Julene Johnson, PhD

Prof of Cognitive Neuroscience
Institute for Health & Aging
+1 415 476-1106

Julene K Johnson, PhD is both the Associate Dean of Research for the UCSF School of Nursing and the Associate Director at the UCSF Institute for Health & Aging. She is co-director of the Sound Health Network, which is a partnership between UCSF and the NEA, in collaboration with the NIH, Kennedy Center, and Renee Fleming. She is also a faculty mentor in the UCSF Center for Aging in Diverse Communities (a NIA-funded Resource Center for Minority Aging Research). Dr. Johnson is a cognitive neuroscientist and obtained her PhD at the University of Texas at Dallas and completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, Irvine's Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia.

Dr. Johnson's research program focuses on cognitive aging and covers two primary themes: 1) developing cost-effective and novel community-based interventions (e.g., music interventions) to promote health and well-being, particularly for diverse older adults and 2) understanding cognitive function in diverse older adults. Her research on community-engaged health promotion involves racial/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse older adults. In 2010, she was a Fulbright scholar in Finland where she studied how singing in a community choir influences quality of life and well-being among older adults.

Dr. Johnson was the UCSF campus representative and Chair of the Advisory Committee for the University of California Humanities Research Institute (2013-2016) http://uchri.org/uchri/advisory-committee/


Increasing engagement of Hispanics/Latinos in clinical trials on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Alzheimer's & dementia (New York, N. Y.)

Marquez DX, Perez A, Johnson JK, Jaldin M, Pinto J, Keiser S, Tran T, Martinez P, Guerrero J, Portacolone E

The Living Alone with Cognitive Impairment Project's Policy Advisory Group on Long-Term Services and Supports: Setting a Research Equity Agenda.

International journal of environmental research and public health

Portacolone E, Torres JM, Johnson JK, Benton D, Rapp T, Tran T, Martinez P, Graham C

Mobile Medical Clinics in the United States Post-Affordable Care Act: An Integrative Review.

Population health management

Coaston A, Lee SJ, Johnson J, Hardy-Peterson M, Weiss S, Stephens C

Meaningful Activities and Sources of Meaning for Community-Dwelling People Living with Dementia.

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

Allison TA, Gubner JM, Oh A, Harrison KL, Pham K, Barnes DE, Johnson JK, Covinsky KE, Smith AK

The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Lived Experience of Diverse Older Adults Living Alone With Cognitive Impairment.

The Gerontologist

Portacolone E, Chodos A, Halpern J, Covinsky KE, Keiser S, Fung J, Rivera E, Tran T, Bykhovsky C, Johnson JK

Beneficial effects of choir singing on cognition and well-being of older adults: Evidence from a cross-sectional study.

PloS one

Pentikäinen E, Pitkäniemi A, Siponkoski ST, Jansson M, Louhivuori J, Johnson JK, Paajanen T, Särkämö T

Communicating Awareness About COVID-19 Through Songs: An Example From Ghana.

Frontiers in public health

Thompson RGA, Nutor JJ, Johnson JK

Polymyxins and analogues bind to ribosomal RNA and interfere with eukaryotic translation in vitro.

Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology

McCoy LS, Roberts KD, Nation RL, Thompson PE, Velkov T, Li J, Tor Y

Multi-cultural perspectives on group singing among diverse older adults.

Geriatric nursing (New York, N.Y.)

Allison TA, Nápoles AM, Johnson JK, Stewart AL, Rodriguez-Salazar M, Peringer J, Sherman S, Ortez-Alfaro J, Villero O, Portacolone E

Exploring the effects of visual and literary arts interventions on psychosocial well-being of diverse older adults: a mixed methods pilot study.

Arts & health

Johnson JK, Carpenter T, Goodhart N, Stewart AL, du Plessis L, Coaston A, Clark K, Lazar A, Chapline J

A Community Choir Intervention to Promote Well-Being Among Diverse Older Adults: Results From the Community of Voices Trial.

The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences

Johnson JK, Stewart AL, Acree M, Nápoles AM, Flatt JD, Max WB, Gregorich SE

Walking the Tightrope between Study Participant Autonomy and Researcher Integrity: The Case Study of a Research Participant with Alzheimer's Disease Pursuing Euthanasia in Switzerland.

Journal of empirical research on human research ethics : JERHRE

Portacolone E, Covinsky KE, Johnson JK, Rubinstein RL, Halpern J

Musical and Cognitive Abilities in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Psychology of music

Petrovsky DV, Johnson JK, Tkacs N, Mechanic-Hamilton D, Hamilton RH, Cacchione PZ

The Precarity of Older Adults Living Alone With Cognitive Impairment.

The Gerontologist

Portacolone E, Rubinstein RL, Covinsky KE, Halpern J, Johnson JK

Progress and future challenges in aging and diversity research in the United States.

Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association

Brewster P, Barnes L, Haan M, Johnson JK, Manly JJ, Nápoles AM, Whitmer RA, Carvajal-Carmona L, Early D, Farias S, Mayeda ER, Melrose R, Meyer OL, Zeki Al Hazzouri A, Hinton L, Mungas D

NIH/Kennedy Center Workshop on Music and the Brain: Finding Harmony.


Cheever T, Taylor A, Finkelstein R, Edwards E, Thomas L, Bradt J, Holochwost SJ, Johnson JK, Limb C, Patel AD, Tottenham N, Iyengar S, Rutter D, Fleming R, Collins FS

Correlates of Subjective Cognitive Decline in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Older Adults.

Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD

Flatt JD, Johnson JK, Karpiak SE, Seidel L, Larson B, Brennan-Ing M

The Effects and Meanings of Receiving a Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer's Disease When One Lives Alone.

Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD

Portacolone E, Johnson JK, Covinsky KE, Halpern J, Rubinstein RL

Recruitment and baseline characteristics of the Community of Voices choir study to promote the health and well-being of diverse older adults.

Contemporary clinical trials communications

Johnson JK, Gregorich SE, Acree M, Nápoles AM, Flatt JD, Pounds D, Pabst A, Stewart AL

Factors associated with cognitive impairment in a cohort of older homeless adults: Results from the HOPE HOME study.

Drug and alcohol dependence

Hurstak E, Johnson JK, Tieu L, Guzman D, Ponath C, Lee CT, Jamora CW, Kushel M

Survival after dementia diagnosis in five racial/ethnic groups.

Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association

Mayeda ER, Glymour MM, Quesenberry CP, Johnson JK, Pérez-Stable EJ, Whitmer RA

The National Endowment for the Arts Guide to Community-Engaged Research in the Arts and Health

The National Endowment for the Arts Guide to Community-Engaged Research in the Arts and Health

Chapline J & Johnson JK

Comparison of Well-being of Older Adult Choir Singers and the General Population in Finland: A Case-Control Study.

Musicae scientiae : the journal of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music

Johnson JK, Louhivuori J, Siljander E

Pattern of Emotional Benefits Induced by Regular Singing and Music Listening in Dementia.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Särkämö T, Laitinen S, Numminen A, Kurki M, Johnson JK, Rantanen P

Clinical and Demographic Factors Associated with the Cognitive and Emotional Efficacy of Regular Musical Activities in Dementia.

Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD

Särkämö T, Laitinen S, Numminen A, Kurki M, Johnson JK, Rantanen P

Study protocol for a cluster randomized trial of the Community of Voices choir intervention to promote the health and well-being of diverse older adults.

BMC public health

Johnson JK, Nápoles AM, Stewart AL, Max WB, Santoyo-Olsson J, Freyre R, Allison TA, Gregorich SE

Deficits in Everyday Function Differ in AD and FTD.

Alzheimer disease and associated disorders

Park LQ, Harvey D, Johnson J, Farias ST

Music, neurology, and psychology in the nineteenth century.

Progress in brain research

Graziano AB, Johnson JK

Some early cases of aphasia and the capacity to sing.

Progress in brain research

Johnson JK, Graziano AB

Hearing and music in dementia.

Handbook of clinical neurology

Johnson JK, Chow ML

Reporting standards for studies of diagnostic test accuracy in dementia: The STARDdem Initiative.


Noel-Storr AH, McCleery JM, Richard E, Ritchie CW, Flicker L, Cullum SJ, Davis D, Quinn TJ, Hyde C, Rutjes AW, Smailagic N, Marcus S, Black S, Blennow K, Brayne C, Fiorivanti M, Johnson JK, Köpke S, Schneider LS, Simmons A, Mattsson N, Zetterberg H, Bossuyt PM, Wilcock G, McShane R

Life experience and demographic influences on cognitive function in older adults.


Brewster PW, Melrose RJ, Marquine MJ, Johnson JK, Napoles A, MacKay-Brandt A, Farias S, Reed B, Mungas D

Time to reinvent the science of dementia: the need for care and social integration.

Aging & mental health

Portacolone E, Berridge C, K Johnson J, Schicktanz S

Cognitive, emotional, and social benefits of regular musical activities in early dementia: randomized controlled study.

The Gerontologist

Särkämö T, Tervaniemi M, Laitinen S, Numminen A, Kurki M, Johnson JK, Rantanen P

Cholinergic enhancement of functional networks in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

Annals of neurology

Pa J, Berry AS, Compagnone M, Boccanfuso J, Greenhouse I, Rubens MT, Johnson JK, Gazzaley A

Review of "The Origins of Music"

Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain

Graziano AB and Johnson JK

Quality of life (QOL) of older adult community choral singers in Finland.

International psychogeriatrics

Johnson JK, Louhivuori J, Stewart AL, Tolvanen A, Ross L, Era P

Jean-Martin Charcot's role in the 19th century study of music aphasia.

Brain : a journal of neurology

Johnson JK, Lorch M, Nicolas S, Graziano A

Neuropsychological patterns differ by type of left ventricle dysfunction in heart failure.

Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists

Bratzke-Bauer LC, Pozehl BJ, Paul SM, Johnson JK

Confirmatory factor analysis of the ADNI Neuropsychological Battery.

Brain imaging and behavior

Park LQ, Gross AL, McLaren DG, Pa J, Johnson JK, Mitchell M, Manly JJ, Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Cortical signatures of cognition and their relationship to Alzheimer's disease.

Brain imaging and behavior

Gross AL, Manly JJ, Pa J, Johnson JK, Park LQ, Mitchell MB, Melrose RJ, Inouye SK, McLaren DG, Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Longitudinal change in neuropsychological performance using latent growth models: a study of mild cognitive impairment.

Brain imaging and behavior

Johnson JK, Gross AL, Pa J, McLaren DG, Park LQ, Manly JJ, Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Seniorikuorolaulajien sosioekonominen tausta, koettu hyvinvointi ja terveys


Louhivuori J, Siljander E, Luoma M-L & Johnson JK

A brief neuropsychological battery for use in the chronic heart failure population.

European journal of cardiovascular nursing : journal of the Working Group on Cardiovascular Nursing of the European Society of Cardiology

Bauer L, Pozehl B, Hertzog M, Johnson J, Zimmerman L, Filipi M

Hermann Oppenheim's observations about music in aphasia.

Journal of the history of the neurosciences

Graziano AB, Pech A, Hou C, Johnson JK

Cognition in heart failure: an overview of the concepts and their measures.

Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

Bauer LC, Johnson JK, Pozehl BJ

Sensitivity of revised diagnostic criteria for the behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia.

Brain : a journal of neurology

Rascovsky K, Hodges JR, Knopman D, Mendez MF, Kramer JH, Neuhaus J, van Swieten JC, Seelaar H, Dopper EG, Onyike CU, Hillis AE, Josephs KA, Boeve BF, Kertesz A, Seeley WW, Rankin KP, Johnson JK, Gorno-Tempini ML, Rosen H, Prioleau-Latham CE, Lee A, Kipps CM, Lillo P, Piguet O, Rohrer JD, Rossor MN, Warren JD, Fox NC, Galasko D, Salmon DP, Black SE, Mesulam M, Weintraub S, Dickerson BC, Diehl-Schmid J, Pasquier F, Deramecourt V, Lebert F, Pijnenburg Y, Chow TW, Manes F, Grafman J, Cappa SF, Freedman M, Grossman M, Miller BL

Dementia=(MC)2: a 4-item screening test for mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

Alzheimer disease and associated disorders

Douglas VC, Neuhaus J, Johnson JK, Racine CA, Miller BL, Josephson SA

Music recognition in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Alzheimer disease.

Cognitive and behavioral neurology : official journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology

Johnson JK, Chang CC, Brambati SM, Migliaccio R, Gorno-Tempini ML, Miller BL, Janata P

Baseline predictors of clinical progression among patients with dysexecutive mild cognitive impairment.

Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders

Johnson JK, Pa J, Boxer AL, Kramer JH, Freeman K, Yaffe K

Gray matter correlates of set-shifting among neurodegenerative disease, mild cognitive impairment, and healthy older adults.

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS

Pa J, Possin KL, Wilson SM, Quitania LC, Kramer JH, Boxer AL, Weiner MW, Johnson JK

Sound naming in neurodegenerative disease.

Brain and cognition

Chow ML, Brambati SM, Gorno-Tempini ML, Miller BL, Johnson JK

Patterns of cerebral hypoperfusion in amnestic and dysexecutive MCI.

Alzheimer disease and associated disorders

Chao LL, Pa J, Duarte A, Schuff N, Weiner MW, Kramer JH, Miller BL, Freeman KM, Johnson JK

Rule violation errors are associated with right lateral prefrontal cortex atrophy in neurodegenerative disease.

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS

Possin KL, Brambati SM, Rosen HJ, Johnson JK, Pa J, Weiner MW, Miller BL, Kramer JH

Clinical-neuroimaging characteristics of dysexecutive mild cognitive impairment.

Annals of neurology

Pa J, Boxer A, Chao LL, Gazzaley A, Freeman K, Kramer J, Miller BL, Weiner MW, Neuhaus J, Johnson JK

Oculomotor function in frontotemporal lobar degeneration, related disorders and Alzheimer's disease.

Brain : a journal of neurology

Garbutt S, Matlin A, Hellmuth J, Schenk AK, Johnson JK, Rosen H, Dean D, Kramer J, Neuhaus J, Miller BL, Lisberger SG, Boxer AL

Distinct MRI atrophy patterns in autopsy-proven Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

American journal of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias

Rabinovici GD, Seeley WW, Kim EJ, Gorno-Tempini ML, Rascovsky K, Pagliaro TA, Allison SC, Halabi C, Kramer JH, Johnson JK, Weiner MW, Forman MS, Trojanowski JQ, Dearmond SJ, Miller BL, Rosen HJ

Diagnostic criteria for the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD): current limitations and future directions.

Alzheimer disease and associated disorders

Rascovsky K, Hodges JR, Kipps CM, Johnson JK, Seeley WW, Mendez MF, Knopman D, Kertesz A, Mesulam M, Salmon DP, Galasko D, Chow TW, Decarli C, Hillis A, Josephs K, Kramer JH, Weintraub S, Grossman M, Gorno-Tempini ML, Miller BM

Executive function, more than global cognition, predicts functional decline and mortality in elderly women.

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences

Johnson JK, Lui LY, Yaffe K

Cognitive and motor assessment in autopsy-proven corticobasal degeneration.


Murray R, Neumann M, Forman MS, Farmer J, Massimo L, Rice A, Miller BL, Johnson JK, Clark CM, Hurtig HI, Gorno-Tempini ML, Lee VM, Trojanowski JQ, Grossman M

Multiple cognitive deficits in amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders

Kramer JH, Nelson A, Johnson JK, Yaffe K, Glenn S, Rosen HJ, Miller BL

Frontotemporal dementia: clinicopathological correlations.

Annals of neurology

Forman MS, Farmer J, Johnson JK, Clark CM, Arnold SE, Coslett HB, Chatterjee A, Hurtig HI, Karlawish JH, Rosen HJ, Van Deerlin V, Lee VM, Miller BL, Trojanowski JQ, Grossman M

Anti-GAD antibody cerebellar ataxia mimicking Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Clinical neurology and neurosurgery

Chang CC, Eggers SD, Johnson JK, Haman A, Miller BL, Geschwind MD

The influence of scientific research on nineteenth-century musical thought: The work of Richard Wallaschek

International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music

Graziano A & Johnson JK

Comparison of family histories in FTLD subtypes and related tauopathies.


Goldman JS, Farmer JM, Wood EM, Johnson JK, Boxer A, Neuhaus J, Lomen-Hoerth C, Wilhelmsen KC, Lee VM, Grossman M, Miller BL

Presenilin 1 Glu318Gly polymorphism: interpret with caution.

Archives of neurology

Goldman JS, Johnson JK, McElligott K, Suchowersky O, Miller BL, Van Deerlin VM

Frontotemporal dementia progresses to death faster than Alzheimer disease.


Roberson ED, Hesse JH, Rose KD, Slama H, Johnson JK, Yaffe K, Forman MS, Miller CA, Trojanowski JQ, Kramer JH, Miller BL

Frontotemporal lobar degeneration: demographic characteristics of 353 patients.

Archives of neurology

Johnson JK, Diehl J, Mendez MF, Neuhaus J, Shapira JS, Forman M, Chute DJ, Roberson ED, Pace-Savitsky C, Neumann M, Chow TW, Rosen HJ, Forstl H, Kurz A, Miller BL

Learning and memory as a function of age in Down syndrome: a study using animal-based tasks.

Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry

Nelson L, Johnson JK, Freedman M, Lott I, Groot J, Chang M, Milgram NW, Head E

Neuropsychological and functional measures of severity in Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal dementia, and semantic dementia.

Alzheimer disease and associated disorders

Rosen HJ, Narvaez JM, Hallam B, Kramer JH, Wyss-Coray C, Gearhart R, Johnson JK, Miller BL

Neurologic signs and mobility limitations: a neglected link in the elderly.

The American journal of medicine

Johnson JK, Miller BL

17q-linked frontotemporal dementia-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis without tau mutations with tau and alpha-synuclein inclusions.

Archives of neurology

Wilhelmsen KC, Forman MS, Rosen HJ, Alving LI, Goldman J, Feiger J, Lee JV, Segall SK, Kramer JH, Lomen-Hoerth C, Rankin KP, Johnson J, Feiler HS, Weiner MW, Lee VM, Trojanowski JQ, Miller BL

Cognition and anatomy in three variants of primary progressive aphasia.

Annals of neurology

Gorno-Tempini ML, Dronkers NF, Rankin KP, Ogar JM, Phengrasamy L, Rosen HJ, Johnson JK, Weiner MW, Miller BL

Isolated executive impairment and associated frontal neuropathology.

Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders

Johnson JK, Vogt BA, Kim R, Cotman CW, Head E

Distinctive neuropsychological patterns in frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia, and Alzheimer disease.

Cognitive and behavioral neurology : official journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology

Kramer JH, Jurik J, Sha SJ, Rankin KP, Rosen HJ, Johnson JK, Miller BL

Auditory event-related potentials during target detection are abnormal in mild cognitive impairment.

Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology

Golob EJ, Johnson JK, Starr A

Oxidation of Abeta and plaque biogenesis in Alzheimer's disease and Down syndrome.

Neurobiology of disease

Head E, Garzon-Rodriguez W, Johnson JK, Lott IT, Cotman CW, Glabe C

Sensory cortical interactions in aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease.

Neurobiology of aging

Golob EJ, Miranda GG, Johnson JK, Starr A

Clinical and pathological evidence for a frontal variant of Alzheimer disease.

Archives of neurology

Johnson JK, Head E, Kim R, Starr A, Cotman CW

Detecting symmetric patterns in EEG data: a new method of analysis.

Clinical EEG (electroencephalography)

Bodner M, Shaw GL, Gabriel R, Johnson JK, Murias M, Swanson J

Macrostructure and inferential processing in discourse of aphasic patients

Psychology of Language and Communication

Ulatowska HK, Chapman SB, Johnson JK & Branch C

The dependence of coherence estimates of spontaneous EEG on gender and music training

Music Perception

Johnson JK, Petsche H, Richter P, von Stein A & Filz O

Discourse in early Alzheimer’s disease versus normal advanced aging

American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

Chapman SB, Ulatowska, HK, King K, Johnson JK & McIntire DD

Processing of proverbs in aphasics and old-elderly

Clinical Aphasiology

Ulatowska HK, Chapman SB & Johnson JK