Professor Carey received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Northeastern University. Prior to coming to Simmons, she completed post-doctoral research at Tufts Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in the Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory, where she studied the behavioral and neurochemical effects of aging and how nutritional intervention may allay some of the brain alterations associated with aging. She is continuing this line of research in her own laboratory at Simmons.
Professor Carey has over 25 publications in scientific journals and enjoys bringing her knowledge of the latest neuroscience research into the classroom. Professor Carey also believes that learning goes well beyond the time she spends with students in the classroom and that scholarship and academic achievement are not simply a result of course work and studying; a critical component of an undergraduate education is having a mentor. Mentorship played a valuable role in her own development as a scientist, and she aims to extend the same kind of one-on-one advising and hands-on training to the students at Simmons University.
In her free time, Professor Carey loves to Irish step dance!
What I Teach
- PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science
- PSYC 201 Biological Psychology (with lab)
- PSYC 247 Sensation and Perception
- NB 347 Seminar in Neuroscience and Behavior
My research is in the field of basic neuroscience and the physiology of behavior. My overall research goals are to determine the mechanisms by which aging and disease-related proteins result in neurodegeneration and behavioral alterations, and how adjunctive nutritional therapies and strategies can directly alter cellular functioning or prevent the damage associated with “normal” aging or disease states such as dementia. I am currently investigating the difference between how "good" fats (like those from walnuts) and "bad" fats (like those found in fried foods) can affect the brain.
You can find some more detailed information about this project here:
Blueberry Consumption Shows Changes in Mice
Professor Carey's research examines the effects of high fat diet on the brain. She is working on a study -- with the help of a few excellent Simmons University students -- where mice were fed a high fat diet with and without blueberry, a high antioxidant fruit. Overall, this study demonstrates that supplementation of a high fat diet with blueberry increases neuroplasticity, and these changes may underlie the reduction in memory deficits observed in these animals.
Carey AN, Gomes SM, Shukitt-Hale B. (2014) Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Middle-Aged Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, in press.
Paris JJ, Carey AN, Shay CF, Gomes SM, He JJ, McLaughlin JP. (2014) Effects of conditional central expression of HIV-1 tat protein to potentiate cocaine-mediated psychostimulation and reward among male mice. Neuropsychopharmacology. 39:380-8.
Rowan S, Weikel K, Chang ML, Nagel BA, Thinschmidt JS, Carey A, Grant MB, Fliesler SJ, Smith D, Taylor A. (2014) Cfh genotype interacts with dietary glycemic index to modulate age-related macular degeneration-like features in mice. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 55:492-501.
Carey AN, Fisher DR, Rimando AM, Gomes SM, Bielinski DF, Shukitt-Hale. (2013) Stilbenes and anthocyanins reduce stress signaling in BV-2 mouse microglia. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 61:5979-5986.
Carey AN, Fisher DR, Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale S. (2013) The ability of walnut extract and fatty acids to protect against the deleterious effects of oxidative stress and inflammation in hippocampal cells. Nutritional Neuroscience. 16:13-
Poulose SM, Carey AN, Shukitt-HaleB. (2012) Improving Brain Signaling in Aging: Could Berries be the Answer? Expert Reviews in Neurotherapeutics, 12:887-889.
Carey AN, Poulose SM, Shukitt-Hale B. (2012) The beneficial effects of tree nuts on the aging brain. Nutrition and Aging, 1:55-67.