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  • ISL Director Neil Charness receives the M. Powell Lawton Distinguished Contribution Award

  • ISL Faculty Affiliates

  • Faculty and Students Make Presentations at ISL Open House

  • Transportation Day

  • Transportation Day

  • Relationship between companion pets and older adults

  • Brown Bag Session

  • Older Americans and sounds of a second language

  • Critical assessments for students

  • Open House

  • Open House

  • Brown Bag Session

  • WFSU interviews ISL faculty

The Institute for Successful Longevity conducts research into how to live longer, stay active and be fully engaged in life. The institute takes a multidisciplinary approach to better explore the complexities of life as an older individual.

Over the last century Americans witnessed tremendous gains in longevity, but successful longevity is more than living to a great, old age. It is about living well as we grow older.

Living well means many things, so we draw on the talents of researchers in many fields across the Florida State University campus to look at health, cognition, recreation, mobility, financial security and other concerns.

In the past, aging was seen as a problem, a condition or malady. Today at FSU’s Institute for Successful Longevity, we see aging as a natural stage of life, and our researchers look at all the components of an older person’s experience as we pursue the causes of age-related cognitive and physical decline and translate those discoveries into practices and interventions that slow or halt these changes.

Our Goals

To understand the mechanisms of age-associated disorders and functional and cognitive declines.

To develop the best holistic interventions to counter those declines.

To disseminate this knowledge to the community, to aging adults and to their care-givers.

To cultivate the scientific, social, and political leadership on this issue that will engage the nation.


Neil Charness is the William G. Chase Professor of Psychology and director of the Institute for Successful Longevity.

His research centers on understanding the aging process and its implications for technology use (particularly for health), work performance, and expert performance. He also conducts human factors research on older driver and pedestrian safety. These research projects are being funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging, and the US Department of Transportation and the Florida Department of Transportation.

Professor Charness is a member of the editorial boards for the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, Psychology and Aging, and Gerontechnology. He is a past editor of the Psychology section of the Canadian Journal on Aging/revue canadienne du viellisssement. He was on the editorial boards of Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition; Psychological Bulletin; and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, the Gerontological Society of America, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science. He was made an Honorary Member of the International Society for Gerontechnology. He has been a visiting scholar at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Boston, the University of Victoria, Canada, and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education, Berlin.

His most recent co-authored books are Charness, Demiris & Krupinski ‘s Designing telehealth for an aging population: A human factors perspective (2011) and Fisk, Rogers, Charness, Czaja & Sharit’s Designing for older adults: Principles and creative human factors approaches, 2nd Edition (2009).

Professor Charness received his BA from McGill University (1969) and MSc and PhD from Carnegie Mellon University (1971, 1974) in Psychology. He was an Assistant Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada (1974-1977), then Assistant, Associate and Full Professor at University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (1977-1994), before joining the Psychology Department at Florida State University in 1994.