Tower

Biography

Dr. Bowers is an Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions, a UF Research Foundation Professor, and Division Head of the Neuropsychology area. She directs the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at the McKnight Brain Institute, and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Bowers received her Ph.D. from UF in 1978 following an internship in clinical neuropsychology at the Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in behavioral neurology at UF in 1979, joined the Neurology faculty in 1980, and the faculty in Clinical and Health Psychology in 1998. She is a founding member of the Center for Neuropsychological Studies (CNS) and author of the Florida Affect Battery. She serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society and The Clinical Neuropsychologist. Dr. Bowers has been continuously grant funded by NIH since 1980, serves on various NIH and VA research review panels, and has mentored numerous undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows over the years.

Research Focus

My research focuses on the neuropsychology of emotion, with specific emphasis on the role of limbic, basal ganglia, and cortical systems in mediating different aspects of emotional behavior (i.e., perception, expression, physiologic reactivity). I use a variety of contemporary methodologies to address specific questions about the neural basis of cognitive and emotional behavior (i.e., face digitizing, psychophysiology, TMS, neuroimaging). The overall goals are to better understand emotion function within these regions by studying the effects of neurological disease and to develop clinically useful tools for detecting changes in emotional cognition. Current projects include: (a) emotional and cognitive changes associated with Parkinson's disease and its treatment, including apathy and facial inexpressivity; (b) relationship among emotional reactivity, cortisol, and illness behaviors in patients with limbic lesions; (c) neuroanatomic, neurocognitive, and other predictors of decline in the elderly, particularly older individuals who are exposed to various stressors; (d) the use of novel computer imaging techniques to evaluate dynamic expressions of emotion in normal individuals and patients with disorders like Parkinson's disease and depression; and (e) development of new emotional assessment tools and measures.

Clinical Focus

Dr. Bowers is an active clinical neuropsychologist in the department's Psychology Clinic, located within the UF Health Science Center. She evaluates adult inpatients and outpatients with various disorders ranging from dementia, epilepsy, vascular, degenerative, metabolic, and other conditions (i.e., Aspergers, radiation necrosis). Her approach to the neuropsychological assessment process is flexible and ecletic. She also maintains a medicolegal/forensic practice which involves comprehensive neuropsychological assessments. As part of her clinical teaching, Dr. Bowers supervises graduate students, interns, and post-doctoral fellows who rotate through her clinic.

Teaching

Adult Neuropsychological Assessment

Experimental Methods in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience

Neuropsychological Disorders in the Elderly

Seminar in Neuropsychology

Advanced Practicum in Neuropsychology

Representative publications

Bowers, D., Miller, K., Mikos, A., Kirsch-Darrow, L., Springer, S., Fernandez, H., Foote, K., Okun, M.S. (2006). Startling facts about emotion in Parkinson disease: Blunted reactivity to aversive stimuli. Brain, 129, 3345-3365.

Bowers, D., Miller, K., Bosch, W., Pedraza, O., Gokcay, D., Springer, U., & Okun, M.S.. (2006). Faces of emotion in Parkinson’s disease: Digitizing the moving face during voluntary expressions. Journal of International Neuropsychological Society. 12, 1276-1273.

Kirsch-Darrow, L., Fernandez, H., Okun, M., Bowers, D. (2006). Dissociating apathy and depression in Parkinsons’s disease. Neurology. 67(1), 20-27.

Triggs, W., Ghacibeh, G., Springer, U., and Bowers, D. (2005). Lateralized asymmetry of the facial motor response. Neurology, 65, 541-544.

Okun, M., Rodriguez, R., Mikos, A., Miller, K., Kellison, I., Kirsch-Darrow, L., Foote, K., Wint, D., Springer, U., Fernandez, H., Crucian, G., Bowers, D. (in press, January 2007). Deep brain stimulation and the role of neuropsychology. The Clinical Neuropsychologist.

Curriculum Vitae

Coming Soon