Carol A Barnes

Carol A Barnes

Professor, Psychology
Regents Professor
Director, Evelyn F Mcknight Brain Institute
Director, Neural Systems-Memory and Aging
Endowed Chair, Evelyn F Mcknight Brain Institute for Learning-Memory Aging
Professor, Translational Neuroscience
Professor, Cancer Biology - GIDP
Professor, Neuroscience - GIDP
Professor, Physiological Sciences - GIDP
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Member of the General Faculty
Member of the Graduate Faculty
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
Insel, N. N., & Barnes, C. A. (2015). Differential activation of fast-spiking and regular-firing neuron populations during movement and reward in the dorsal medial frontal cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 25, 2631-2647.
Cohen, C. H., Neumann, J. T., Dave, K. R., Alekseyenko, A., Binkert, M., Stransky, K., Lin, L. W., Barnes, C. A., Wright, C. B., & Perez-Pinzon, M. A. (2015). Effect of cardiac arrest on cognitive impairment and hippocampal plasticity in middle-aged rats. PLoS. doi:10:e0124918
Corenblum, M. J., Ray, S., Remley, Q. W., Long, M., Harder, B., Zhang, D. D., Barnes, C. A., & Madhavan, L. (2016). Reduced NrF2 expression mediates the decline in neural stem cell function during a critical middle-age period. Aging Cell.
Engle, J. R., Machada, C. J., Permenter, M. R., Vogt, J. A., Maurer, A. P., Bulleri, A. M., & Barnes, C. A. (2016). Network patterns associated with navigation behavior are altered in aged nonhuman primates. Journal of Neuroscience, 36, 12217-12227.