Vanderbilt Department of Neurology

Faculty By Divisions

Brandon Ally, Ph.D.



Dr. Brandon Ally obtained his Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004. From there, he completed an internship and clinical postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Medical School Geriatric Neuropsychology Laboratory with special emphasis on cognitive disorders of aging. In addition to this clinical training, Ally completed a National Institutes of Health sponsored 3-year research fellowship at the Boston University Alzheimer's Disease Center focusing on the cognitive neuroscience of memory dysfunction in healthy and diseased aging. During this time, Ally became interested in understanding how memory differentially breaks down for words and pictures in patients with very early Alzheimer's. To further investigate this, he was awarded a National Institute on Aging Career Development Award at Boston University.

Prior to his arrival to Vanderbilt, Dr. Ally was an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Boston University conducting research at the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. At that time he also served as the Site Director for the New England GRECC's Center for Translational Cognitive Neuroscience and the Director of Inpatient Neuropsychology Services at the Bedford VA Hospital in Bedford, MA. Ally joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University in August of 2010 as an Assistant Professor of Neurology, with secondary appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology. He also serves as faculty in the Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience at Vanderbilt.


The overall goal of Dr. Ally’s research is to understand exactly how memory breaks down in healthy and diseased aging. The Ally Lab uses techniques of experimental psychology as well as cognitive neuroscience to aid in this understanding, and the overarching focus is on patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer's disease. Understanding how memory breaks down in these populations has both theoretical and practical implications. From a theoretical standpoint, this work can help to elucidate which aspects of memory are impaired and which are relatively intact in patients with Alzheimer's disease. From a practical standpoint, this work can help to develop novel techniques in assessing and treating patients with Alzheimer's.


  • Simmons-Stern N, Budson AE, Ally BA. (2010). Music as a memory enhancer in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Neuropsychologia, 49, 3164-3164
  • Ally BA, McKeever JD, Waring JD, Budson AE. (2009). Pictures preserve frontal memorial processes in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Neuropsychologia, 47, 2044-2055.
  • Ally BA, Gold CA, Budson AE. (2009). The picture superiority effect in patients with Alzheimer's disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Neuropsychologia, 47, 595-598.
  • Ally BA, Simons JS, McKeever JD, Peers PV, Budson AE. (2008). Parietal contributions to recollection: Electrophysiological evidence from healthy aging and patients with lateral parietal lesions. Neuropsychologia, 46, 1800-1812.
  • Ally BA, and Budson AE. (2007). The worth of pictures: Using high-density event-related potentials to understand the memorial power of pictures and the dynamics of recognition memory. NeuroImage, 35, 378-395.

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