Carol A Barnes
Director, Evelyn F Mcknight Brain Institute
Director, Neural Systems-Memory and Aging
Endowed Chair, Evelyn F Mcknight Brain Institute for Learning-Memory Aging
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Cancer Biology - GIDP
Professor, Neuroscience - GIDP
Professor, Psychology
Regents Professor
Professor, Physiological Sciences - GIDP
Primary Department
Department Affiliations
(520) 626-2616
Research Interest
Carol A. Barnes, PhD, is a Regents' Professor in the Department of Psychology, Neurology, Neuroscience and BIO5, Director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, Director of the ARL Division of Neural Systems, Memory & Aging, Associate Director of the BIO5 Institute, and the Evelyn F. McKnight Endowed Chair for Learning and Memory in Aging at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Dr. Barnes is past-president of the 42,000 member Society for Neuroscience, an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an Elected Foreign Member of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters. She earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of California at Riverside, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She did postdoctoral training in neuropsychology and neurophysiology in the Department of Psychology at Dalhousie University, The Institute of Neurophysiology, University of Oslo, and in the Cerebral Functions Group at University College London. The central goal of Dr. Barnes’ research program is to understand how the brain changes during the aging process and what the functional consequences of these changes are on information processing and memory in the elderly. Her research program involves behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular biological approaches to the study of young and aged rodents and non-human primates. This work provides a basis for understanding the basic mechanisms of normal aging in the brain and sets a background against which it is possible to assess the effects of pathological changes such as Alzheimer’s disease. Some current work also includes an assessment of therapeutic agents that may be promising in the alleviation or delay of neural and cognitive changes that occur with age. Dr. Barnes has written over 225 articles in the area of memory changes during normal aging and their possible neurobiological correlates.


Alexander, G. E., Lin, L., Yoshimaru, E., Bharadwaj, P. K., Bergfield, K. L., Hoang, L., Chawla, M., Chen, K., Moeller, J. R., Barnes, C. A., & Trouard, T. P. (2016). Age-Related Regional Network Covariance of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Gray Matter in the Rat. ..
BIO5 Collaborators
Gene E Alexander, Carol A Barnes
Maurer, A. P., Burke, S. N., Diba, K., & Barnes, C. A. (2017). Attenuated activity across multiple cell types and reduced monosynaptic connectivity in the aged perirhinal cortx. The Journal of Neuroscience, 37, 8965-8974.
Chawla, M. K., Penner, M. R., Olson, K. M., Sutherland, V. L., Mittleman-Smith, M. A., & Barnes, C. A. (2013). Spatial behavior and seizure-included changes in c-fos mRNA expression in young and old rats. Neurobiology of Aging, 34, 1184-1198.
Gray, D. T., Smith, A. C., Burke, S. N., Gazzaley, A., & Barnes, C. A. (2017). Attentional updating and monitoring and affective shifting are impacted independently by aging in the macaque monkeys. Behavioral Brain Research, 322, 329-338.
Chawla, M. K., Sutherland, V. L., Olson, K., McNaughton, B. L., & Barnes, C. A. (2017). Hippocampal transcriptomic profiles: Subregional vulnerability to age and cognitive impairment. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.