Zared Schwartz

Mentor: Dr. John Williamson
College of Medicine
 
"I was always interested behind the science of the human mind. During my time in Dr. Williamson's lab, I have the opportunity to learn the various aspects of neurobehavior and its relations to visuospatial ability, memory, learning, and aging. Through my experiences in the lab and as a current pre-medical student, I hope to eventually enter the field of neurology."

Major

Microbiology and Cell Science

Minor

Classics

Research Interests

  • Neurobehavior
  • Memory
  • Aging

Academic Awards

  • Bright Futures
  • Dean's List
  • University Scholars Program 2016

Organizations

  • Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society
  • UF Medical Journal Society

Volunteer

  • Chemistry Outreach

Hobbies and Interests

  • Cooking
  • Reading

Research Description

Changes in vertical spatial attention as a reflection of the aging brain
Older people frequently fall. Whereas there are many factors that could cause these falls, one possible cause of falls is inattention to lower space. Attention is the ability of the brain to allocate process processing resources for the analysis of incoming information, and intention is the process by which our brain decides those actions that should be initiated, continued terminated, and not performed. Either attention or intention could negatively impact vertical spatial performance. According to previous studies, healthy participants have a sensory attentional and action intentional spatial bias called “pseudoneglect.” There are many contributing factors for how aging may influence visuospatial abilities. Aspects of attention are lateralized including global (viewing the entire field; right hemisphere preferential processing) and focal attention (viewing a specific part of the field; left hemisphere preferential processing). Another mechanism of change in vertical attention may be the result of perceptual-attentional versus action-intentional asymmetries. Because of changes in the brain with age (e.g., right hemiaging, shifts in fronto-subcortical grey matter, and white matter injury), there may be changes in these abilities thereby resulting in variance of visuospatial experience due to age. The overall goal of this study is to determine the presence of vertical spatial biases as related to aging.