Matthew B. Pontifex, PhD

  • Faculty, Training Faculty, Behavioral & Systems, Cognitive - Social

Assistant Professor, Kinesiology

Ph.D., 2011, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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Lab Website
Kinesiology Directory

Research Interests

Dr. Pontifex's primary research interest is in the area of developmental neurocognitive kinesiology, examining the relation between health-oriented behaviors and higher-order cognitive function during preadolescence; and the application of these health-oriented behaviors as a means for improving cognitive health, academic performance, and overall effective functioning during maturation. To date, his examination of these relationships has utilized both behavioral and neuroelectric measures to focus on the influence of acute as well as chronic aspects of physical activity upon developmental neurocognition, with a particular interest in the modulation of cognitive control. Future research will continue to investigate how aspects of health-oriented behaviors modulate the maturation of neural networks underlying aspects of cognitive control in the normal preadolescent population as well as within children suffering from cognitive and attentional disorders. By incorporating both applied and translational perspectives, this line of research may serve to increase public health concerns regarding pediatric physical inactivity and promote legislative changes towards creating more opportunities for health-oriented behaviors with