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Status Full-time Faculty

Home Department of Psychology

Phone 244-2551

Email barbey@illinois.edu

Address 2165 Beckman Institute, 405 North Mathews Avenue

  • Biography

    Aron K. Barbey is Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He directs the Intelligence, Learning, and Plasticity Initiative, and the Decision Neuroscience Laboratory at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He received a Ph.D. in Psychology from Emory University in 2007 and completed a research fellowship in Cognitive Neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health in 2011. Professor Barbey’s research investigates the neural mechanisms of human intelligence and decision making, with particular emphasis on enhancing these functions through cognitive neuroscience, physical fitness, and nutritional intervention. He has won more than $25 million in federal and private research grants since joining the University of Illinois in 2011, receiving support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NIH BRAIN Initiative, the research division of the United States Director of National Intelligence (IARPA), the Department of Defense (DARPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and private industry. He has received multiple academic achievement awards, is co-editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence and Cognitive Neuroscience, and serves on the editorial board of IntelligenceThinking & Reasoning, and NeuroImage.

  • Research

    Aron Barbey's research investigates the principles of brain organization that underlie executive control, reasoning, and decision making. Through a combination of human behavioral, computational modeling, functional neuroimaging (fMRI), and neuropsychological patient data, we try to uncover the mechanisms that shape higher cognitive processes and to develop predictive models of brain function that link neural systems to specific patterns of inference and behavior. A central aim of our current research is to develop cognitive neuroscience directed interventions to improve higher cognitive functions, investigating the beneficial effects of cognitive, fitness, and nutritional interventions on executive control, reasoning, and decision making.

  • 2019

    • Barbey, A. K. (2019). Choosing wisely. Science.
    • Daugherty, A., Sutton, B., Hillman, C. H., Kramer, A. F., Cohen, N. J., Barbey, A. K. (2019). Individual differences in the neurobiology of fluid intelligence predict responsiveness to training: Evidence from a comprehensive cognitive, mindfulness meditation, and aerobic fitness intervention. Trends in Neuroscience and Education.
    • Di Pietro, V., Yakoub, K., Caruso, G., Amorini, A., Lazzarino G., Tavazzi, B., Barbey, A. K., Belli, A., Lazzarino, G. (2019). Antioxidant therapy in traumatic brain injury. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling.
    • Harshman, S., Pitsch, R., Schaeublin, N., Smith, Z., Strayer, K., Qualley, A., Cowan, D., Rose, S., O’Connor, M., Eckerle, J., Das, T., Barbey, A. K., Strang, A., Martin, J. (2019). Metabolic stability of exercise-induced sweat. Journal of Chromatography B.
    • Key, M., Zwilling, C. E., Talukdar, T., & Barbey. A. K. (2019). Essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals moderate the relationship between the right frontal pole and measures of memory. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
    • Roman, J., Colom, R., Hillman, C. H., Kramer, A. F., Cohen, N. J., & Barbey. A. K. (2019). Cognitive and neural architecture of decision making competence. NeuroImage.
    • Tanprasertsuk, J., Johnson, E. J., Johnson, M. A., Poon, L. W., Nelson, P. T., Davey, A., Martin, P., Barbey, A. K., Barger, K., Wang, X., Scott, T. M. (2019). Clinico-neuropathological findings in the oldest old from the Georgia Centenarian Study. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
    • Turner, B. O., Paul, E. J., Barbey, A. K. & Miller, M. B. (2019). Reply to ‘fMRI replicability depends upon sufficient individual-level data’. Nature Communications Biology.
    • Turner, B. O., Paul, E. J., Miller, M. B., & Barbey, A. K. (2019). Small sample sizes reduce the replicability of task-based fMRI studies. Nature Communications Biology.
    • Yakoub, K., Davies, D., Zhangie, S., Bentley, C., Toman, E., Hammond, D., Forcione, M., Watson, C., Bishop, J., Cooper, L., Barbey, A. K., Sawlani, V., Di Pietri, V., Grey, M., Belli, A., (2019). An investigation into Repetitive Concussion in Sport (RECOS): A study protocol of a prospective, observational cohort study. BMJ Open.
    • Zwilling C. E., Daugherty, A., Hillman, C. H., Kramer, A. F., Cohen, N. J., & Barbey. A. K. (2019). Enhancing decision making through multi-modal training. Nature Science of Learning.

    2018

    • Barbey, A. K. (2018). Network neuroscience theory of human intelligence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22, 8-20.
    • Daugherty, A. M., Zwilling, C., Paul, E. J., Sherepa, N., Allen, C., Kramer, A. F., Hillman, C. H., Cohen, N. J., & Barbey, A. K. (2018). Multimodal fitness and cognitive training to enhance fluid intelligence. Intelligence, 66, 32-43.
    • Di Pietro, V., Porto, E., Ragusa, M., Barbagallo, C., Davies, D., Forcione, M., Logan, A., Di Pietro, C., Purrello, M., Grey, M., Hammond, D., Barbey, A. K., Belli, A. (2018). Salivary microRNAs: Diagnostic markers of mild traumatic brain injury in contact-sport. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 11, 290.
    • Hammer R., Paul E. J., Hillman, C. H., Kramer, A. F., Cohen, N. J., & Barbey. A. K. (2018). Individual differences in analogical reasoning revealed by multivariate task-based functional brain imaging. NeuroImage.
    • Johnson, C. L., Schwarb, H., Horecka, K. M., McGarry, D. J., Hillman, C. H., Kramer, A. F., Cohen, N. J., Barbey, A. K. (2018). Double dissociation of structure-function relationships in memory and fluid intelligence observed with magnetic resonance elastography. NeuroImage, 1, 99-106.
    • Sandroff, B., Motl, R., Reed, W., Barbey, A. K., Benedict, R., De Luca, J. (2018). Integrative CNS plasticity with exercise in MS: The PRIMERS (Processing, Integration of Multisensory Exercise-Related Stimuli) conceptual framework. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 32, 847-862.
    • Sharp, P. B., Sutton, B. P., Paul, E. J., Hillman, C. H., Cohen, N. J., Kramer, A. F., Heller, W., Telzer, E. H., & Barbey, A. K. (2018). Mindfulness training induces structural connectome changes in mechanisms of interoception. Nature Scientific Reports.
    • Talukdar, T., Román, F. J., Zwilling, C. E., Operskalski, J. T., & Barbey, A. K. (2018). Individual differences in decision making competence revealed by multivariate fMRI. Human Brain Mapping, 39, 2664-2672.
    • Talukdar, T., Zamroziewicz, M., Zwilling, C., Barbey, A. K. (2018). Nutrient biomarkers shape individual differences in functional brain connectivity. Human Brain Mapping.
    • Zwilling, C. E., Talukdar, T., Zamroziewicz, M., Barbey, A. K. (2018). Nutrient biomarker patterns, cognitive function, and fMRI measures of network efficiency in the aging brain. NeuroImage.

    2017

    • Kruepke, M., Molloy, E. K., Bresin, K., Barbey, A. K., & Verona, E. (2017). A brief assessment tool for investigating facets of moral judgment from realistic vignettes. Behavior Research Methods, 50, 922-936.
    • Barbey, A. K. (2018). Network neuroscience theory of human intelligence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22, 8-20.
    • Daugherty, A. M., Zwilling, C., Paul, E. J., Sherepa, N., Allen, C., Kramer, A. F., Hillman, C. H., Cohen, N. J., & Barbey, A. K. (2018). Multimodal fitness and cognitive training to enhance fluid intelligence. Intelligence, 66, 32-43.
    • Greenlee, T. A., Greene, D. R., Ward, N. J., Reeser, G. E., Allen, C. M., Baumgartner, N. W., Cohen, N. J., Kramer, A. F., Hillman, C. H., & Barbey, A. K. (2017). Effectiveness of a 16-week high-intensity cardio-resistance training program in adults. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 31, 2528-2541.
    • Johnson, C. L., Schwarb, H., Horecka, K. M., McGarry, D. J., Hillman, C. H., Kramer, A. F., Cohen, N. J., Barbey, A. K. (2018). Double dissociation of structure-function relationships in memory and fluid intelligence observed with magnetic resonance elastography. NeuroImage, 1, 99-106.
    • Paul, E. J., Turner, B. O., Miller, M. B., & Barbey, A. K. (In Press). Small sample sizes reduce the replicability of task-based fMRI studies. Communications Biology.
    • Schwarb, H., Johnson, C. L., Daugherty, A. M., Hillman, C. H., Kramer, A. F., Cohen, N. J., & Barbey, A. K. (2017). Aerobic fitness, hippocampal viscoelasticity, and relational memory performance. NeuroImage, 179-188.
    • Sharp, P. B., Sutton, B. P., Paul, E. J., Hillman, C. H., Cohen, N. J., Kramer, A. F., Heller, W., Telzer, E. H., & Barbey, A. K. (In Press). Mindfulness training induces structural connectome changes in mechanisms of interoception. Scientific Reports.
    • Talukdar, M. T., Nikolaidis, A., Zwilling, C. E., Paul, E. J., Hillman, C. H., Cohen, N. J., Kramer, A. F., & Barbey, A. K. (2017). Aerobic fitness explains individual differences in the functional brain connectome of healthy young adults. Cerebral Cortex, 14, 1-10.
    • Talukdar, T., Román, F. J., Zwilling, C. E., Operskalski, J. T., & Barbey, A. K. (2018). Individual differences in decision making competence revealed by multivariate fMRI. Human Brain Mapping, 39, 2664-2672.
    • Ward, N., Paul, E. J., Watson, P., Cooke, G., Hillman, C. H., Cohen, N. J., Kramer, A. F., & Barbey, A. K. (2017). Enhanced learning through multimodal training: Evidence from a comprehensive cognitive, physical fitness, and neuroscience intervention. Scientific Reports, 7, 5808.
    • Zamroziewicz, M. K., Paul, E. J., Zwilling, C. E., & Barbey, A. K. (2017). Determinants of fluid intelligence in healthy aging: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid status and frontoparietal cortex structure. Nutritional Neuroscience, 11, 1-10.
    • Zamroziewicz, M. K., Paul, E. J., Zwilling, C. E., & Barbey, A. K. (2017). Predictors of memory in healthy aging: Polyunsaturated fatty acid balance and fornix white matter integrity. Aging and Disease, 8, 372-383.
    • Zamroziewicz, M. K., Talukdar, M. T., Zwilling, C. E., & Barbey, A. K. (2017). Nutritional status, brain network organization, and general intelligence. NeuroImage, 161, 241-250.

    2016

    • Nikolaidis, A., Baniqued, P., Kranz, M., Newman, M., Scavuzzo, C., Paul, E. J., Barbey, A. K., Kramer, A. F., & Larsen, R. (2016). Multivariate associations of fluid intelligence and NAA. Cerebral Cortex, 27, 2607-2616.
    • Operskalski, J. T., & Barbey, A. K. (2016). Methodological Considerations in Cognitive Training Research. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1481.
    • Operskalski, J. T., & Barbey, A. K. (2016). Risk literacy in medical decision-making: How can we better represent the statistical structure of risk? Science, 352, 413-414.
    • Paul, E. J., Larsen, R. J., Nikolaidis, A., Ward, N., Hillman, C. H., Cohen, N. J., Kramer, A. F., & Barbey, A. K. (2016). Dissociable brain biomarkers of fluid intelligence. NeuroImage, 137, 201-211.
    • Ponsoda, V., Martínez, K., Pineda-Pardo, J. A., Abad, F. J., Olea, J., Román, F. J., Barbey, A. K., & Colom, R. (2016). Structural brain connectivity and cognitive ability differences: A multivariate distance matrix regression analysis. Human Brain Mapping, 38, 803-816.
    • Watson, P. D., Paul, E. J., Cooke, G. E., Ward, N., Monti, J. M., Horecka, K. M., Allen, C. M., Hillman, C. H., Cohen, N. J., Kramer, A. F., & Barbey, A. K. (2016). Cognitive and anatomical data in a healthy cohort of adults. Data in Brief, 7, 1221-1227.
    • Watson, P. D., Paul, E. J., Cooke, G. E., Ward, N., Monti, J. M., Horecka, K. M., Allen, C. M., Hillman, C. H., Cohen, N. J., Kramer, A. F., & Barbey, A. K. (2016). Underlying sources of cognitive-anatomical variation in multi-modal neuroimaging and cognitive testing. NeuroImage, 129, 439-449.
    • Watson, P. D.; Paul, E. J.; Cooke, G. E.; Ward, N.; Monti, J. M.; Horecka, K. M.; Allen, C. M.; Hillman, C. H.; Cohen, N. J.; Kramer, A. F.; Barbey, A. K., Underlying Sources of Cognitive-Anatomical Variation in Multi-Modal Neuroimaging and Cognitive Testing. Neuroimage 2016, 129, 439-449.
    • Zamroziewicz, M. K., & Barbey, A. K. (2016). Nutritional cognitive neuroscience: Innovations for healthy brain aging. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 10, 240.
    • Zamroziewicz, M. K., Paul, E. J., Zwilling, C. E., Johnson, E. J., Kuchan, M. J., Cohen, N. J., & Barbey, A. K. (2016). Parahippocampal cortex mediates the relationship between lutein and crystallized intelligence in healthy, older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 8, 297.
    • Zamroziewicz, M. K., Zwilling, C. E., & Barbey, A. K. (2016). Inferior prefrontal cortex mediates the relationship between phosphatidylcholine and executive functions in healthy, older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 8, 226.

    2015

    • Barbey, A. K.; Belli, A.; Logan, A.; Rubin, R.; Zamroziewicz, M.; Operskalski, J. T., Network Topology and Dynamics in Traumatic Brain Injury. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 2015, 4, 92-102.
    • Lewis, J. D.; Krueger, F.; Raymont, V.; Solomon, J.; Knutson, K. M.; Barbey, A. K.; Poore, J. C.; Wassermann, E. M.; Grafman, J., Anhedonia in Combat Veterans with Penetrating Head Injury. Brain Imaging and Behavior 2015, 9, (3), 456-460.
    • Lewis, J. D.; Krueger, F.; Raymont, V.; Solomon, J.; Knutson, K. M.; Barbey, A. K.; Poore, J. C.; Wassermann, E. M.; Grafman, J., Anhedonia in Combat Veterans with Penetrating Head Injury. Brain Imaging and Behavior 2015, DOI:10.1007/s11682-015-9414-4.
    • Operskalski, J. T.; Paul, E. J.; Colom, R.; Barbey, A. K.; Grafman, J., Lesion Mapping the Four-Factor Structure of Emotional Intelligence. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2015, 9.
    • Patterson, R.; Operskalski, J. T.; Barbey, A. K., Motivated Explanation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2015, 9.
    • Paul, E. J.; Smith, J. D.; Valentin, V. V.; Turner, B. O.; Barbey, A. K.; Ashby, F. G., Neural Networks Underlying the Metacognitive Uncertainty Response. Cortex 2015, 71, 306-322.
    • Van Hoeck, N.; Watson, P. D.; Barbey, A. K., Cognitive Neuroscience of Human Counterfactual Reasoning. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2015, 9.
    • Wolff, P.; Barbey, A. K., Causal Reasoning with Forces. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2015, 9, DOI:ARTN 1 DOI:10.3389/Fnhum.2015.00001.
    • Zamroziewicz, M. K.; Paul, E. J.; Rubin, R. D.; Barbey, A. K., Anterior Cingulate Cortex Mediates the Relationship between O3PUFAS and Executive Functions in APOE e4 Carriers. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 2015, 7, 87.

    2014

    • Barbey, A. K., Colom, R., Paul, E. J., Chau, A., Solomon, J., Grafman, J.H. In press. Lesion mapping of social problem solving. Brain. 
    • Barbey, A. K., Colom, R., Paul, E. J., Forbes, C., Krueger, F., Goldman, D., Grafman, J. (2014). Preservation of general intelligence following traumatic brain injury: Contributions of the met66 brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Plos One.
    • Barbey, A. K.; Colom, R.; Grafman, J., Distributed Neural System for Emotional Intelligence Revealed by Lesion Mapping. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 2014, 9, (3), 265-272, DOI:10.1093/Scan/Nss124.
    • Barbey, A. K.; Colom, R.; Grafman, J., Neural Mechanisms of Discourse Comprehension: A Human Lesion Study. Brain 2014, 137, 277-287, DOI:10.1093/Brain/Awt312.
    • Barbey, A. K.; Colom, R.; Paul, E. J.; Grafman, J., Architecture of Fluid Intelligence and Working Memory Revealed by Lesion Mapping. Brain Structure & Function 2014, 219, (2), 485-494, DOI:10.1007/s00429-013-0512-z.
    • Forbes, C. P., J., Krueger, F., Barbey, A. K., Solomon, J., Grafman, J. (2014). The role of executive function and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in the expression of neuroticism and conscientiousness. Social Neuroscience, 9, 139-151.
    • Khemlani, S., Barbey, A. K., Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2014). Causal reasoning: Mental computations and brain mechanisms. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
    • Wolff, P., Barbey, A. K. (2014). Composing causal relations. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

    2013

    • Barbey, A. K., Colom, R., Grafman, J. (2013). Architecture of cognitive flexibility revealed by lesion mapping. NeuroImage, 82, 547-554.
    • Barbey, A. K., Colom, R., Grafman, J. (2013). Neural mechanisms of discourse comprehension: A human lesion study. Brain, 137, 277-287.
    • Barbey, A. K., Colom, R., Paul, E. J., Grafman, J. (2013). Architecture of fluid intelligence and working memory revealed by lesion mapping. Brain Structure and Function, 10.1007/s00429-013-0512-z.
    • Bowman, G. L., Dodge, H., Mattek, N., Barbey, A.K., Silbert, L. C., Shinto, L., Howieson, D., Kaye, J., Quinn, J. (2013). Plasma omega 3 PUFA and white matter mediated executive decline in older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 5, 92.
    • Hasadsri, L., Wang, B. H., Lee, J. V., Erdman, J. W., Llano, D. A., Barbey, A. K., Wszalek, T., Sharrock, M. F., Wang, H. (2013). Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Neurotrauma, 30, 897-906.

    2012

    • Barbey, A. K., Colom, R., Grafman, J. (2012). Distributed neural system for emotional intelligence revealed by lesion mapping. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 265-272.
    • Barbey, A. K., Colom, R., Grafman, J. (2012). Dorsolateral prefrontal contributions to human intelligence. Neuropsychologia, 51, 1361-1369.
    • Barbey, A. K., Colom, R., Solomon, J., Krueger, F., Forbes, C., Grafman, J. (2012). An integrative architecture for general intelligence and executive function revealed by lesion mapping. Brain, 135, 1154-1164.
    • Barbey, A. K., Koenigs, M., Grafman, J. (2012). Dorsolateral prefrontal contributions to human working memory. Cortex, 49, 1195-1205.
    • Hecht, E. E., Patterson, R., Barbey, A. K. (2012). What can other animals tell us about human social cognition? An evolutionary perspective on reflective and reflexive processing. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 224.
    • Patterson, R., Rothstein, J., Barbey, A. K. (2012). Reasoning, cognitive control, and moral intuition. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 6, 114.

    2011

    • Barbey, A. K., Grafman, J. (2011). An integrative cognitive neuroscience theory for social reasoning and moral judgment. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 2, 55-67.
    • Barbey, A. K., Koenigs, M., Grafman, J. (2011). Orbitofrontal contributions to human working memory. Cerebral Cortex, 21, 789-795.
    • Barbey, A. K., Patterson, R. (2011). Architecture of explanatory inference in the human prefrontal cortex. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 162.
    • Forbes, C. E., Poore, J. C., Barbey, A. K., Krueger, F., Solomon, J., Lipsky, R. H., Hodgkinson, C. A., Goldman, D., Grafman, J.  (2011). BDNF Polymorphism-Dependent OFC and DLPFC Plasticity Differentially Moderates Implicit and Explicit Bias. Cerebral Cortex, 22, 2602-2609.
    • Koenigs, M., Acheson, D. J., Barbey, A. K., Solomon, J., Postle, B. R., Grafman, J. (2011). Areas of left perisylvian cortex mediate auditory-verbal short-term memory. Neuropsychologia, 49, 3612-3619.