Maheen M. Adamson, Ph.D.

Stanford_Logo Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA
VA_Logo Director Research & PhD Fellowships, War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC), Veteran’s Affairs Palo Alto, CA


maheen.jpgDr. Adamson completed her training as a cognitive neuroscientist at University of Southern California.Duringher postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Adamson was trained with Dr. Weiner (UCSF, PI: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) Neuroimaging Initiative) and Dr. DeCarli (UC Davis) for structural imaging which provided the background for her published work in older civilian pilots genetically at risk for AD.  She has collaborated on a functional MRI (fMRI) study with Dr. Wagner at Stanford, a leader in fMRI of memory research.  Her work using fMRI and spatial processing in older pilots at risk for AD was recently selected for the “Hot Topics” session for International Consortium of AD, 2010.  She has been honored by an Alzheimer’s Association Northern California Chapter, Kathryn Grupe award and an NIH/NIA Diversity supplement for advanced research.  She was selected as a Fellow to the 2005 NIA Summer Institute on Aging Research and 2007 NIMH Summer Research Institute.  She is currently the co-editor of an upcoming Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease book “Imaging the Alzheimer’s Brain” and recently organized-chaired a symposium at International AD meeting in Hawaii, 2010.

Dr. Adamson’s dual roles at Stanford Medical School and VA Palo Alto allow her to make strong collaborations with the VA and Stanford faculty and nourish her two-fold research interests. She is interested in developing new and innovative techniques to capture preclinical AD and related dementia through state-of-the art neuroimaging, genetic analysis, and cognitive and neuropsychological Airplanetesting.  To that extent, she has been involved with the longitudinal Stanford Aviation Study at Stanford/VA Aging Clinical Research Center in determining the influence of genetic risk for AD, age, skilled learning and expertise and brain structure and function on real-world tasks (such as flying) in older adults in the general population.  She has recently designed a functional neuroimaging study of flight simulator performance in older pilots that investigates the anatomical correlates of the crucial decisions made during landing.  Dr. Adamson is also involved in investigating navigational abilities of older individuals through a computer gaming task.

Maheens_BrainAs a result of her current position at the VA Palo Alto WRIISC, Dr. Adamson is involved in developing and implementing clinical neuroimaging and cognitive testing that improve the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses affecting US veterans such as Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  She is involved with mentoring fellows and graduate students, applying for new grants for veteran rehabilitation (e.g., using repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) and establishing a database where chronic illnesses of veterans can be followed longitudinally.



Helpful links Societies

Stanford/VA Aging Clinical Research Center

Stanford/VA Aviation Safety laboratory

War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

Organization for Human Brain Mapping

International Neuropsychological Society

Society for Neuroscience

Gerontological Society of America

American Psychology Association

Cognitive Neuroscience Society

Alzheimer's Association:



  1. Taylor, J.L., Scanlon, B.K., Farrell, M., Hernandez, B., Adamson, M. M., J. W. Ashford, Noda, A., Murphy, G.M., & Weiner, M.W. APOE-epsilon4 and aging of medial temporal lobe gray matter in healthy adults over 50. Neurobiology of Aging (in press).
  2. Adamson, M.M., Main, K., Kong, J.Y., Soman, S., Furst, A., Kinoshita, L., Yesavage, J., & J. W. Ashford. Integration of Clinical and Research Neuroimaging to Understand Traumatic Brain Injury in the Veteran Population. Federal Practitioner (in press).
  3. Bayley, P.J., Kong, J.Y., Helmer, D.A., Schneiderman, A., Roselli, L.A., Rosse, S.M., Jackson, J.A.,  Baldwin, J., Isaac, L., Nolasco, M., Blackman, M.R., Reinhard, M.J.,  Ashford, J.W., Chapman, J.C., & The MIND GROUP. (2012). Challenges to be overcome using population-based sampling methods to recruit veterans for a study of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 14: 0-9.
  4. Adamson, M.M. Commentary on “Abnormalities of the fornix in Mild Cognitive Impairment are related to Episodic Memory Loss”. (2012). Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 31: 677–678.
  5. Adamson, M. M., Bayley, P. J., Scanlon, B. K., Farrell, M., Hernandez, B., Ashford, J. W., Weiner, M. W., Yesavage, J. A., & Taylor, J. L. (2012). Impact of hippocampal size on longitudinal flight simulator performance varies with pilot expertise. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, 9: 850-857.
  6. Scanlon, B. K., Furst, A. J., Bayley, P. J., Adamson, M. M., Ashford, J. W., & Taylor, J. L. (2011). Voxel-based morphometry in healthy aging: education forms the common mind. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 17 (Supplement S1): 114.
  7. Adamson, M., Hutchinson, B., Shelton, A. Wagner, A., & Taylor, J. (2011). Reduced task-dependent hippocampal activity in adults carrying the APOE ε4 allele. Neuropsychologia, 49: 2448– 2455.
  8. Ashford, J., Adamson, M., Beale, T., La, D., Hernandez, B., Noda, A., Rosen, A., O’Hara, R., Fairchild, J., Spielman, D., & Yesavage, J. (2011). Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy for Assessment of Memantine Treatment of Mild Dementia of Probable Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 26: 331–336.
  9. J. Wesson Ashford, Ahmad Salehi, Ansgar Furst, Peter Bayley, Giovanni B. Frisoni, Clifford R. Jack Jr, Osama Sabri, Adamson, M.M., Kerry L. Coburn, John Olichney, Norbert Schuff, Daniel Spielman, Steven D. Edland, Sandra Black, Allyson Rosen, David Kennedy, Michael Weiner and George Perry. (2011). Imaging the Alzheimer Brain. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 26: 1–27.
  10. Adamson, M.(2011). Current advances in functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging for detecting Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 26: 9-11.
  11. Taylor JL, Kennedy Q, Adamson MM, Lazzeroni LC, Noda A, Murphy GM, Yesavage JA. (2011). Influences of APOE epsilon4 and expertise on performance of older pilots. Psychol Aging. 26(2): 480-7.
  12. Yesavage, J.A., Jo, B., Adamson, M.M., Kennedy, Q., Noda, A., Hernandez, B., et al. (2011).Initial cognitive performance predicts longitudinal aviator performance. Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 66: 444-453.
  13. Kennedy Q, Taylor JL, Noda A, Adamson M, Murphy GM Jr, Zeitzer JM, Yesavage JA. (2011). The Roles of COMT val158met Status and Aviation Expertise in Flight Simulator Performance and Cognitive Ability. Behav Genet, 41 (5): 700-708.
  14. Adamson M, Samarina V, Xu X, Huynh V, Kennedy Q, Weiner M, Yesavage J, & Taylor J. (2010). The impact of brain size on pilot performance varies with aviation training and years of education. J Int Neuropsychol Soc, 16(3): 412-23.
  15. Halbauer,  J., Ashford, J.,  Zeitzer, J., Adamson, M., Lew, H., & Yesavage, J. (2009). Neuropsychiatric diagnosis and management of chronic sequelae of war-related mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development. 46(6): 757-796.
  16. Cherry, B., Yamashiro, M., Anderson, E., Barrett, C., Adamson, M., & Hellige, J. (2009). Exploring Interhemispheric Collaboration in Older Compared to Younger Adults.. Brain & Cognition, 72 (2): 218-227.
  17. Adamson, M., Landy, K. M., Duong, S., Fox-Bosetti,, S., McCoy, D., Ashford, J., Murphy, G., Weiner, M., & Taylor, J. (2008). Apolipoprotein ε4 influences on episodic recall and brain structures in aging pilots. Neurobiology of Aging, 131:  059-1063.
  18. Hellige, J. & Adamson, M. (2007). Hemispheric Differences in Processing Handwritten Cursive. Brain & Language, 102: 215-227.
  19. Adamson, M. & Hellige, J. Hemispheric Differences in identification of words and nonwords in Urdu-English Bilinguals. (2006). Neuropsychology, 20 (2): 232-248.
  20. Cherry, B., Adamson, M., Dulcos, A., & Hellige. J. (2005). Aging and individual variation in interhemispheric collaboration and hemispheric asymmetry. Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition, 12: 316-339.