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Dr Alan Gow PhD, AFBPsS, FHEA

Profile

Associate Professor

School of Life Sciences

Phone: +44 (0)131 451 8239
Address:
  • DB2.63A
  • School of Life Sciences
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Edinburgh
  • EH14 4AS
  • United Kingdom
Alan Gow

Research profile

Roles and responsibilities

Alan is a Research Leader and Lecturer in Psychology, in the School of Life Sciences. He teaches on the BSc Psychology programme (Research Methods, and Research Methods and Analysis 4) and supervises undergraduate dissertations which focus on personality, cognitive abilities, wellbeing and ageing.

Research

With a background in Psychology, Alan's research focuses on the identification of lifestyle and psychosocial factors that predict successful ageing, primarily cognitive ageing. Alan is mainly interested in factors which are malleable, such as activity participation and exercise, social networks and support, and occupational characteristics and exposures. By being amenable to change, such factors are potential targets for interventions designed to reduce or delay the deleterious effect of ageing on cognitive abilities, and so have applied value in an increasingly ageing society.

Funding

Current Grants:

Gow, A.J. Scottish Government Health Directorate: Chief Scientist Office and The Royal Society of Edinburgh part-funded attendance at the 1st World Conference on Personality, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 19th-23rd March 2013.

Past Grants:

Gow, A.J. Research Experience Placement (E. Smart, Occupational complexity and cognitive ageing). BBSRC, £2500. June-August 2012.

Gow, A.J., Avlund, K., & Mortensen, E. Guest professor programme collaboration at the Center for Healthy Aging (University of Copenhagen). ~145.000 DKR, June-July 2012.

Gow, A.J. Guarantors of Brain travel grant part-funded attendance at ECP16 (16th European Conference on Personality), Trieste, Italy, 10th-14th July 2012.

Deary, I.J., Bates, T.C., Starr, J.M., & Gow, A.J. A hundred at ninety: the common cause hypothesis of ageing tested in four waves of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 (LBC1921). Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government Health Directorates £184708. January 2011-June 2012 (Ref ETM/55).

Gow, A.J., Avlund, K., & Mortensen, E. Guest professor programme collaboration between the Center for Healthy Aging (University of Copenhagen) and the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (University of Edinburgh). 167.000 DKR, June-August 2011.

Deary, I.J., Porteous, D., & Tenesa, A. A genome-wide association study of non-pathological cognitive ageing. BBSRC, £872558. September 2008-August 2010 (Ref. BB/F019394/1). Named Collaborator.

Gow, A.J. Guarantors of Brain travel grant part-funded attendance at ECP15 (15th European Conference on Personality), in Brno, Czech Republic, 20th-24th July, 2010.

Deary, I.J., Bates, T., Starr, J.M., & Gow, A.J. Testing the common cause hypothesis of cognitive ageing in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921. Scottish Executive: Health Department, Chief Scientist Office. £175326. June 2007-December 2008 (CZB/4/505).

Gow, A.J. British Academy Overseas Conference Grant part-funded attendance at ISSID 2007 (International Society for the Study of Individual Differences), in Giessen, Germany, 22nd-27th July, 2007.

Gow, A.J. Factors affecting cognitive decline in an ageing population: mediators from the mid-life history of a longitudinal cohort study. The Royal Society of Edinburgh/Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland. 

Selected publications

Gow, A.J., Bastin, M.E., Muñoz Maniega, S., Valdés Hernández, M.C., Morris, Z., Murray, C., Royle, N.A., Starr, J.M., Deary, I.J., & Wardlaw, J.M. (2012). Neuroprotective lifestyles and the aging brain: activity, atrophy and white matter integrity. Neurology, 79, 1802-1808.

Gow, A.J., Corley, J., Starr, J.M., & Deary, I.J. (2012). Reverse causation in activity- cognitive ability associations: the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936. Psychology and Aging, 27, 250-255.

Gow, A.J., Johnson, W., Mishra, G., HALCyon Study Team, Richards, M., Kuh, D., & Deary, I.J. (2012). Is age kinder to the initially more able?: Yes, and no. Intelligence, 40, 49-59.

Gow, A.J., Mortensen, E.L., & Avlund, K. (2012). Activity participation and cognitive aging from age 50 to 80 in the Glostrup 1914 cohort. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60, 1831-1838.

 

Biography

Alan graduated with a BSc (Hons.) in Biological Sciences: Psychology from the University of Edinburgh in 2002, and completed his MSc by Research (Psychology) the following year. He completed his PhD in 2007 funded by a Royal Society of Edinburgh/Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Studentship. Alan was then appointed as a Research Fellow and latterly Senior Research Fellow in the University of Edinburgh Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology. He has also been a guest researcher at the Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen, since 2011. Alan joined Heriot-Watt as a Lecturer in 2013.

Further information

Memberships:

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (AFBPsS).

Member (and co-chair) of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland.

Associate Member of the University of Edinburgh Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (CCACE).

Founder Member of the British Society for the Psychology of Individual Differences (BSPID).

Member of the Association for Psychological Science (APS).

Member of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID).

Member of the European Association of Personality Psychology (EAPP).

Member of the British Society for Research on Ageing (BSRA).