Julie A. Suhr

Professor and Director of Clinical Training

Contact Information:

Email: suhr(->AT<-)
Phone: 740-593-1091
250 Porter Hall
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701

Research Area:
Health, Intervention & Evaluation

Adult, Clinical Neuropsychology

Research Interests

My area of specialty is clinical neuropsychology, which I view as an integration of clinical psychology and neuroscience, or as my students put it “keeping the psychology in neuropsychology.” My research reflects this integration, and the importance of a good understanding of psychology in order to understand neuroscience.

One major topic of current research interest is the effect of psychological (non-neurological) variables on neuropsychological performance. Some of the psychological variables we have addressed in the laboratory include malingering, premorbid expectations for performance “diagnosis threat”, depression, and anxiety. We have examined their effects on neuropsychological performance, both in cognitively impaired persons (such as patients with dementia or head injury) in those who are neurologically normal but report cognitive problems (such as persons with chronic pain or students who suspect they have ADHD), or in those who may be worried about future cognitive decline (such as in the fear of Alzheimer’s seen in family members of patients with Alzheimer’s disease). Currently 4 graduate students in the lab are working on studies in this general area.

Another major topic of current research interest is consideration of personality and other premorbid factors on executive functioning in individuals with various neurological conditions, including substance abusers or individuals with head injury. Currently 1 graduate student is working on a study in this area (psychopathy). 

I have also examined the neuropsychological aspects of various health factors such as hypertension (with Dr. France), dehydration (with Dr. Patterson), stress/cortisol reactivity, pain, and sleep.  

Since 1997, our lab has conducted free cognitive screening for older adults in the local community, and this has led to several interesting research projects for my students. Currently, 3 graduate students are conducting aging studies in the lab based on this screening, as part of a larger project involving cognitive variables associated with driving skill (and using the driving simulator in our Engineering department).

We have also begun to use a new neuroimaging technique, Near Infrared Spectroscopy, to measure cerebral oxygenation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during executive functioning tasks. We have completed projects using this methodology in aging and in ADHD. 

Another major topic of interest is the psychological effects of neurological disorders, such as the personality and behavioral changes that accompany damage to the frontal lobes, and the psychological and behavioral difficulties that accompany Alzheimer's disease. I have also conducted research projects addressing the neuropsychological impairments seen in such neuropsychiatric conditions as schizophrenia, schizophrenic spectrum disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, although there are no current research projects underway in these areas.


Ph.D. (1994) University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Predoctoral Internship (1993-1994) Brown University Psychology Internship Program, Providence, RI. 

Postdoctoral fellowship (1994-1997), Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa CIty, IA. 

Selected Publications


Buelow, M., & Suhr, J.A. (in press). Risky decision making in smoking and non-smoking college students: Examination of Iowa Gambling Task performance by deck type selection. Applied Neuropsychology.

Suhr, J. & Wei, C. (2013). Symptoms as an Excuse: Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptom Reporting as an Excuse for Cognitive Test Performance in the Context of Evaluative Threat. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 32, 753-69.  

Buelow, M. T., & Suhr, J.A. (2013). Personality characteristics and state mood influence individual deck selections on the Iowa Gambling Task. Personality and Individual Differences, 54, 593-597.

Suhr, J.A., & Spickard, B. (2012). Pain-related fear is associated with cognitive task avoidance: Exploration of the cogniphobia construct in a recurrent headache sample. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. IFirst, August 28, 2012. doi:10.1080/13854046.2012.713121

Riddle, T., & Suhr, J.A. (2012). Expansion of the Contingency Naming Test to Adult Assessment: Psychometric Analysis and Preliminary Young Adult Norms. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 26, 609-625. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2012.666265

Suhr, J.A., & Chelberg, M. B. (2012). Use of near-infrared spectroscopy as a measure of cerebrovascular health in aging adults. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, iFirst, 1-10. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2012.727976

Heffner, K. L., Ng, H. M., Suhr, J. A., France, C. R, Marshall, G. D., Pigeon, W. R., & Moynihan, J. A. (2012). Sleep disturbance and older adults’ inflammatory responses to acute stress. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20, 744-752.   doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e31824361de

Reese, C., Suhr, J.A., & Riddle, T. (2012). Exploration of malingering indices in the Weschler Adult Intelligence  Scale – Fourth Edition Digit Span subtest. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology Advanced Access. 

Suhr, J.A., & Seng, E. (2012). Neuropsychological Functioning in Migraine: Clinical and Research Implications. Cephalalgia, 32, 39-54.

Suhr, J.A., Buelow, M., & Riddle, T. (2011). Development of an infrequency index for the CAARS. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 29, 160-170. doi: 10.1177/0734282910380190.    

Lovejoy, T.I., Heckman, T.G., Suhr, J.A., Anderson, T., Heckman, B.D., & France, C.R. (2011). Telephone-administered motivational interviewing reduces risky sexual behavior in HIV-positive late middle-age and older adults: A pilot randomized controlled trial. AIDS and Behavior, Online First, August 2011. doi: 10.1007/s10461-011-0016-x    

Suhr, J.A., Sullivan, B.K., & Rodriguez, J. L. (2011). The relationship of  noncredible performance to Continuous Performance Test scores in adults referred for ADHD evaluation. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 26, 1-7.  doi:10.1093/arclin/acq094       

Suhr, J.A., Patterson, S.M., Austin, A.W., & Heffner, K.L. (2010). The relationship of hydration status to declarative memory and working memory in older adults. Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging, 14, 840-3. 

Hammers, D.B., & Suhr, J.A. (2010). Neuropsychological, personality, and cerebral oxygenation correlates of undergraduate polysubstance use. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 32, 599-609. doi: 10.1080/13803390903379599     

Suhr, J.A., & Hammers, D.B. (2010). Who fails the Iowa Gambling Test? Personality, neuropsychological, and near-infrared spectroscopy findings in healthy young controls. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 25, 293-302. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acq017       


Recent Grants

2011               Research Challenge Award, Ohio University, “Neuropsychological Correlates of Driving Hazard Perception in Older Adults”. Suhr, PI.

 2008               Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuromusculoskeletal Research Award, Ohio University, “Unexplained fatigue in the elderly.”  Clark, PI, Suhr, Co-I.

2008               Research Challenge Award, Ohio University, “The Role of personality and gender in nicotine craving and risky decision making”. Suhr, PI.

2007-2009     National Institutes of Health, “Psychophysiological correlates of aging stereotypes and personal aging beliefs.” Kathi Heffner PI, Suhr Co-I.



Courses Taught

Clinical Neuropsychology, Physiological Psychology, Abnormal Psychology

Neuropsychology, Fundamentals of Assessment, Adult Assessment, Traineeship and practicum supervision (Assessment, Neuropsychological Assessment)

Graduate Students

Current Graduate Students:

Katalina McInerney

Caitlin Reese (on internship)

Elizabeth Bolinger

Jana Dykstra

Caitlin Reese

Kruti Patel

Anna Kinzer

Brittni Morgan

Carrie Cook  

 Recent Graduates 

Petya Demireva (on postdoc)

Christina Wei (on postdoc) 

Eric Zimak (on postdoc) 

Erin Mark (on postdoc) 

Mei Ng

Tara Riddle

Brad Spickard

Travis Lovejoy 

Melissa Buelow