Cynthia McDowell

Cynthia McDowell
Office: COR B321
Area of expertise

Lifespan Health and Development

Research Interests

My research interests surround individual differences in healthy and pathological aging. I examine patterns and predictors as they relate to cognitive function in healthy individuals and in those with mild cognitive impairment and/or dementia. In particular, I am interested in the early identification of risk and protective factors (such as hypertension, gait, social support, and chronic stress) in order to detect and prevent a variety of long-term health outcomes. I am passionate about statistical analysis and the potential of the ‘quantified self’ to move the field of cognitive health research forward.


Representative Publications

McDowell, C., Tamburri, C., Smith, A., Dujela, C., Sheets, D., MacDonald, S.W.S (2022). Exploring the impact of community-based choral participation on cognitive function and well-being for persons with dementia: Evidence from the Voices in Motion Project. Aging and Mental Health.

McDowell, C., Tamburri C., MacDonald, S.W.S. (2022). Parameterizing practice in a longitudinal measurement burst design to dissociate retest effects from developmental change: Implications for aging neuroscience. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 14: 14:885621.


Representative Presentations

McDowell, C., Gorenko, J., Tamburri, C., Smith, A., Sheets, D., MacDonald, S.W.S. (2022, June 17–19). Distress Among Care-Partners to Persons with Dementia: The Moderating Role of Social Activity. Poster presented at the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Annual National Convention.


McDowell, C., Tamburri, C., Walton, J., Stawski, R., Smith, A., Sheets, D., Stawski, R., MacDonald, S.W.S. (2021, November 10–13). The Promising Impact of a Virtual Music Intervention for Persons with Dementia. Talk for symposium “How Social Singing Can Facilitate Psychological Health for Persons with Dementia and Caregivers” at the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting.


McDowell, C. (2021, November 2). Music as Medicine: Promoting Dementia Symptom Reduction and Cognitive Health. Presentation at the Pathways to Lifelong Health event hosted by the Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health, University of Victoria.


Recent Awards

  • CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship (2022-2025)
  • President’s Research Scholarship (2022-2025)
  • UVic Retirees Association Award (2021)
  • Pacific Blue Cross Health Benefits Society Scholarship (2020-2021)