Preeti Sunderaraman, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
- Title Assistant Professor of Neurology
Areas of Expertise: Alzheimer’s disease, Brain Health, Dementia, Digital technology, Cognition, Cross-cultural/Diversity, Functional ability/iADLs, Research
Dr. Sunderaraman is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist who received her PhD from Drexel University and completed her neuropsychology internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Before joining the faculty at the Boston University School of Medicine in July 2021, she completed postdoctoral training at Columbia University Medical Center. She is actively involved in leadership positions in various committees including as the Science Officer of the Early Career Neuropsychologist Committee, as a core-member of the Asian Indian committee of neuropsychologists, as a committee member of the International Neuropsychological Society’s Awards committee, as the program chair of the Teleneuropsychology Special Interest Group (part of INS), and the National Academy of Neuropsychology’s Clinical Research Grants Committee. Dr. Sunderaraman has obtained several federal- and foundation level grants including NIH/NIA’s (K99/R00) Pathway to Independence Award, NIH/NIA’s Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32), the Foundation for Rehabilitation Psychology’s Dissertation Award, and the National Academy of Neuropsychology’s Clinical Research Grant. She has published several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in highly rated journals.
Dr. Sunderaraman is establishing a programmatic line of research in three areas:
Financial decision making, financial awareness, and financial loss in aging and neurodegenerative conditions
Leveraging her dissertation research, Dr. Sunderaraman has continued to actively study the contributors and correlates of financial decision making and one’s awareness of such decision making. She has studied cognitive (e.g., numeracy, executive functioning) and neural markers (e.g., cortical thickness, white matter integrity, functional connectivity) of these constructs. As traditional methods of assessing financial decision making are getting outdated, she aims to develop modern and objective methods based on digital technology; while using metacognitive frameworks to study financial awareness. Towards this end, Dr. Sunderaraman received NIH/NIA’s K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award in 2019 to study online money management. Based on a novel simulated credit card task she developed, Dr. Sunderaraman is collecting data to examine the psychometric properties of this task and investigate how decisions are made by those with and without cognitive impairments. Over time, she aims to understand how financial decisions and awareness of these decisions change over time, factors contributing to financial mistakes, and ways in which financial loss can be prevented or mitigated.
Digital Biomarkers and Brain Health
An active area of interest for Dr. Sunderaraman is the intersection of technology with various brain metrics assessed via cognitive and functional tests, brain imaging such as PET and MRI scans, and fluid biomarkers such as blood and CSF. Dr. Sunderaraman is co-leading the efforts on two ancillary projects from the Framingham Heart Study that involve digital assessments, one of which also involves imaging (e.g., PET, MRI). She has worked on identifying some of the challenges encountered in accurately collecting cognitive data via teleneuropsychology, and currently seeks to understand the moderators and mediators of brain health when tracked over time.
Characterizing Individuals of South Asian Descent
Dr. Sunderaraman is interested in investigating various life course related contextual, cognitive, and health-related factors that may impact this community. Overall, her work aims to improve research on diversity and brain health by, 1) identifying those at high risk for developing cognitive decline and neurogenerative conditions, and 2) exploring factors that might mitigate risk for developing cognitive decline and factors that might maintain or enhance brain health and well-being.
Sunderaraman P., Gazes, Y., Ortiz, G., Chapman, S., Joyce, J., Langfield, C., Mensing, A., Brickman, A., Stern, Y., Cosentino, S. (2022) Right-sided Superior Fasciculus White Matter Integrity is Associated with Self-Awareness for Financial Decision Making Abilities in Older Adults. Human Brain Mapping (Online)
Sunderaraman P., Lee, S., Varangis, E., Habeck, C., Chapman, S., Joyce, J., Hartstone, W., Brickman, A., Stern, Y., Cosentino, S. (2021) Self-awareness for financial decision making abilities is linked to right temporal cortical thickness in older adults. Brain, Imaging, & Behavior (Online).
Kenepp, A., Johnson, E., Lee, G. J., Sunderaraman P., Denburg, N. L., & Nguyen, C. M. (2021). A Comprehensive Approach to Assessment of Testamentary Capacity. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 789494-789494.
Sunderaraman P., Irani, F., Krishnan, K., Hundal, J. (2021). A Narrative review of the Biopsychosocial and Health Characteristics of Asian Indians in the United States: Clinical and Research Implications for Neuropsychological Functioning. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 1-19.
Fuller, J., Rizer, S., Andersen, S., Sunderaraman P. (2021) Practical Advice Regarding Tele-Neuropsychology Evaluations in Research Settings (PARTNERS) Study. Archives of clinical neuropsychology: the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists. (Online).
Chapman, S., Joyce, J. L., Barker, M. S., Rizer, S., Sunderaraman P., Huey, E. D., & Cosentino, S. Subjective cognitive decline is more accurate when metamemory is better. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 101.
Sunderaraman P., Cosentino, S., Schupf, N., Manly, J., Gu, Y., & Barral, S. (2021). MEF2C Common Genetic Variation Is Associated With Different Aspects of Cognition In Non-Hispanic White And Caribbean Hispanic Non-demented Older Adults. Frontiers in Genetics, 12, 1259.
Chapman, S., Sunderaraman P., Joyce., J. L., Azar, M., Barker, M. S., Colvin. L., McIwe Ian, W. & Cosentino, S. Optimizing Subjective Cognitive Decline To Detect Early Cognitive Dysfunction. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, (Preprint), 1-12.
Sunderaraman P., Barker, M., Chapman, S. and Cosentino, S. (2020). Assessing numerical reasoning provides insight into financial literacy. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult, 1-8 (online; ahead of print).
Sunderaraman P., Chapman, S. Barker, M., & Cosentino, S. (2020). Self-Awareness for Financial Decision-Making Abilities in Healthy Adults. PloS one, 15(7), e0235558.
Sunderaraman P.*, Shaked, D.*, Piscitello, J., Cines, S., Hale, C., Devanand, D., Karlawish, J. & Cosentino, S. (2019). Modification of everyday activities and its association with self-awareness in cognitively diverse older adults. PloS one, 14(11). *Shared first authors
Sunderaraman P., Maidan, I., Kozlovski, T., Apa, Z., Mirelman, A., Hausdorff, J. M., & Stern, Y. (2019). Differential associations between distinct components of cognitive function and mobility: implications for understanding aging, turning and dual-task walking. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 11, 166.
Sunderaraman P., Cosentino, S., Lindgren, K., James, A., & Schultheis, M. T. (2019). An examination of financial capacity and neuropsychological performance in chronic acquired brain injury (CABI). Brain injury, 1-12.
DeFeis, B., Chapman, S., Zhu, C., Azar, M., Sunderaraman P., Ornstein, K., Gu, Y., & Cosentino, S. (2019). Reduced Awareness of memory deficit is associated with increased medicare home health care use in dementia. Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders, 33(1), 62-67.
Medetsky, H., Sunderaraman P., & Cosentino, S. (2018). Investing: the case for recognition as an independent capacity. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 1-12.
Meinerding, M., DeFeis, B., Sunderaraman P., Azar, M., Lawless, S., Perez-Vivaldo, C., Gu, Y., Stern, Y., Cosentino, S. (2018). Assessing dependency in a multiethnic community cohort of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Innovation in Aging.
Sunderaraman P., Cosentino, S., Lindgren, K., James, A., Schultheis, M. (2018). Informant Report of Financial Capacity for Individuals with Chronic Acquired Brain Injury (CABI): An assessment of informant accuracy. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.
Gooding, A., Block, C. K., Brown, D. S., & Sunderaraman P. (2018). The trainee leadership blueprint: Opportunities, benefits, and a call to action. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 32(2), 263-283.
Sunderaraman P., & Sahu, A. (2017). Neuropsychology in India from a Student Perspective. International Neuropsychological Society’s Member Newsletter, Summer 2017.
Sunderaraman P., & Cosentino, S. (2017). Integrating the Constructs of Anosognosia and Metacognition: a Review of Recent Findings in Dementia. Current neurology and neuroscience reports, 17(3), 27.
Sunderaraman P., Zahodne, L. B., & Manly, J. J. (2016). A commentary on ‘generally representative is representative of none: pitfalls of IQ test standardization in multicultural settings’ by AB Shuttleworth-Edwards. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 30(7), 999-1005.
Sunderaraman P., Sokolov, E., Cines, S., Sullo, E., Orly, A., Lerer, B., Karlawish, J., Huey, E., Cosentino, S. (2015). Untimed Design Fluency in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease: Psychometrics and Normative Data. Applied Neuropsychology, 22(5), 363-372.
Sunderaraman P., Blumen, H. M., DeMatteo, D., Apa, Z. L., & Cosentino, S. (2013). Task Demand Influences Relationships Among Sex, Clustering Strategy, and Recall: 16-Word Versus 9-Word List Learning Tests. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, 26(2), 78-84.