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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology

Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe

Regents Professor

H. L. Eastlick Distinguished Professor

Ph.D. University of Memphis, 1994

Contact Information

Office: Johnson Tower 312
Phone: (509) 335-0170



Electronic Memory and Management Aid or EMMA is a digital memory notebook and compensation application

Media Links

Classes Taught

  • Psychology 198: Honors Introductory Psychology
  • Psychology 363: Psychology and Aging
  • Psychology 490: Cognition and Aging
  • Psychology 485/486: Gerontechnology 1 and 2
  • Psychology 537: Clinic Assessment Practicum
  • Psychology 575: Foundation of Neuropsychology

Clinical and Cognitive Neuropsychology; Everyday Functioning; Memory and Executive Abilities; Rehabilitation; Smart and Assistive Technologies; Aging and Cognitively Impaired Populations (e.g., MCI, AD, PD and TBI).

Current Funded Grants

Creating Adaptive, Wearable Technologies to Assess and Intervene for Individuals with ADRDs.. National Institute of Aging. #R35 AG071451, 2021-2026. $4,590,000. PI.

Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Training Program in Health-assistive Smart Environments for Older Adults. National Institute on Aging. #R25 AG046114, 2021-2026, renewal. $1,837,165. PI.

Compensation Training and Lifestyle Modifications to promote Healthy Aging in Persons at Risk for Alzheimer’s disease: A Digital Application Supported Intervention National Institute on Aging. #R01 AGO66748, 2020-2025. $3,517,278. PI.

Multi-modal Assessment and Intervention for Functional Independence.  National Institute on Aging. #R01 AG065218, 2020-2025. $2,992,391. PI.

A Digital Memory Notebook to Support Everyday Functioning, Decrease Caregiver Burden and Track Health Status. Department of Defense. AZ190055; 2020-2023. $1,299,515. PI.

Native Alzheimer’s disease resource center for minority aging research (NAD-RCMAR). National Institute on Aging. #P30AG059295. 2018-2023. $2,832,425. Co-PI.

A clinician-in-the-loop smart technology to support health monitoring and intervention for chronic conditions. NIH: National Institute of Nursing Research. #R01 NINR016732, 2017-2022, $1,826,091. PI.

A clinician-in-the-loop smart home to support health monitoring and intervention for chronic conditions: Supplement to focus on Alzheimer’s and/or other dementias. NIH: National Institute of Nursing Research. #R01 NINR016732-supplement. 2020-2021. $372,222. PI.

Selected Recent Publications (see vita for full list):

*indicates graduate student

Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., *Brown, K., *Luna, C., *Chilton, R., *Sumida, C.A., Holder, L., & Cook, D. J. (2022). Partnering a compensatory application with activity-aware prompting to improve use in individuals with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: a randomized controlled pilot clinical trial. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 8, 73-90. 10.3233/JAD-215022.

*Boyd, B., *McAlister, C., *Arrotta, K., & Schmitter-Edgecombe, M. (2022). Self-reported behavior change and predictors of engagement with a multidomain brain health intervention for midlife and older adults: a pilot clinical trial. Journal of Aging and Health34(1), 109-119.

Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., *McAlister, C., & Greeley, D. (2021). A Comparison of Functional Abilities in Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Parkinson’s Disease with Mild Cognitive Impairment Using Multiple Assessment Methods. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS, 1–12. Advance online publication.

*Sumida, C. A., Lopez, F. V., Van Etten, E. J., Whitley, N., Moore, R. C., Pirogovsky-Turk, E., Litvan, I., Lessig, S., Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., Gilbert, P. E., & Filoteo, J. V. & Schiehser, D. M. (2021). Medication management performance in Parkinson’s disease: examination of process errors. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33621315

Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., *Cunningham, R., *McAlister, C., *Arrotta, K. & *Weakley, A. (2021). The Night Out Task and scoring application: an ill-structured, open-ended clinic-based test representing cognitive capacities used in everyday situations. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 36(4), 537-553. PMID: 33089318.

*Chudoba, L. A., & Schmitter-Edgecombe, M. (2020). Insight into memory and functional abilities in individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 42, 822-833. PMID: 32957853.

Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., *Sumida, C. A., & Cook. D. J. (2020). Bridging the gap between performance-based assessment and self-reported everyday functioning: an ecological momentary assessment approach. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 34, 678-699. PMID 32189568.

*Brown, K. D., & Schmitter-Edgecombe, M. (2020). The impact of initial planning on task execution performance of older adults: a naturalistic assessment paradigm. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 42, 1-13. PMID: 31658865

Raghunath, N., *Dahmen, J., *Brown, K., Cook. D., Schmitter-Edgecombe, M. (2020). Creating a Digital Memory Notebook application for individuals with mild cognitive impairment to support everyday functioning. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 15, 421-431. PMID 30907223.

*Chudoba, L., *Sawaqdeh, A., *Dahmen, J., *Brown, K., & Schmitter-Edgecombe, M. (2020). The development of a manual-based Digital Memory Notebook intervention with case illustrations. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 30, 1829-1851. PMID: 31046586

Farias, S., Gravano, J., *Weakley, A., Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., Harvey, D., Mungas, D., Chan, M., & Giovannetti, T. (2020). The Everyday Compensation (EComp) questionnaire: construct validity and associations with diagnosis and longitudinal change in cognition and everyday function. Journal of the International Society of Neuropsychology, 26, 303-313. PMID: 31668159.

*Aminikhanghahi, S., Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., & Cook, D. (2020). Context-aware delivery of ecological momentary assessment. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, 24, 1206-1214. PMID: 314443058

*Weakley, A., Weakley, A. T., & Schmitter-Edgecombe, M. (2019). Compensatory strategy use improved real-world functional performance in community dwelling older adults. Neuropsychology, 33, 1121-1135. PMID: 31448941

*Fellows, R., & Schmitter-Edgecombe, M. (2019). Multi-method assessment of everyday functioning and memory abilities in Parkinson’s disease. Neuropsychology, 33,169-177. PMID: 30451512

*Braley, R., Fritz, S., Van Son, C., & Schmitter-Edgecombe, M. (2019). Prompting Technology and Persons with Dementia: The Significance of Context and Communication. The

In Press Book Chapters

Schmitter-Edgecombe, M. & Giovannetti, T. (forthcoming). Measures of activities of daily living. In G. J. Boyle, Y. Stern, D. J. Stein, & B. Sahakian (Ed.). Chapter 19. The SAGE handbook of clinical neuropsychology (Vol 2). United Kingdom: Sage Publications.

Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., Marcotte, T. D., & Grant, I. (forthcoming). Future Directions in the assessment of everyday functioning. Chapter 22. In T. D. Marcotte, M. Schmitter-Edgecombe & I. Grant (Ed.). Neuropsychology of Everyday Functioning (2nd Edition). New York: The Guilford Press.

Marcotte, T. D., Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., Scott, J. C., Kamut, R., & Heaton, R. K. (forthcoming). Neuropsychology and the prediction of everyday functioning. Chapter 1. In T. D. Marcotte, M. Schmitter-Edgecombe & I. Grant (Ed.). Neuropsychology of Everyday Functioning (2nd Edition). New York: The Guilford Press.

Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., & *Arrotta, K. (forthcoming). Naturalistic assessment: everyday environments and emerging technologies. Chapter 10. In T. D. Marcotte, M. Schmitter-Edgecombe & I. Grant (Ed.). Neuropsychology of Everyday Functioning (2nd Edition). New York: The Guilford Press.

Lab Info

Neuropsychology and Aging Laboratory

The goal of this research program is to develop cognitive interventions that will help older individuals with progressive neurological disorders (e.g., AD, PD) delay functional disability and increase their quality-of-life. Participants in many of our studies are healthy older adults and early-stage dementia patients who complete standardized neuropsychological tests and cognitive experimental tasks that assess different cognitive skills (e.g., memory, problem-solving). By observing individuals completing complex tasks of daily living in our on-campus smart home environment, we have identified the role that specific memory and executive functioning deficits play in the poorer performances of healthy older adults and individuals with MCI relative to younger adults on complex real-world everyday tasks. We are currently completing a series of studies that involve observing participants completing everyday tasks of daily living as they natural do in their own home and community environments. We are especially interested in learning more about how compensatory strategy use and the role of the environment can support or hinder a person’s ability to remain functionally independent. We expect this work to enhance our intervention work and to assist in creating more ecological valid laboratory-based assessment measures and questionnaires and we are currently evaluating such measures.

Smart Home Assessment and Intervention: We also have several large grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Defense (DOD) to support collaborative work with computer scientists and engineers. This work involves developing smart environments and portable technologies for health monitoring and assistance. We are conducting a 5-year longitudinal study of older adults performing daily activities in their own smart homes. By tracking residents’ daily behavior over a long period, we are working to develop intelligent software that can perform automated functional assessment and identify trends that are indicators of acute health changes (e.g., infection, injury) and slower progressive decline (e.g., dementia). We are also working to improve overall health and well-being of residents by delivering prompt-based interventions that support functional independence and promote healthy lifestyle behaviors (e.g., social contact, exercise, regular sleep). In addition, we are working to improve our paper-and pencil notebook by creating an Electronic Memory and Management Aid (EMMA) application and allowing for real-time intervention by developing a smart home / EMMA partnership. Such a partnership would facilitate continued use of EMMA to support functional independence through activity recognition and context-aware prompting, and would offer improved interfaces over the pen-and-paper versions.

Brain Health Intervention: Accumulating evidence suggests that healthy lifestyle factors, as well as compensatory strategy use, can help to minimize the effect of cognitive aging. We are piloting holistic brain health intervention being administered in a group format. Older adult participants are being presented with information about healthy lifestyle factors that can influence cognitive aging, including: exercise, nutrition, sleep hygiene, social engagement, stress management, compensatory strategies, assistive technologies, and cognitive engagement. We are also using wearable technologies to track cognition and fluctuating everyday factors (e.g., fatigue, mood, environment) using ecological momentary assessment. This work builds on a group problem-solving model that we have successfully used in prior work to help teach individuals with mild cognitive impairment and their care-partners to integrate new memory strategies into their everyday lives. Most recently, we have been working with researchers at UC Davis assessing the efficacy of a synergistic intervention for individuals with subjective cognitive complaints that combines brain health with compensatory strategy training and makes use of the EMMA application to support the intervention and collect real-time data.

Aging Assistive Technologies: Assistive technologies can increase functional outcome and promote safety as well as reduce caregiver burden and healthcare costs. Despite these positive benefits, there continues to be widespread underutilization of assistive technology in the aging population. One barrier contributing to underutilization is the widespread lack of knowledge about existing supportive technologies, the utility and value of the technologies, as well as how to acquire and use them. With a grant from the Attorney General’s Office of WA, we developed a series of eight videos that cover assistive technologies relevant to the following topics: daily living aids, medication management tools, memory aids, fall prevention devices, hearing devices, vision aids, communication tools and mobility devices. These videos can be found at: We have recently pioneered new methods for coding information relevant to the quality of compensatory strategies being used by older adults to complete prospective memory tasks. We are currently working with a group from Chile to better understand intrinsic and extrinsic factors that may impact and older adults use of compensatory strategies and assistive technologies.

Donate to the Howard Hosick Student Research Fund Here

Howard Hosick was a professor of Zoology and Genetics at WSU for 34 years. Late in 2004 he began to have memory and administrative function difficulties, and finally in April of 2006 he was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 62. During that time he found out about a class that was going to be held for people with memory issues and their spouses, given by Dr. Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe. As a result of this experience, Dr. Hosick was able to use a memory notebook for the next two or three years. Dr. Hosick’s wife, Cynthia, was his primary caregiver. Because of her experience, Dr. Schmitter-Edgecombe invited her to join class panels about memory issues and caregiving challenges, and to participate in some related research to find technology that could be helpful for a memory-impaired person. Dr. Hosick had some research funds remaining after his retirement. The personal help the Hosicks gratefully received from Maureen’s research, and the ensuing friendship between Dr. Schmitter-Edgecombe and Mrs. Hosick, led to the decision to donate the funds to be used for graduate student support in Maureen’s lab.


Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe for Showcase