Mariana Teles conducts cross-sectional and longitudinal studies to explore the complexity of the cognitive aging process and determine the best psychological and behavioral predictors of dysfunctionalities or disorders among elderly people. She also studies the protective factors that can lead to healthy aging and well-being.
Using a multi-perspective approach, Teles aims to investigate how a diverse set of non-pharmacological interventions can attenuate or delay the cognitive decline associated with aging. During her PhD research, Teles developed and tested a cognitive intervention program to verify the long-term efficacy of the cognitive gains attributable to the treatment and its near and far transfer effects. Influenced by the wide debate about the cognitive enrichment hypothesis, Teles is currently exploring the plasticity potential in older adults and the mechanisms underlying the development of cognitive reserve and compensatory strategies over an individual’s life span. In particular, she is analyzing the influence of emotional disorders (depression and anxiety), personality traits, life-style and demographic/clinical variables on cognition.
Teles completed her PhD in Developmental Psychology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and holds a M.S. in Psychological Assessment and a B.S. in Psychology from the same university. For her research on cognitive intervention for elders, she received the “Best Research Award” during the 2015 Latin-America Psychological Assessment Conference. Teles comes to the University of Virginia from the Federal University of Bahia where she worked as Associate Professor of Psychology.
Teles will continue her research at the University of Virginia, joining the Virginia Cognitive Aging Project, and other initiatives related to cognitive aging.