Foster, Erin, PhD, OTD, OTR/L

Clinical Interests

Independent living, aging in place, neurorehabilitation, cognitive rehabilitation, self-management

Research Interests

Dr. Foster's research involves everyday cognitive functioning and its relevance to occupational performance, participation, and well-being among individuals with chronic neurological conditions. She focuses on the development of more effective and comprehensive rehabilitation programs for individuals with neurological disorders and cognitive dysfunction.

Teaching Roles

Dr. Foster's classes include those related to neuroscience and neurological conditions in the entry-level MSOT and OTD degree programs. Additionally, she mentor students who work in her laboratory.


2018: PhD in Rehabilitation and Participation Science, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Program in Occupational Therapy
2009: Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI), Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Clinical Research Training Center postdoctoral program
2008: Postdoctoral fellowship with Tamara Hershey, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
2005: Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD), Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Program in Occupational Therapy
2005: Research internship, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Department of Psychiatry
2005: Clinical internship, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Unit, East Orange, N.J.
2004: Clinical internship, The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis (TRISL), St. Louis, Mo.
2003: BA in psychology (major), biology (minor), Washington University in St. Louis


Dr. Foster earned her doctoral degree in occupational therapy in 2005, completed postdoctoral training in clinical neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology in 2008, a PhD in rehabilitation and participation science in 2018 at Washington University School of Medicine. During her postdoctoral fellowship, she was selected for a multi-disciplinary clinical investigation training program and received her Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) in 2009. She is a current recipient of an NIH-K23 Career Development Award and several other research grants related to cognition in Parkinson disease (PD). Dr. Foster’s primary research focus is on understanding everyday cognitive functioning in PD and its relevance to occupational performance, participation and quality of life. She studies how cognitive dysfunction in PD impacts everyday life and how occupational therapy can best address it. Clinically, Dr. Foster is involved with the Program in Occupational Therapy’s Community Practice as a consultant for therapists treating clients with PD or related movement disorders.

Selected Publications

Davis, A., Wolf, T.J., Foster, E.R. (2019). Complex Task Performance Assessment (CTPA) and functional cognition in people with Parkinson's disease. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73, 7305205060.

Foster ER, Black KJ, Antenor JV, Perlmutter JS, Hershey T. Motor asymmetry and substantia nigra volume are related to spatial delayed response performance in Parkinson disease. Brain and Cognition. 2008;67:1-10. PMC2993690.

Foster ER, McDaniel MA, Repovš G, Hershey T. Prospective memory in Parkinson disease across laboratory and self-reported everyday performance. Neuropsychology. 2009;23(3):347-58. PMC2839410.

Foster ER, Campbell MC, Burack MA, Hartlein J, Flores HP, Cairns NJ, Hershey T, Perlmutter JS. Amyloid imaging of Lewy body-associated disorders. Movement Disorders. 2010;25(15):2516-23. PMC2978796.

Foster ER, Hershey T. Everyday executive function is associated with activity participation in Parkinson disease without dementia. OTJR: Occupation Participation and Health. 2011;31(1):16-22. PMC3171949.

Foster ER, Cunnane KB, Edwards DF, Morrison MT, Ewald GA, Geltman EM, Zazulia AR. Executive dysfunction and depressive symptoms are associated with reduced participation for individuals with severe congestive heart failure. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2011;65(3):306-313. PMC3155250.

Nguyen C, Foster ER, Paciorkowski AR, Viehoever A, Considine C, Bondurant A, Marshall, BA, Hershey, T. Reliability and validity of the Wolfram Unified Rating Scale (WURS). Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. 2012;7(1):89. PMC3552944

Foster ER, Golden L, Duncan RP, Earhart GM. A community-based Argentine tango dance program is associated with increased activity participation among individuals with Parkinson disease. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2013; 94(2):240-249. PMC3557593

Foster ER, Rose NS, McDaniel MA, Rendell PG. Prospective memory in Parkinson disease during a Virtual Week: Effects of both prospective and retrospective demands. Neuropsychology. 2013;27(2):170-181. PMC3869995

Foster ER, Bedekar, M., Tickle-Degnen, L. Systematic review of the effectiveness of occupational therapy-related interventions for persons with Parkinson’s disease. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2014;68(1):39-49.

Foster ER. Instrumental activities of daily living performance among individuals with Parkinson disease without dementia. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2014;68(3):353-62. PMC2993690

Book Chapters and Other

Connor LT, Wolf TJ, Foster ER, Hildebrand M, Baum CM. Participation and engagement in occupation in adults with disabilities. In Pierce D, ed. Occupational Science for Occupational Therapy. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK Inc. In press.

Foster, ER, Perlmutter M, Baum CM. Evaluating occupational performance in older adults. In: Coppola S, Elliott SJ, Toto PE, eds. Strategies to advance gerontology excellence: Promoting best practice in occupational therapy. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association and AOTA Press; 2008: 349-82.

Foley KT, Corcoran MA, Foster ER, Savre JM, Morrison MT. Neurorehabilitation of the client with primary degenerative dementia: Introduction to dementia. In: Corcoran MA, editor. Neurorehabilitation Self-Paced Clinical Course Series. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association; 2006.

Rose NS, Foster ER, McDaniel MA, Rendell PG. Prospective memory in Parkinson disease and healthy aging during a Virtual Week. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Conference Abstract: The 20th Annual Rotman Research Institute Conference, The frontal lobes. 2010. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnins.2010.14.00158.

Foster ER. Executive dysfunction and instrumental activities of daily living performance in Parkinson’s disease without dementia. Clinical and Translational Science. 2010; 3(2):S10.

MacDonald C, Lee A, Naunheim R, et al. Evaluation of anatomical and functional connections following traumatic brain injury in humans by diffusion tensor imaging and resting state functional connectivity. Journal of Neurotrauma. 2008; 25:875.

Foster, ER, Repovš G, Weaver P, Hershey T. Connecting laboratory executive function to everyday executive function and complex activity participation in non-demented individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders. 2008; 23:S96.

Foster ER, McDaniel MA, Repovš G, Hershey T. Prospective memory in Parkinson’s disease without dementia across laboratory and everyday life measures. Movement Disorders. 2008; 23:S98.

Burack MA, Campbell MC, Foster ER, et al. Relationship of cortical Pittsburgh compound B (PIB) binding and clinical features in Parkinson disease dementia. Movement Disorders. 2008; 23:S92.

Campbell MC, Burack M, Foster ER, et al. Relationship between neuropsychological functioning and PIB binding in Parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders. 2008; 23:S92.


Foster ER, Repovš G, Weaver P, Hershey T. The relationship between executive dysfunction and activity participation in non-demented persons with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 2008; 14(S1):185.

Starovasnik B, Foster ER, Repovš G, Vodušek DB, Hershey T. Prospective memory in Parkinson disease: Possible impairment and the effect of dopaminergic therapy. Clinical Neuropathology. 2006; 25(6).

Foster ER, Black K, Perlmutter J, Hershey T. Effects of Parkinson disease laterality on spatial working memory performance. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. 2006; 12(1).

Baum CM, Foster ER, Wolf T. Addressing performance and participation in occupational therapy: The importance of cognition. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2009;72(4):143.

Foster ER. Do you know about In-Home Occupational Therapy services? American Parkinson Disease Association Quarterly Newsletter. 2008;21(2):11.

Foster, Erin

Foster, Erin, PhD, OTD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, Neurology and Psychiatry

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Phone: 314-286-1638
Fax: 314-747-3258

Research Laboratory

Cognitive and Occupational Performance Laboratory

Additional information

Link to NLM Publications

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