Wicklund, MD), 02/01/2015-12/30/2015
  • Co-I: A Closed Loop Neuromodulation Solution For Parkinson’s Disease Related Freezing, Michael J. Fox Foundation (PI: MS Okun), 2015-2017
  • Co-I: White Matter Connectivity and PD Cognitive Phenotypes. NIH/NINDS R01-NS-082386, (PI: Price), 2013-2018
  • PI: Acquisition of a near Infrared stimulation Device: MED-X Console Laser Unit.   McKnight Brain Institute Shared Instrumentations Award, 2013.
  • PI:   The VITAL Study; A Platform for the Enhancement of Cognition in Normal Elderly McKnight Brain Research Foundation, 2010-2013.
  • Co-I: Scheduled and Responsive Brain Stimulation for the Treatment of Tourette Syndrome. National Institutes of Mental Health. 1R34MH080764, (Okun, PI), 9/2008-8/2012.
  • PI: Masked Faces in Parkinson Disease: Mechanism and Treatment. NINDS R01-NS50633, 2005-2010

Certifications, Awards, Honors

  • Fellow, American Psychological Association, Division 40 , 2012
  • Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology, American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology/ABPP
  • Licensed Psychologist, State of Florida (PY3179)
  • University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, 2006-2009
  • Paul Satz Career Mentoring Award, International Neuropsychological Association, 2014
  • CHP Teaching Award, 2014; CHP Research Award, 2014
  • Edith Kaplan Award, Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society, 2015
  • Doctoral Mentoring Award, College of Public Health and Health Professions, 2015
  • Board of Directors, International Neuropsycholgy Society, 2012-2015

Clinical Focus

Dr. Bowers is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist (ABPP/CN) in the department’s Psychology Clinic, located within the UF Health Science Center. She directs two offsite interdisciplinary clinics, where the neuropsychology service is embedded with other providers ( neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry) to provide comprehensive one-stop shopping to patients with a variety of disorders (e.g., dementia subtypes, subcortical diseases, focal lesions, TBI, OCD, Tourettes, conversion disorder, sequelae of medical illness). Most candidates for deep brain stimulation (DBS) are seen through her clinics. Her approach to neuropsychological assessment is focused, ecletic, and flexible. As lead neuropsychologist for UF Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration she oversees the neuropsychology module of the INFORM database, one of the largest prospective clinical research databases for movement disorder patients in the world.  As part of her clinical teaching, Dr. Bowers supervises graduate students, interns, and post-doctoral fellows as they rotate through her clinic.

Courses Taught

Adult Neuropsychological Assessment

Human Higher Brain Function

Advanced Practicum in Neuropsychology

Specialty Practicum in Movement Disorders

Specialty Practicum in Interdisciplinary Cognitive Disorders and Dementia


  • Experimental Methods in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychological Disorders in the Elderly

Representative Publications

*students in italics

Bowers, D., Jones, J., Dietz, J. (2014). Assessment of emotion, mood, and affect associated with neurologic disorders. In J. Synder, Nussbaum, Hamsher, K, and Parsons, M. (Eds). Pocket Handbook of Neuropsychological Assessment. Washington DC, American Psychological Press.

Jones, J., Marsiske, M., Okun, M.S., Bowers, D. (2015). Latent growth-curve analysis reveals that worsening Parkinson disease quality of life is driven by depression not apathy. Neuropsychology, 29 (4), 603-609.

Morishita, T., Okun, M.S., Jones, J., Foote, K.D., Bowers, D. (2014). Cognitive declines after DBS are   likely attributable to more than caudate penetration and lead location. Brain, May;137(Pt 5):e274

Dietz, J., Jones, J., Bradley, M., Okun, M.S., Perlstein, W., Bowers, D. (2013). The late positive potential, emotion, and apathy in Parkinson’s disease. Neuropsychologia, 51, 960-966.

Zahodne, L, Marsiske, M., Okun, M.S., Rodriguez, R., Malaty, I, Bowers, D. (2012)  Mood and motor symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease: a Multivariate latent growth curve modeling. Neuropsychology, 26, 71-80. PMID: 22142359

Mikos, A., Bowers, D., Noecker, A., McIntyre, C, Won, M., Chaturvedi, A., Foote, K.D., Okun, M.S. ( 2011) Patient-Specific analysis of the relationship between the volume of tissue activated during DBS and verbal fluency. Neuroimage. 54S1, S238-S246.

Miller, K.M., Okun, M.S., Marsiske, M., Fennell, E.F., & Bowers, D. (2009). Startle reflex hyporeactivity in Parkinson’s disease: an emotion specific or an arousal modulated deficit?   Neuropsychologia, 47 (8-9), 1917-27.

Bowers, D., Miller, K., Mikos, A., Kirsch-Darrow, L., Springer, S., Fernandez, H., Foote, K., Okun, M.S. (2006). Startling facts about emotion in Parkinson disease: Blunted reactivity to aversive stimuli. Brain, 129, 3345-3365.

Kirsch-Darrow, L., Fernandez, H., Okun, M., Bowers, D. (2006). Dissociating apathy and depression in Parkinsons’s disease. Neurology. 67(1), 20-27

Bowers, D., Miller, K., Bosch, W., Gokcay, D., Springer, U., & Okun, M.S.. (2006). Faces of emotion in Parkinson’s disease: Digitizing the moving face during voluntary expressions. Journal of International Neuropsychological Society. 12, 1276-1273.

Bowers, D., Bauer, R.M., and Heilman, K. (1993). The nonverbal affect lexicon: Theoretical perspectives from neuropsychological studies of affect perception. Neuropsychology, 7(4), 433-444.