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Rajal Cohen

Rajal Cohen

Assistant Professor


Student Health Center 212



Mailing Address

Department of Psychology & Communication Studies
University of Idaho MS 3043
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3043

Rajal Cohen studies the interconnectedness of cognition, posture and action, with a special interest in principles that apply across the spectrum from high performance to dysfunction.

  • Ph.D., Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 2008
  • M.S., Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 2005
  • B.A., Psychology, Wesleyan University, 2002

What fundamental systems and principles underlie cognitive control of action? How are posture and motor performance influenced by psychological factors such as body schema, habit and inhibitory control? How can all this knowledge be used to help people with pain or dysfunction? These are the kinds of questions that drive Rajal Cohen's research.

She believes that studying action and posture can yield important insights about cognition, and that cognitive factors are important for understanding how action and posture are controlled.

Her work is translational, in that a better understanding of the role of the mind in action may lead to novel treatments for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and also for cognitive deficits such as those associated with aging. It is also interdisciplinary, connecting psychology with neurology, physical therapy, exercise science, engineering and neuroscience.

  • Cognitive and neural factors underlying control of posture and action
  • Changes in mobility due to age, experience, training, neurological disease and expertise
  • The role of executive function (especially inhibition) in motor planning
  • The Alexander Technique
  • Parkinson's disease

  • Key Fund, 2016
  • Pilot grant from Mountain West Research Consortium CTR-IN, 2015
  • Kurt Olsson Early Career Research Fellowship, 2014
  • University of Idaho Seed Grant, 2013
  • OHSU post-doc paper of the year, runner-up, 2011
  • OHSU Post-Doctoral Training Fellowships in Neuroscience, 2008-2011
  • NIH-sponsored Training Course in fMRI, 2009
  • Penn State College of Liberal Arts Dissertation Award, 2008
  • Penn State University Graduate Fellowship, 2002-2005
  • National Merit Scholar, 1987

Psychology & Communication Studies

Physical Address:
206 Student Health Center

Mailing Address:
Psychology & Communications Studies
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3043
Moscow, ID 83844-3043

Phone: 208-885-6324

Fax: 208-885-7710


Web: Psychology and Communication Studies Department