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Administration, Cognitive, Faculty


Dr. Walter Boot

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007


Cognitive Psychology Area Director

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Dr. Boot is recruiting a graduate student for Fall of 2023

Research Interests

My research focuses on the potential of technology to support the wellbeing, independence, and quality of life of older people with and without cognitive impairments (mild cognitive impairment, traumatic brain injury, post-stroke cognitive impairment). Technology solutions investigated include tablets, smartphones, voice assistants, artificial intelligence applications, and virtual reality.

Current Research

Recent research within the Boot lab aims to understand the potential of virtual reality (VR) to support social and cognitive engagement among older adults with and without cognitive impairments. For the Adherence Promotion with Person-centered Technology (APPT) Project, the aims are to promote early detection and treatment of age-related cognitive decline and dementia through the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based reminder systems to help ensure long-term engagement with home-based cognitive assessment and cognitive training protocols. Projects that are part of the ENHANCE (Enhancing Neurocognitive Health, Abilities, Networks, & Community Engagement) center aim to understand the challenges older adults experiencing disability as a result of cognitive impairment encounter with living activities, how these vary according to type of cognitive impairment, and needed areas of and preferences for support; identify, develop, and evaluate potential technology solutions; disseminate findings to multiple stakeholders; and advance new knowledge in the aging, cognitive disability, and technology space.

Selected Publications

Boot, W., Charness, N., Czaja, S., Rogers, W. (2020). Designing for Older Adults: Case Studies, Methods, and Tools. Boca Raton: CRC Press,

Boot, W. R., Andringa, R., Harrell, E. R., Dieciuc, M. A., & Roque, N. A. (2019). Older adults and video gaming for leisure: Lessons from the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE). Gerontechnology, 12(2), 138-146.

Charness, N., & Boot, W. R. (2022). A Grand Challenge for Psychology: Reducing the Age-Related Digital Divide. Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Czaja, S. J., Boot, W. R., Charness, N., & Rogers, W. A.  (2019).  Designing for older adults: Principles and creative human factors approaches (3rd Edition).  Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Dilanchian, A. T., Andringa, R., & Boot, W. R. (2021). A pilot study exploring age differences in presence, workload, and cybersickness in the experience of immersive virtual reality environments. Frontiers in Virtual Reality, 129.

Harrell, E. R., Roque, N. A., Boot, W. R., & Charness, N. (2021). Investigating message framing to improve adherence to technology-based cognitive interventions. Psychology and Aging. Advance online publication.

Kalantari, S., Bill Xu, T., Mostafavi, A., Lee, A., Barankevich, R., Boot, W. R., & Czaja, S. J. (2022). Using a nature-based virtual reality environment for omproving mood states and cognitive engagement in older adults: A mixed-method feasibility study. Innovation in Aging, 6(3), igac015.

Gray, N., Yoon, J.-S., Charness, N., Boot, W. R., Roque, N. A., Andringa, R., Harrell, E. R., Lewis, K. G., & Vitale, T. (2022). Relative effectiveness of general versus specific cognitive training for aging adults. Psychology and Aging, 37 (2), 210-221.

Roque, N. A., & Boot, W. R. (2018). A new tool for assessing mobile device proficiency in older adults: the mobile device proficiency questionnaire. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 37(2), 131-156.

Zhang, S., Boot, W. R., & Charness, N. (2021). Does Computer Use Improve Older Adults’ Cognitive Functioning? Evidence From the Personal Reminder Information and Social Management Trial. The Gerontologist.


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