Professor Hillman is the Associate Director of the Center for Cognitive and Brain Health, where ongoing research employs neuroimaging, computational, and behavioral tools to investigate the relationship between health and lifestyle behaviors (e.g., physical activity, cognitive training, diet) and/or their physiological sequelae (e.g., cardiorespiratory fitness, body mass/adiposity) on cognitive and brain outcomes.
His research investigates cognitive and brain health across the lifespan, with ongoing research in preadolescent children, young adults, and older adults.
He uses a variety of neuroimaging tools to assess brain structure and function, including MRI/fMRI, high density EEG/ERPs, and eye-tracking measures. The overall goal of his research is to determine lifestyle factors that influence cognitive and brain health across the lifespan, and to better understand the mechanisms and processes by which health and lifestyle behaviors improve cognition.
2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018.
Raine, L. B., Khan, N. A., Drollette, E. S., Pontifex, M. B., Kramer, A. F., & Hillman, C. H. (2017). Obesity, visceral adipose tissue, and cognitive function in childhood. The Journal of Pediatrics, 187, 134-140.
Donnelly, J. E., Hillman, C. H., Castelli, D. M., Etnier, J. L., Lee, S. M., Tomporowski, P., Lambourne, K., & Szabo-Reed, A. N. (2016). Physical activity, fitness, cognitive function, and academic achievement in children: A systematic review: American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 48, 1197-1222.
Hillman, C. H., Pontifex, M. B., Castelli, D. M., Khan, N. A., Raine, L. B., Scudder, M. R., Drollette, E. S., Moore, R. D., Wu, C.-T., Pindus, D. M., & Kamijo, K. (2014). Effects of the FITKids randomized controlled trial on executive control and brain function in children. Pediatrics, 134, 1063-1071.
Kamijo, K., Pontifex, M. B., Khan, N. A., Raine, L. B., Scudder, M. R., Drollette, E. S., Evans, E. M., Castelli, D. M., & Hillman, C. H. (2014). The negative association of childhood obesity to the cognitive control of action monitoring. Cerebral Cortex, 24, 654-662.
Chaddock-Heyman, L., Erickson, K. I., Voss, M. W., Knecht, A. M., Pontifex, M. B., Castelli, D. M., Hillman, C. H., & Kramer, A. F. (2013). The effects of physical activity on functional MRI activation associated with cognitive control in children: a randomized controlled intervention. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 1-13.
Hillman, C. H., Erickson, K. I., & Kramer, A. F. (2008). Be smart, exercise your heart: exercise effects on brain and cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9, 58-65.