Anja Soldan, Ph.D., M.A.

Headshot of Anja Soldan
  • Associate Professor of Neurology

Research Interests

cognitive aging; preclinical Alzheimer's disease; neural basis of cognitive reserve; implicit memory across the lifespan more


Dr. Anja Soldan is an assistant professor in the department of neurology at Johns Hopkins University.

Her research focuses on cognitive and brain aging, the neural basis of cognitive reserve and preclinical Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Soldan is interested in understanding why some individuals show more cognitive impairment than others given the same amount of brain pathology and in identifying lifestyle factors that promote cognitive and brain health with advancing age.  She is also studying the earliest cognitive and brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease to improve early detection. In addition, she is interested in understanding cognitive changes that occur with normal aging.

Dr. Soldan received her undergraduate degree with highest honors in psychology from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. She earned an M.A., M. Phil and PhD in psychology at Columbia University in New York, New York. Dr. Soldan joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2011. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, New York. more


  • Associate Professor of Neurology

Departments / Divisions



  • M.A.; Columbia University in the City of New York (New York) (2002)
  • Ph.D.; Columbia University in the City of New York (New York) (2005)
  • B.A.; Oberlin College (Ohio) (1998)

Additional Training

  • Columbia University, New York,, NY, 2005, Post-doctoral Research Fellow; Cognitive Neurology/Neuropsychology Group, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 2008, Post-doctoral Researcher

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Cognitive and Brain Aging.  I'm interested in how cognition changes across the adult life span, as well as factors that mediate individual differences in cognitive and brain aging (i.e., genetics, modifyable lifestyle factors, health and medical conditions).

Implicit Memory. I am interested in priming, a type of implicit (unconscious) memory and how it changes across the adult lifespan and in age-related memory disorders. While explicit (conscious) memory declines with health aging, priming often remains intact in older adults or shows smaller declines. I am also studying which aspects of brain function and structure underlie preserved priming in old age, as well as age-related changes in priming.

Neural Basis of Cognitive Reserve. I am interested in how individual differences in the efficiency, capacity, and speed of neural processing mediate age-related changes in cognition, as well as the clinical expression of age-related brain pathology.

Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease. We are investigating the cognitive and brain changes that precede the onset of cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The goal is to identify biomarkers that predict which healthy individuals are at risk for AD as early as possible.

Selected Publications

Pettigrew, C., Soldan, A., Moghekar, A., Wang, M.C., Gross, A., O’Brien, R., & Albert, M. (in press).  Relationship between cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease and cognition in cognitively normal older adults.  Neuropsychologia.

Resnick, S. M., Bilgel, M., Moghekar, A., Yang, A., Cai, Q., Wang, M.C., Thambisetty, M., Prince, J., Zhou, Y., Soldan, A., Wong, D., O’Brien, R., Ferrucci, L., & Albert, M. (2015).  Changes in Aβ biomarkers and associations with APOE genotype in two longitudinal cohorts.  Neurobiology of Aging, 36(8), 2333-2339.

Soldan, A., Pettigrew, C., Lu, Y., Wang, M. C., Selnes, O., Albert, M., Brown, T., Ratnanather, T., Younes, L., Miller, M. I., and the BIOCARD Research Team.  (2015). Relationship of medial temporal lobe atrophy, APOE genotype, and cognitive reserve in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.  Human Brain Mapping, 36(7), 2826-2841

Phillips, D.J., McGlaughlin, A., Ruth, D., Jager, L.R., & Soldan, A. (2015).  Graph theoretic analysis of structural connectivity across the spectrum of Alzheimer's disease:  The importance of graph creation methods.  NeuroImage: Clinical, 7, 377-390.

Speer, M., & Soldan, A. (2015).  ERP correlates of cognitive reserve in young and older adults.  Neurobiology of Aging, 36(3), 1424-1434. 

Diehl, J.J., Frost, S.J., Sherman, G., Mencl, E., Kurian, A., Molfese, P., Landi, N., Preston, J., Soldan, A., Fulbright, R.K., Rueckl, J., Seidenberg, M.S., & Pugh, K.R. (2014).  Neural correlates of language and non-language visualspatial processing in adolescents with reading disability.  NeuroImage, 101, 653–666. 

Albert, M., Soldan, A., Gottesman, R., McKhann, G., Sacktor, N., Farrington, L., Grega, M., Turner, R.S., Lu, Y., Li, S., Wang, M-C., Selnes, O., and the BIOCARD Research Team. (2014). Cognitive changes preceding clinical symptom onset of Mild Cognitive Impairment.  Current Alzheimer Research, 11(8), 773-784. 

Pettigrew, C., Soldan, A., Li., S., Wang, M., Selnes, O., Moghekar, A., O’Brien, R., Albert, M., & the BIOCARD Research Team. (2013).  Relationship of cognitive reserve and APOE status to the emergence of clinical symptoms in preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease. Cognitive Neuroscience, 4(3-4), 136-142.

Soldan, A., Pettigrew, C., Li, S., Wang, M., Moghekar, A., Selnes, O., Albert, M., O’Brien, R., & the BIOCARD Research Team. (2013). Relationship of cognitive reserve and CSF biomarkers to emergence of clinical symptoms in preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease.  Neurobiology of Aging, 34(12), 2827-2834.

Gordon, L., Soldan, A., Thomas, A. K., & Stern, Y. (2013). Effect of repetition lag on priming of unfamiliar visual objects in young and older adults.  Psychology & Aging. 28(1), 219-231.

Soldan, A., Clarke, B., Colleran, C., & Kuras, Y. (2012). Priming and Stimulus-Response Learning in Perceptual Classification Tasks.  Memory, 20(4), 400-413.

Gazes, Y., Soldan, A., & Stern, Y. (2012). Alzheimer’s Disease.  In V. S. Ramachandran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, 2nd Edition: Academic Press, Elsevier.

Soldan, A., Habeck, C., Gazes, Y., & Stern, Y. (2010). Neural mechanisms of repetition priming of familiar and globally unfamiliar visual objects.  Brain Research, 1343, 122-134. 

Soldan, A., Hilton, H.J., Cooper, L.A., & Stern, Y. (2009). Priming for familiar and unfamiliar visual objects over delays in young and older adults.  Psychology & Aging, 24(1), 93-104. 

Soldan, A., & Mangels, J.A., Cooper, L.A. (2008).  Effects of attention on perceptual priming of novel visual objects. Memory, 16(8), 873-895.

Soldan, A., Gazes, Y., Hilton, H.J., & Stern, Y. (2008).  Aging does not affect brain activation patterns associated with perceptual priming of novel objects. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(10), 1-15. 

Soldan, A., Zarahn, E., Hilton, H.J., Stern, Y. (2008). Global familiarity of visual stimuli affects repetition-related neural plasticity but not repetition priming.  NeuroImage, 39, 515-526.

Soldan, A., & Stern, Y. (2007).  Alzheimer’s Disease.In Darity, W. A., Jr. (Ed), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd edition. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

Soldan, A., Mangels, J.A., & Cooper, L.A. (2006).  Evaluating models of object-decision priming: Evidence from ERP repetition effects.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 32(2), 230-248. 

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • Medical Tutorial: Neural Correlates of Cognitive Reserve
    Johns Hopkins University
    2014 - 2015

Activities & Honors


  • Member, Psychonomic Society, 2010
  • Member, Alzheimer Association International, 2013

Videos & Media

Lectures and Presentations

  • Diagnosis and Prognosis: Neuropsychological Associations with Amyloid Imaging and APOE.
    Session Co-Chair, Boston, MA. (01/01/2013)
    Alzheimer’s Association International Conference
  • Executive Functions
    Invited Didactic Lecture, Clinical Neuroscience Seminar (01/01/2015)
    Johns Hopkins University.
  • Cognitive changes in preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease
    Invited Lecture, Clinical Neuroscience Seminar (01/01/2012)
    Johns Hopkins University
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