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Laura Middleton

Assistant Professor

Laura Middleton.

Contact information

Office: BMH 1114

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 33045


Website: Brain and Body Lab


Research interests

Cognition abilities are critical to educational and occupational achievement, daily function, and even movement. Unfortunately, cognitive performance declines on average in late life and the prevalence of dementia nearly doubles every five years after the age of 65 years. Within a generation, we expect over a million people in Canada will have dementia, as more people live to ages when dementia is common. My research identifies ways to optimize cognition across the life course and to prevent dementia in late life. In particular, I investigate the relationship between physical exercise, cognition, and brain function using approaches from several disciplines including neuroscience, exercise physiology and epidemiology.

Graduate supervision and student opportunities

  • Research volunteer
  • Undergraduate thesis
  • MSc thesis
  • Coursework interns
  • PhD thesis
  • Postdoctoral fellowship
  • Research assistant/coordinator

Please email me to discuss current available opportunities. 

Graduate studies application details

Teaching, expertise, tools and technologies

  • Physical activity and aging
  • Motor disorders
  • Physical activity tracking
  • Neurocognitive assessment
  • Electroencephalography


KIN 418: Age-Related Physical and Mental Changes and Effect of Exercise on Improving Health in the Aged

KIN 242: Introduction to Movement Disorders



MSc (Victoria)

PhD (Dalhousie)

Selected publications

See Google Scholar for full list of publications.

Middleton LE, Yaffe K. Promising Strategies for the Prevention of Dementia.Archives of Neurology 2009; 66(10):1210-1215.

Middleton LE, Barnes DE, Lui LY, Yaffe K. Physical activity over the life course and its association with cognitive performance and impairment in old age. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 58 (7), 1322-1326.

Barnes De, Santos-Modesitt W, Poelke G, Kramer AF, Castro C, Middleton LE, Yaffe K. The Mental Activity and eXercise (MAX) trial: a randomized controlled trial to enhance cognitive function in older adults. JAMA internal medicine 2013; 173(9): 797-804.

MacIntosh BJ, Crane DE, Sage MD, Rajab AS, Donahue MJ, McIlroy WE, Middleton LE. Impact of a single bout o aerobic exercise on regional brain perfusion and activation responses in healthy young adults. PloS One 2014; 9(1) e85163.

University of Waterloo