Article

Mental Exercise and Mental Aging Evaluating the Validity of the “Use It or Lose It” Hypothesis

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

It is widely believed that keeping mentally active will prevent age-related mental decline. The primary prediction of this mental-exercise hypothesis is that the rate of age-related decline in measures of cognitive functioning will be less pronounced for people who are more mentally active, or, equivalently, that the cognitive differences among people who vary in level of mental activity will be greater with increased age. Although many training studies, and comparisons involving experts, people in specific occupations, and people whose mental activity levels are determined by their self-reports, have found a positive relation between level of activity and level of cognitive functioning, very few studies have found an interactive effect of age and mental activity on measures of cognitive functioning. Despite the current lack of empirical evidence for the idea that the rate of mental aging is moderated by amount of mental activity, there may be personal benefits to assuming that the mental-exercise hypothesis is true. © 2006 Association for Psychological Science.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... As it seem, early level of g is likely also a critical factor for future choice or opportunity (see e.g., Dunlop & Savulescu, 2014) of occupation, with higher g in early adulthood being predictive of a more cognitively complex occupation. According to Salthouse (2006), it is likely that individuals with higher cognitive capacity generally engage in activities that are more mentally demanding. ...
... From a theoretical perspective, these results can be understood from a pattern of preserved differentiation (see e.g., Bielak, 2010;Bielak et al., 2012;Salthouse, 2006;Salthouse et al., 1990). As suggested by Salthouse (2006), cognitive aging often seems to adhere to a pattern of preserved differentiation. ...
... From a theoretical perspective, these results can be understood from a pattern of preserved differentiation (see e.g., Bielak, 2010;Bielak et al., 2012;Salthouse, 2006;Salthouse et al., 1990). As suggested by Salthouse (2006), cognitive aging often seems to adhere to a pattern of preserved differentiation. Our findings appear to confirm such a pattern, at least when comparing individuals at different levels regarding history of working in occupations with high cognitive complexity. ...
Article
The aim of this study was to investigate occupational cognitive complexity of main lifetime occupation in rela�tion to level and 15-year change in episodic memory recall in a sample of older adults (≥ 65 years, n = 780). We used latent growth curve modelling with occupational cognitive complexity (O*NET indicators) as independent variable. Subgroup analyses in a sample of middle-aged (mean: 49.9 years) men (n = 260) were additionally performed to investigate if a general cognitive ability (g) factor at age 18 was predictive of future occupational cognitive complexity and cognitive performance in midlife. For the older sample, a higher level of occupational cognitive complexity was related to a higher level of episodic recall (β = 0.15, p < .001), but the association with rate of change (β = 0.03, p = .64) was not statistically significant. In the middle-aged sample, g at age 18 was both directly (β = 0.19, p = .01) and indirectly (via years of education after age 18, ab = 0.19) predictive of midlife levels of occupational cognitive complexity. Cognitive ability at age 18 was also a direct predictor of midlife episodic recall (β = 0.60, p ≤ 0.001). Critically, entry of the early adult g factor attenuated the associa�tion between occupational complexity and cognitive level (from β = 0.21, p = .01 to β = 0.12, p = .14). Over�all, our results support a pattern of preserved differentiation from early to late adulthood for individuals with different histories of occupational complexity
... For instance, individuals with a higher level of completed Electronic copy available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3728409 education, or those with special occupational training, may be able to process cognitive tasks more efficiently or invoke alternative brain areas or mental strategies to cope with increased difficulties caused by age-related cognitive deterioration. 1 Another related explanation is the so called "mental-exercise hypothesis" or "use it or lose it," which posits that continued engagement in mentally stimulating activities will maintain one's cognitive abilities and stave off age-related cognitive decline (Salthouse 2006). This is in accordance with neurobiological evidence that the stimulation of a novel environment may lead to the formation of new connections among neurons (van Praag et al. 2000). ...
... This is in accordance with neurobiological evidence that the stimulation of a novel environment may lead to the formation of new connections among neurons (van Praag et al. 2000). The hypothesis is appealing because it implies individuals can control the process of cognitive ageing on their own, and policy interventions can promote a healthy ageing society (Salthouse 2006;Bonsang et al. 2012). ...
... As described earlier, the measure of cognitive function combines several distinct aspects of cognition, including orientation, verbal fluency, memory (immediate recall and delayed recall), numeracy, visuospatial abilities, and language. According to McArdle et al. (2002) and Salthouse (2006), these components can be loosely grouped into two main types of cognition, namely, the thinking part ("fluid intelligence") and the knowing part ("crystallized intelligence"). While orientation and verbal fluency require more production of knowledge acquired in the past, memory, numeracy, visuospatial abilities, and language require more cognitive operations at the time of assessment. ...
... Several factors are likely to index cognitive reserve by reducing the effect of aging on cognition such as educational attainment (Hatch et al., 2007;Richards & Deary, 2005), knowledge attainment (Christensen et al., 1997), and lifetime participation in cognitively stimulating leisure activities (for review see Wang et al., 2012). Some theoretical models have been proposed in the literature in order to explain how the effect of these cognitive reserve factors would be illustrated, in particular the Salthouse model (Salthouse, 2006;Salthouse et al., 1990). In this model, two hypotheses have been put forward to explain the protective effect of reserve factors on cognitive functioning with advancing aging. ...
... However, Loprinzi and Kane (2015) and Van de Rest et al. (2014) failed to find this beneficial effect. Overall, studies show that the benefits of physical exercise for cognition tend to increase with age (Newson & Kemps, 2006;Stones & Kozma, 1988), leading to increasing advantage in older adults (Gombart et al., 2018;Salthouse, 2006;Salthouse et al., 1990;Tucker-Drob et al., 2009), and few or contradictory results in young adults. This seems consistent with the differential preservation model (Salthouse, 2006;Salthouse et al., 1990) suggesting a moderation effect associated with physical exercise. ...
... Overall, studies show that the benefits of physical exercise for cognition tend to increase with age (Newson & Kemps, 2006;Stones & Kozma, 1988), leading to increasing advantage in older adults (Gombart et al., 2018;Salthouse, 2006;Salthouse et al., 1990;Tucker-Drob et al., 2009), and few or contradictory results in young adults. This seems consistent with the differential preservation model (Salthouse, 2006;Salthouse et al., 1990) suggesting a moderation effect associated with physical exercise. The novel contribution of this study is that it evaluated the effect of physical exercise on EM and FI, across the adult lifespan, when partialling out the effect of other cognitive reserve factors, an issue that has as yet not been fully investigated. ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study examined the effects of current physical exercise and age on episodic memory and fluid intelligence, assessed with a free-recall task and the Culture Fair Intelligence Test (Cattell, 1963) respectively, while statistically controlling for other cognitive reserve factors (educational level, leisure activities, and vocabulary level). Two hundred and eight participants aged 20 to 85 participated in the study. Physical exercise level was indexed by weekly frequency over the last 12 months using self-reported measurement (from none to 4 times a week). Overall, results show a beneficial effect of physical exercise especially from a weekly practice of 2 times, and significant interaction between physical exercise and age on episodic memory and fluid intelligence capacities indicating a reduced effect of age in more physically active participants. These results reinforce the view that physical exercise is a strong and specific reserve factor that reduces decline in some cognitive functions during aging.
... For instance, there are indications that an active lifestyle including leisure activities, cognitive stimulation and physical exercise can moderate and even improve cognitive functioning in later life and after retirement (e.g. Salthouse, 2006;Hertzog et al., 2008;Koepsell and Monsell, 2012;Lifshitz-Vahav et al., 2017). Further research is therefore needed in order to enhance this body of knowledge. ...
... Distribution of change in memory during the four years of the study among retirees.Source: Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) -Israel( /2006( , 2009( ), Europe (2006. ...
... Ref.: reference category. Source: Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) -Israel( /2006( , 2009( ), Europe (2006. ...
Article
Our study aimed to enhance understanding of memory decline (MD) in old age by evaluating longitudinal effects of personal and national contributing factors. We used data collected by the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) from 12 European countries and Israel. Our sample included 11,930 retirees aged 50+, interviewed at baseline and four years later. MD was evaluated by the change in the number of recalled words from first to second interview. Except for gender, all of our explanatory variables had a significant unique effect on MD – age, education, type of occupation, European geographical region, early retirement, time elapsed from retirement, reason for retirement, active lifestyle, re-employment, health/function status, depressive symptoms, and decline in physical and mental health – over the four years of the study. Our findings indicate that MD can be postponed by national policies such as those which prolong years of education and participation in the workforce, and by social interventions directed to promote active lifestyles in late life, especially in Mediterranean and Eastern European nations.
... Er worden negatieve, positieve en curvilineaire verbanden gevonden. Ouderen rapporteren bijvoorbeeld dat ze minder fysieke reserves hebben, ze ervaren eerder een afname in vaardigheden die met zogenaamde vloeiende cognitieve vermogens samenhangen, zoals reactiesnelheid en ruimtelijke functies (zie ook Fisher et al., 2017;Salthouse, 2006; en zij hebben een groter risico op chronische gezondheidsproblematiek, een relatief lager werkvermogen dan jongeren en een lagere motivatie om door te werken wanneer de pensioengerechtigde leeftijd in zicht komt. Daarentegen zijn ook positieve trends waarneembaar met het ouder worden. ...
... Cognitief functioneren en wijsheid In relatie tot de zelfontwikkeling van onze cognitieve werkvermogens door de tijd heen is tot slot relevant de 'gebruik het'-of 'verlies het'-hypothese: use it or lose it (Salthouse, 2006). Volgens deze theorie en gerelateerd onderzoek wordt ons cognitief vermogen beïnvloed door ons niveau van mentale activiteit. ...
Article
Full-text available
Door lagere geboortecijfers, een hogere levensverwachting en een stijgende pensioenleeftijd is het thema succesvol ouder worden op het werk een belangrijk onderwerp geworden. In deze oratie-bewerking wordt het belang van het hanteren van een positief levenslooppsychologisch perspectief op het thema zelfmanagement en succesvol ouder worden op het werk benadrukt. Hierbij wordt aandacht besteed aan: (1) definities en theorievorming omtrent de begrippen zelfmanagement en succesvol ouder worden op het werk, (2) zelfmanagementhulpbronnen die ingezet kunnen worden door werkenden gedurende de beroepsloopbaan, en (3) mogelijke arbeids- en organisatiepsychologische interventies om zelfmanagement van werkenden positief te kunnen beïnvloeden. Tot slot (4) wordt een onderzoeksagenda gepresenteerd voor toekomstig (toegepast) wetenschappelijk onderzoek naar zelfmanagement en succesvol ouder worden op het werk.
... CCT is situated within several theoretical frameworks, including the physical-energetic model (Salthouse, 2006) and the environmental enrichment hypothesis (Hertzog et al., 2008). Unifying these models is the importance of the environment to strengthen, restore, and/or preserve cognitive functioning. ...
... Unifying these models is the importance of the environment to strengthen, restore, and/or preserve cognitive functioning. The physical-energetic model, more popularly known as the "brain as a muscle" analogy, posits that repeatedly exercising a cognitive function strengthens, improves, or decelerates the decline of that process in the same fashion that physical exercise strengthens muscles (Salthouse, 2006). Understood in the analogy is that the more a process is exercised, the stronger it becomes, and exercising one process will generalize to other functions. ...
Article
Full-text available
Computerized cognitive training (CCT) is receiving attention as a promising and widely accessible intervention that is designed to ameliorate the cognitive symptoms commonly seen across multiple clinical populations as well as mood and activities of daily living. The primary purpose of this review is to elucidate the mechanisms of action and response factors of CCT. The secondary purpose is to review and propose the applicability of CCT to individuals with depression who have been shown to experience several cognitive symptoms that often predate, co-occur, and persist even with the resolution of mood symptoms. Design recommendations for future studies are proposed to determine the suitability of CCT as an adjunctive treatment for depression, including use of both active and waitlist control groups and having shorter yet more frequent training protocols.
... Practicing such engagement in leisure activities in older adulthood may therefore buffer the effects of age-related cognitive declines and help promote successful aging. While there is some empirical support for the relation between activity and cognition [3], the evidence is far from conclusive and a number of questions and concerns have yet to be answered surrounding the precise nature of this relationship [4,5]. One issue is the time scale over which activity participation is measured. ...
... Additionally, because we did not have an objective record of activity engagement for each participant, we were unable to conclude that either type of assessment (estimated weekly or reported daily) is a more accurate representation of actual activity patterns in older adults. The issue of needing to identify ideal methods for measuring activity engagement, has been noted by others [4,5]. It may also be reasonable to use a variety of activity assessments, since multiple questionnaires seem to provide different information about activity engagement and how it relates to cognition [6]. ...
Article
Full-text available
(1) Background: Research examining whether activity engagement is related to cognitive functioning in older adults has been limited to using retrospective reports of activity which may be affected by biases. This study compared two measurements (estimated weekly versus reported daily), and whether these activity assessments were related to cognition in older adults; (2) Methods: Participants from US (n = 199) and Australian (n = 170) samples completed a weekly estimate of activity, followed by 7 consecutive days of daily reporting. Differences between weekly estimates and daily reports were found, such that estimations at the weekly level were lower than self-reported daily information. Multivariate multiple regression was used to determine whether total activity, activity domains and the discrepancy between assessment types (i.e., weekly/daily) predicted cognitive performance across three cognitive domains (fluid, verbal, memory); (3) Results: Neither assessment of total activity When activity assessments were totaled, neither predicted cognition; however, when activity was grouped by domain (cognitive, social, physical), different domains predicted different cognitive outcomes. Daily reported cognitive activity significantly predicted verbal performance (β = 1.63, p = 0.005), while weekly estimated social activity predicted memory performance (β = −1.81, p = 0.050). Further, while the magnitude of discrepancy in total activity did not significantly predict cognitive performance, domain specific differences did. Differences in physical activity reported across assessments predicted fluid performance (β = −1.16, p = 0.033); (4) Conclusions: Recognizing these apparent differences is important to account for potential response bias and future research should consider using multiple types of assessments and utilize different tools to collect activity-related information.
... For instance, education level has been found to be one of the strongest predictors of age-related decline in cognitive functioning, particularly episodic memory Bherer et al., 2001;Le Carret et al., 2003). Several studies with older adults have reported slower rates of cognitive decline among individuals who engage in intellectually stimulating leisure activities (Andel et al., 2015;Rouillard et al., 2017;Schooler and Mulatu, 2001;Wang et al., 2012;Wilson et al., 2003 but see Gow et al., 2014;Salthouse, 2006 for a divergent view). Job complexity may also be positively associated with cognitive functioning, including episodic memory, in older adults (Adam et al., 2013;Andel et al., 2015;Marquie et al., 2010;Rouillard et al., 2017). ...
... Secondly, we focused on the impact of cognitive reserve on both episodic memory and metamemory control. One of the shortcomings of previous studies exploring the effects of cognitive reserve factors on episodic memory (education: Angel et al., 2010;Bherer et al., 2001;Le Carret et al., 2003;leisure activity: Andel et al., 2015;Rouillard et al., 2017;Schooler and Mulatu, 2001;Wang et al., 2012;Wilson et al., 2003;Salthouse, 2006, professional activity: Adam et al., 2013Andel et al., 2015;Marquie et al., 2010;Rouillard et al., 2017; physical activity: for a meta-analysis, see Hindin and Zelinski, 2012) or metamemory (education: Guerrero-Sastoque et al., 2021;Min and Suh, 1999;Ponds and Jolles, 1996;Szajer and Murphy, 2013;physical activity: André et al., 2018;IQ: Frankenmolen et al., 2017 is that most of them only included older adults, and, to our knowledge, no study has yet explored directly the protective role of cognitive reserve on age-related differences in metamemory abilities. Furthermore, most of these studies assessed metamemory subjectively using self-report questionnaires (for two exceptions, see Frankenmolen et al. 2018;Szajer and Murphy, 2013), which could bias the results as participants with high cognitive reserve may have greater awareness of the strategies they use, without real difference in the strategies implementation according to cognitive reserve. ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigated the impact of cognitive reserve on episodic memory and metamemory control during aging using a multidimensional index of cognitive reserve and a measure of metamemory control abilities. We tested the hypotheses that cognitive reserve may play a protective role against age-related differences in episodic memory and metamemory control and that metamemory control may mediate the effect of cognitive reserve on episodic memory during aging. Young and older adults carried out a readiness-recall task in which task difficulty was manipulated through a variation of the nature of the cue-target pair link (weak vs. strong semantic associates). Episodic memory was assessed through recall performance, and metamemory by a task difficulty index reflecting the ability to adjust study time to task difficulty. Results confirmed that older adults recall fewer words, indicating an age-related deficit in episodic memory, and that older adults adjust less to task difficulty, suggesting impaired metamemory control. Findings also showed that metamemory control moderates the age-related decline in episodic memory and that cognitive reserve plays a protective role against age-related deficits in episodic memory and metamemory control. In addition, metamemory abilities mediated the beneficial effect of cognitive reserve on episodic memory performance during aging. Hence, this study sheds new light on the mechanisms underlying the impact of cognitive reserve on cognitive aging, highlighting the role of metacognitive processes.
... In addition, the deliberative system of thinking provides effortful control over more spontaneous affective processes. The process of aging is accompanied by declines in cognitive abilities (e.g., Salthouse 2006) and has been linked to decreased competence in demanding decisionmaking tasks, rendering older adults more likely to resort more to well-preserved affect-based rather than cognitionbased information process. Such reliance on affective processing could help older adults to compensate for cognitive declines, which would significantly affect their decision and judgment quality (e.g., Mikels et al. 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
While perceptions of facial trustworthiness usually serve as our first references for social interactions, these impressions may ultimately turn out to be inaccurate or unreliable. Compared with younger adults, older adults generally face a higher risk of fraudulent exploitation; the characteristics of older adults’ facial trustworthiness perception may play an important role in revealing the underlying mechanism of their being cheated. Previous studies have demonstrated that, in comparison with their younger counterparts, older adults tend to overestimate strangers’ facial trustworthiness. In the present study, two experiments were conducted, aiming at testing (1) the age-related differences in facial trustworthiness perceptions (Experiment 1) and (2) whether any interventions (e.g., encouraging more deliberative processing or more affective processing) could be applied to help older adults reduce their tendency to overestimate trustworthiness, thus reducing their facial trustworthiness ratings to a lower level (Experiment 2). The results indicated that (1) consistent with previous studies, older adults provided higher trustworthiness ratings for unfamiliar faces than did younger adults (Experiment 1) and (2) more importantly, affective processing instead of deliberative processing could benefit older adults in their assessments of facial trustworthiness, leading them toward demonstrating similar—not significantly higher—levels of trust toward strange faces as younger adults (Experiment 2). A possible mechanism was offered, suggesting that affective processing might help older adults to detect negative cues in unfamiliar faces.
... To model participants' memory trajectories before and after retirement, we used a two-slopes piecewise multilevel growth-curve model (see e.g., Raudenbush & Bryk, 2002). We restructured the individual's measurements as conditioned on the wave in which the participants reported their retirement. ...
Article
This study evaluated the interactions between prior cognitive work demands and changes in cognitively stimulating leisure activities during the retirement transition and their relationship to changes in postretirement memory. We drew data (N = 631) from five waves of repeated annual measurements as part of the HEalth, Ageing and Retirement Transitions in Sweden study. We modeled memory trajectories using piecewise growth-curve models. Findings revealed that increased cognitive stimulation from leisure activities had beneficial effects on postretirement memory development among individuals reporting previously low cognitive work demands. Our findings provide partial evidence supporting public health recommendations, stating that retirees from less intellectually demanding occupations will gain from increases in cognitive leisure following retirement.
... In all adjusted models, MEA followed the pattern of preserved-differentiation rather than differential-preservation [28,39]. That is, the difference in memory scores seen at age 65 between the high music group and no music group did not grow over time (i.e., no positive significant difference in slopes). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background As the global burden of dementia increases, the absence of treatment underscores the need for identification of factors that may improve cognitive reserve–the ability to stave off cognitive decline in old age. The beneficial association between musical instrument engagement and episodic memory has been identified in children, young adults, and older adults. Yet, previous studies in musical instrument engagement have rarely examined the potential for adolescence and adulthood exposures to independently improve cognition, nor have they been linked with the rate of memory decline over time in older adults. We investigated whether adolescent musical instrument engagement and continued musical instrument engagement over the adult life course were separately associated with higher episodic memory, as well as rate of decline in a large longitudinal cohort. Methods Data were from a prospective cohort of high school graduates from 1957. High school music engagement (HSME) was ascertained through graduate yearbooks and assessed as membership in musical performance groups. A questionnaire was used to assess musical engagement through adulthood (MEA) at ages 35, 55, and 65. The episodic memory score was composed of immediate and delayed recall task scores, and was assessed when participants were aged approximately 65 and 72 years old among 5,718 individuals. Linear mixed models were used to assess the association between music, and memory performance and decline over time. Results Of high school graduates who participated in the study, 38.1% played music in high school, and 21.1% played music in adulthood. While musical engagement was more common in those who played in childhood, 40% of those who played continuously as an adult did not play in high school. High HSME ( B = 0.348, p = 0.049) and continuous MEA ( B = 0.424, p = 0.012) were associated with higher memory scores at age 65 after covariate adjustment. When examining memory decline, the benefits of high HSME decreased over time ( B = -0.435, p = 0.048), while the rate of decline did not differ between MEA groups. Exploratory models revealed differential benefits for HSME and immediate recall, and MEA and delayed recall. Conclusion This study provides further evidence that musical engagement in childhood or adulthood is associated with non-musical cognitive reserve. These two exposures may act differentially in different domains of episodic memory. Further work is needed to determine the relationship between musicianship and the rate of cognitive decline.
... The "challenge" associated with development/selection of challenging cognitive exercise on an individual basis is determining the optimal amount or dose of challenge, with too little or too much challenge potentially compromising exercise self-efficacy and, in turn, impacting exercise engagement and related outcomes [9,17,36]. Adding to this "challenge", perceptions of what is cognitively challenging vary across individuals based on such factors as education, cognitive ability, and familiarity with/mastery of a specific cognitive activity (e.g., Sudoku) [36,37]. Some research suggests that an individual's initial degree of exercise challenge be at a mild to moderate level to motivate their initiation of exercise activity and increase their exercise self-efficacy, followed by progressively increased levels of challenge to sustain their exercise engagement and motivation [11,18,38,39]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Exercise self-efficacy, the confidence a person has in their ability to develop and meet exercise goals, is key to exercise motivation. The primary objective of this pilot study was to explore associations among cognitive exercise self-efficacy, cognitive exercise frequency, challenge, and enjoyment in older adults. A prospective, cross-sectional, observational study design was used with 133 community-dwelling individuals aged 55 years and older. Respondents completed a cognitive exercise self-efficacy scale and responded to cognitive exercise queries. Individuals who engaged in cognitive exercise demonstrated greater cognitive exercise self-efficacy. Cognitive exercise self-efficacy ratings were significantly different across challenge and enjoyment conditions (Pearson’s c2 test, df = 9, N = 133, c2 = 123.49, p < 0.01), such that the greater the perception of each, the greater the cognitive exercise self-efficacy (p < 0.01). The comparative impact of perceived enjoyment on cognitive exercise self-efficacy was greater than the impact of perceived challenge. Study findings support positive associations among cognitive exercise self-efficacy, cognitive exercise frequency, challenge, and enjoyment. Consideration of these findings may inform design and sustained implementation of motivating cognitive exercise programs to maximize health and quality of life outcomes of healthy and neurologic older adult populations.
... a. Baltes/Willis 1982;Meyer/Young/Bartlett 1989;Oswald 1998) konnte gezeigt werden, dass kristalline Intelligenz trainiert und insbesondere durch effektive Leseverständnisstrategien dieser Bereich verbessert werden kann. Dies deckt sich auch mit der Use-It-or-Lose-It-Hypothese (Hultsch/ Hertzog/Small/Dixon 1999;Salthouse 2006). Wer also intellektuell herausfordernde Aktivitäten ausübt, zeigt geringeren kognitiven Abbau, und wer diese Aktivitäten aufrecht erhält, zeigt weniger kognitive Veränderungen über die Zeit (Hultsch et al. 1999: 260). ...
... There is a positive relationship between the level of mental activity and the level of cognitive functionality [18]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between mental endurance and psychological well-being of male chess players. Methods: 87 male active licensed chess players participated in the study. Ethics committee approval was obtained for the research. Mental endurance scale, psychological well-being scale and personal information form were used to collect the research data. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed for the research scales. In addition to descriptive statistics, correlation and regression analyzes are included in the relational model. Results: Considering the average values obtained from the research scales, it was found that the mental endurance and psychological well-being levels of chess players were high, and there was a positive and high level relationship between mental endurance and psychological well-being within the scope of the relational model (r = 0.742; p < 0.001), and it has been found that mental endurance has a significantly high and positive contribution on psychological well-being in sports (β = 0.745; p < 0.001). Conclusions: It can be said that as the mental endurance of chess players improves, their psychological health will also be positively affected. It can also be stated that, especially by directing the young generation to chess, their mental endurance and psychological health will be improved in a positive way.
... Additional research on spatial abilities among our study population-once they reach adulthood and engage in gender-specific work-could further answer questions regarding the role of early childhood environments on spatial abilities. Likewise, further investigation on the role of mobility on navigation would be a valuable contribution to "use it or lose it" studies focused on cognitive aging (Salthouse 2006) and the effects of technology on navigational abilities (Gramann et al. 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
A fundamental cognitive function found across a wide range of species and necessary for survival is the ability to navigate complex environments. It has been suggested that mobility may play an important role in the development of spatial skills. Despite evolutionary arguments offering logical explanations for why sex/gender differences in spatial abilities and mobility might exist, thus far there has been limited sampling from nonindustrialized and subsistence-based societies. This lack of sampling diversity has left many unanswered questions regarding the effects that environmental variation and cultural norms may have in shaping mobility patterns during childhood and the development of spatial competencies that may be associated with it. Here we examine variation in mobility (through GPS tracking and interviews), performance on large-scale spatial skills (i.e., navigational ability), and performance on small-scale spatial skills (e.g., mental rotation task, Corsi blocks task, and water-level task) among Twa forager/pastoralist children whose daily lives have been dramatically altered since settlement and the introduction of government-funded boarding schools. Unlike in previous findings among Twa adults, boys and girls (N = 88; aged 6–18) show similar patterns of travel on all measures of mobility. We also find no significant differences in spatial task performance by gender for large- or small-scale spatial skills. Further, children performed as well as adults did on mental rotation, and they outperformed adults on the water-level task. We discuss how children’s early learning environments may influence the development of both large- and small-scale spatial skills.
... Esta diversidad muestral favorece que aparezcan diferencias significativas en relación al funcionamiento cognitivo. En este sentido, algunos autores han apuntado la escasez de resultados en muestras homogéneas entre el estilo de vida y la función cognitiva (Salthouse, 2006;Kramer et al., 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
The participation of the elderly in cognitively demanding activities is considered an enhancing factor of cognitive function. However, the life cycle psychosocial variables such as education and type of profession also influence in cognitive functioning. The objective of this study is to analyze the relationship between daily stimulation and cognitive functioning in a sample of healthy older adults, controlling the effects of education and the type of profession. The study involved 164 adults over 60 years, from rural and urban areas, with different levels of education and professional level which were assessed with an extensive battery of neuropsychological measures, as well as in an inventory of everyday activities built ad hoc. The results show that different cognitively demanding everyday activities are related to with cognitive processes, both fluids and crystallized. Furthermore, it was found that daily stimulation plays an important role in cognitive functioning outside of education and the type of profession performed. Overall, the results of this study shows the importance of everyday activity as a protective mechanism against cognitive decline, as well as the need to adopt a model of active aging
... The effectiveness of intellectually demanding/engaging activities, which is observed in all the subgroups, may due to their functions on mental-exercise. As mental-exercise hypothesis indicates, continuous mental cognitive training can prevent individual cognitive decline [53]. Therefore, intellectually demanding/engaging activities can stimulate intellect, and, consequently, maintain cognitive function and prevent frailty among older adults [54]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Social participation (SP) may be an effective measure for decreasing frailty risks. This study investigated whether frequency and type of SP is associated with decreased frailty risk among Chinese middle-aged and older populations. Methods: Data were derived from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS). Frailty was assessed using the Rockwood's Cumulative Deficit Frailty Index. SP was measured according to frequency (none, occasional, weekly and daily) and type (interacting with friends [IWF]; playing mah-jong, chess, and cards or visiting community clubs [MCCC], going to community-organized dancing, fitness, qigong and so on [DFQ]; participating in community-related organizations [CRO]; voluntary or charitable work [VOC]; using the Internet [INT]). Smooth curves were used to describe the trend for frailty scores across survey waves. The fixed-effect model (N = 9,422) was applied to explore the association between the frequency/type of SP and frailty level. For baseline non-frail respondents (N = 6,073), the time-varying Cox regression model was used to calculate relative risk of frailty in different SP groups. Results: Weekly (β = - 0.006; 95%CI: [- 0.009, - 0.003]) and daily (β = - 0.009; 95% CI: [- 0.012, - 0.007]) SP is associated with lower frailty scores using the fixed-effect models. Time-varying Cox regressions present lower risks of frailty in daily SP group (HR = 0.76; 95% CI: [0.69, 0.84]). SP types that can significantly decrease frailty risk include IWF, MCCC and DFQ. Daily IWF and daily DFQ decreases frailty risk in those aged < 65 years, female and urban respondents, but not in those aged ≥ 65 years, male and rural respondents. The impact of daily MCCC is significant in all subgroups, whereas that of lower-frequent MCCC is not significant in those aged ≥ 65 years, male and rural respondents. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that enhancing participation in social activities could decrease frailty risk among middle-aged and older populations, especially communicative activities, intellectually demanding/engaging activities and community-organized physical activities. The results suggested very accurate, operable, and valuable intervening measures for promoting healthy ageing.
... Three inter-related theories have been offered to explain the mechanism by which work design affects cognition over the longer term. First, according to the "use it or lose it" hypothesis (Hultsch, Hertzog, Small, & Dixon, 1999;Salthouse, 1991Salthouse, , 2006, an individual's level of cognitive functioning is determined by the mechanism of differential preservation (which compares to the mechanism of preserved differentiation 1 ) in which an individual's functioning is presumed to depend on his or her current mental activity. In other words, individuals who are consistently mentally active ('use it) will 'preserve' their cognitive function (that is, fail to 'lose it') more so than those who are not consistently mentally active. ...
... These observations are explained by the 'use it or lose it hypothesis' which posits that engaging in intellectual activities may prevent cognitive abilities from declining (Salthouse, 2006). 'Using' intellectual capacities leads to an activation of neurons, a process that may interfere with the process of ageing by upregulating the neuronal biochemical activity including neurotransmitters and hormones (Swaab, 1991). ...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies indicate that occupation might affect cognitive functioning in late life. As people in low- and middle-income countries often have to work until late life, we sought to investigate if there are cognitive benefits to working later into life and whether cognitive function deteriorates after exiting the labour force. We analysed longitudinal data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), a nationally representative sample of Mexican adults age 50+ (N = 7,375), that assessed cognitive functioning by verbal learning, delayed recall and visual scanning. Analyses were carried out using mixed-effects modelling corrected for the influence of gender, instrumental activities of daily living, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, depression, income and marital status. Results suggest that working actively, compared to exiting the workforce, was associated with cognitive performance only in context with occupation. Domestic workers had a faster decline in verbal learning ( b = −0.02, p = 0.020) and delayed recall ( b = −0.02, p = 0.036) if they continued working actively and people working in administration ( b = 0.03, p = 0.007), sales ( b = 0.02, p = 0.044) and educators ( b = 0.03, p = 0.049) had a slower decline in visual scanning if they continued working in old age. Our findings indicate that continued participation in the labour force in old age does not necessarily come with cognitive benefits. Whether or not working actively in later life protects or even harms cognitive functioning is likely to depend on the type of job.
... While musical training is believed to hold promise for delaying decline in cognitive functions later in life (Hanna-Pladdy & MacKay, 2011;Balbag et al., 2014), our finding that musicians excelled nonmusicians in SIN performance in older rather than young adults fits well with the differential preservation pattern of such a musician benefit . Indeed, only differential preservation indicates a protective effect of musical training against aging and an accumulating benefit of musical experience over time (Salthouse, 2006). Note that, regardless of listening effort which was not measured in this study, musicianship almost fully counteracted aging effect on speech perception threshold under three masking conditions except for the most difficult speech colocation condition, although older musicians' peripheral hearing was significantly worse than that of young adults. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Speech comprehension under "cocktail party" scenarios deteriorates with age even in the absence of measurable hearing loss. Musical training is suggested to counteract the age-related decline in speech-in-noise (SIN) perception, yet which aspect of musical plasticity contributes to this compensation remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the effects of musical experience and aging on SIN perception ability. We hypothesized a key mediation role of auditory working memory in ameliorating deficient SIN perception in older adults by musical training. Design: Forty-eight older musicians, 29 older nonmusicians, 48 young musicians, and 24 young nonmusicians all with (near) normal peripheral hearing were recruited. The SIN task was recognizing nonsense speech sentences either perceptually colocated or separated with a noise masker (energetic masking) or a two-talker speech masker (informational masking). Auditory working memory was measured by auditory digit span. Path analysis was used to examine the direct and indirect effects of musical expertise and age on SIN perception performance. Results: Older musicians outperformed older nonmusicians in auditory working memory and all SIN conditions (noise separation, noise coloca-tion, speech separation, speech colocation), but such musician advantages were absent in young adults. Path analysis showed that age and musical training had opposite effects on auditory working memory, which played a significant mediation role in SIN perception. In addition, the type of musical training did not differentiate SIN perception regardless of age. Conclusions: These results provide evidence that musical training offsets age-related speech perception deficit at adverse listening conditions by preserving auditory working memory. Our findings highlight auditory working memory in supporting speech perception amid competing noise in older adults, and underline musical training as a means of "cogni-tive reserve" against declines in speech comprehension and cognition in aging populations.
... Also, CST is cost-effective and comparable e cacy to anti-dementia drugs. Furthermore, ICST was developed to cater for those people with dementia who unable or unwilling to engage in groups owing to restricted resources, physical inconvenience, and personal preferences [9], Similarly, ICST is based on the principles of "use it or lose it", including mental stimulation, reminiscence and reality orientation may contribute to slow cognitive decline, evidence that activation of neurons may increase neuronal function and survival [10]. The present evidence suggests that delivery one to one is more effective than in a group [11]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Individual cognitive stimulation therapy (ICST) can benefit cognition and quality of life for people with dementia, but the evidence for nurses-led individual cognitive stimulation interventions is limited. Objectives: The current study aimed to develop the process of planning and implementing ICST, and evaluate the effect of ICST on cognitive function and therapeutic effect in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Methods: It was a randomized controlled trial lasting for a half year. 38 patients with mild AD were recruited. The control group was given the “Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy Manual for AD” to deliver the sessions at home. The intervention group was given 90 minutes ‘cognitive stimulation sessions, completed up to three times weekly over 24 weeks. The outcomes were measured at baseline and 24weeks by the scales widely used in AD evaluation (MMSE, MoCA and ADL). Results: There were statistical significance between the two groups, especially the scores of memory, delayed memory in MMSE and scores of memory, delayed memory, immediate memory, attention in MoCA were significantly improved in the intervention group compared with control group. ICST show positive effects that may help preserve memory in mild AD. Conclusions: The ICST can improve the memory and attention cognitive domains in patients with mild AD. And the feedback from patient and caregiver in ICST was favorable.
... Frequent engagement in cognitively stimulating activities which are perceived as enjoyable (e.g., reading novels, working on crossword puzzles) enhance SWB, while also being dependent on individuals cognitive functioning. The mental-exercise hypothesis, which posits that higher levels of cognitive engagement help preserve one's cognitive functioning or prevent cognitive decline (Hultsch et al. 1999), is one common explanation for the benefits of cognitive activity on functioning (but see Salthouse 2006). Prospective longitudinal work indicates that a higher frequency of engagement in cognitive activity in childhood, early adulthood, and middle adulthood predict slower cognitive decline in older adulthood after accounting for related cognitive and environmental influences (Wilson et al. 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive functioning has consistently found to predict subjective well-being (SWB), but it remains unclear why this relationship exists. Several potential explanations for this relationship have been offered in the literature, one of which is that a third variable accounts for this relationship. The current study examines this hypothesis by testing need for cognition (NfC), self-rated health, physical activity, cognitive activity, emotional stability, and conscientiousness as mediators of the relationship between cognitive ability (g) and indices of well-being. Data were drawn from the Virginia Cognitive Aging Project, a study of community-dwelling adults aged 18–99 (N = 4354). A composite variable representing cognition was created using measures of episodic memory, perceptual speed, reasoning ability, and spatial visualization. SWB was conceptualized as life satisfaction, positive affect, and negative affect; the three facets of SWB were treated as separate outcomes. Results indicate that NfC, self-rated health, emotional stability, and conscientiousness partially mediate the relationship between cognition and all facets of SWB. Neither physical activity nor cognitive activity mediated the relationship between cognition and SWB. The results of this study support the hypothesis that the cognition-SWB relationship can partially be explained by third variables and provide insight into the personality and individual difference characteristics that underlie this relationship.
... Cette dernière définition est la plus objective de toutes, pourtant elle est probablement celle qui correspond le moins à nos représentations du vieillissement. En effet, la maturation de l'organisme prend fin vers nos vingt ans (maturation des lobes frontaux et des fonctions exécutives par exemple) et, étonnamment, le déclin des premières fonctions commence immédiatement après (Timothy A. Salthouse, 2006). Autrement dit, le vieillissement débuterait avant la trentaine ! ...
... Objective assessments enable the detection, measurement, and continuous tracking of SI or identify its indicators. These assessments are also less prone to influence by biases and stigma compared with self-reported assessments of SI [14]. Furthermore, the data collected through sensors can help in making inferences regarding the impact of SI [15]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social isolation (SI) is a state of low social interaction with peers associated with various adverse health consequences in older adults. Traditionally, SI is assessed through retrospective self-reports or behavioral observations. Ambient and wearable sensors have been used to objectively assess SI based on physiology or interactions of a person within the environment. However, there is a paucity of literature connecting self-report scales with objective measures to assess SI, and an overall lack of clarity regarding the application of various sensors in SI assessment and the methods used to develop these assessments. In this scoping review, we focused on studies using various types of sensors and self-report measures to observe SI in community-dwelling older adults and identified eight relevant studies. Extracted data demonstrated motion sensors and actigraph as common sensors for assessing SI. Physical activity was a commonly extracted feature. Variability exists in defining SI, selecting features, and the use of sensors and self-report assessments. Inconsistent definitions and a lack of gold standard for measuring SI creates barriers to studying the concept and connecting highly variable features with technological tools. Future studies should establish a consistent definition of SI and consider capturing its complexity through different features.
... Here, trajectories in cognitive functioning are assumed to depend on engagement in physical, social, and intellectual activities, labeled as the differential preservation hypothesis (Salthouse 1991). According to the "use-it-or-lose-it" principle, less decline in cognitive abilities is assumed to be a function of more frequent participation in cognitively demanding activities (Salthouse 2006). Empirical evidence for this hypothesis is mixed. ...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive ability and curiosity are significant predictors of academic achievement; yet the processes underlying these relations are not well understood. I drew on ideas from the environmental enrichment hypothesis and the differential preservation hypothesis and hypothesized that epistemic behavior acts as a mediator. Longitudinal data were collected from 1964 individuals in three waves, spanning five years: cognitive ability and curiosity were assessed at time 1; epistemic behavior at time 2; at time 3, grade point average and highest degree of both secondary and tertiary academic education (if applicable) were obtained retrospectively via self-report. I found expected bivariate relations between all study variables, including a significant relation between cognitive ability and curiosity and significant relations of both of these variables with secondary academic performance. Epistemic behavior was related to curiosity and academic performance but, at odds with the hypothesis, did not mediate the relation between cognitive and personality variables and academic performance. It is concluded that the process underlying the behavioral consequences of cognitive ability and curiosity is not environmental enrichment.
... The list of potential risk factors of cognitive decline is diverse, but its items are generally associated with a lack of engagement in mentally stimulating activities. 2 A considerable number of studies have investigated the effects of retirement on cognition. Retirement is a complex process and influences many factors that might impact cognitive functioning. ...
Article
Background: The literature provides conflicting evidence as to whether retirement may harm cognition. This study aimed to determine the relationship between retirement and cognitive impairment in Korean adults. Methods: This study was performed using biennial data collected during the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing survey between 2006 and 2018. A total of 6363 adults aged 45 years or older with normal cognition were followed for up to 12 years. Linear regression, adjusted for potential covariates, was used to examine the association between retirement and cognitive impairment. Results: Retirees composed 27.6% of participants were older, and had several cohort-related features such as a lower education level and income. They were more likely to be single and to participate in religious activities, and had better healthy habits, but participated in fewer social activities and were more likely to have a depressive mood. Unadjusted models indicated that retirees were at higher risk of cognitive impairment, but this association became nonsignificant in age-adjusted models. Multivariate regression analysis identified several risk factors associated with cognitive impairment, but these did not include retirement. Conclusion: Retirement was not associated with cognitive impairment in Korean adults.
... Cognitive control assists the working memory process, and refers to the ability to focus attention on relevant stimuli and filter out irrelevant stimuli (Verhaeghen, 2012). These measures of executive functioning are involved in higher-order functions that are critical for older adults' independent activities in daily life and are among the first abilities that decline in normative aging (Park & Reuter-Lorenz, 2009;Salthouse, 2006). ...
Article
Growth mindset (belief in the malleability of intelligence) is a unique predictor of young learners' increased motivation and learning, and may have broader implications for cognitive functioning. Its role in learning in older adulthood is unclear. As part of a larger longitudinal study, we examined growth mindset and cognitive functioning in older adults engaged in a 3-month multi-skill learning intervention that included growth mindset discussions. Before, during, and after the intervention, participants reported on their growth mindset beliefs and completed a cognitive battery. Study 1 indicated that intervention participants, but not control participants, increased their growth mindset during the intervention. Study 2 replicated these results and found that older adults with higher preexisting growth mindsets showed larger cognitive gains at posttest compared to those with lower preexisting growth mindsets. Our findings highlight the potential role of growth mindset in supporting positive learning cycles for cognitive gains in older adulthood.
... One possible explanation is that education protects cognition through life activities from the perspective of environmental factors [46]. In keeping with the use-it-or-lose-it hypothesis, many studies have revealed that mental stimulation in early life protects cognitive function in older age [29,47]. Another possible explanation is that educational attainment is associated with brain reserves. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the effect of aging on gender-specific educational differences in the risk of cognitive impairment using a nationally representative sample of 4278 men and 5495 women aged 45 years and older from the dataset of the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging. Sociodemographics, lifestyle, and medical conditions were included as covariates in the mixed logistic regression analysis models. The prevalence of cognitive impairment was higher in women than in men at baseline. The risk of cognitive impairment in each age group decreased with education in both men and women. The risk by educational rank was worse at lower levels and increased with age, more so for women than men. Aging appears to widen the impact of educational differences on the risk of cognitive impairment and is more unfavorable for women than for men. Public health policies regarding population aging need to consider this and identify the target population to reduce both the level of and the difference in the risk of cognitive impairment.
... However, the explanation of such relations is not entirely clear. One hypothesis is that the developed cognitive sphere is the result of many stimulating efforts that have been made on the mind and body for a long time (the hypothesis of "mental training") (Salthouse, 2006). Critics of this approach rightly point out that this evidence is only evidence of a causal relationship: older people with relatively better cognitive flexibility seek and support a wider range of diverse actions throughout their lives. ...
Article
Full-text available
The work examines the effect of association means on the cognitive flexibility of the brain. Nowadays the cognitive flexibility is one of the critical skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Cognitive flexibility corrects human behaviour in a certain way following the changing environment. It allows a modern person to work effectively to distract from the previous task, reconfigure a new set of answers to complete the current task. The article aims to determine the significance of the means of association for improving cognitive flexibility in foreign languages classes. The study involved 70 students of the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts and was conducted between October 2020 and December 2020. Learning a foreign language and bilingualism in and of themselves have an impact on the cognitive functions of the brain. In our paper, we consider the means of associations not only as one of the tools for studying foreign languages but as a means of improving cognitive flexibility. According to the study, it can be concluded that, despite the increased interest in the associative method, multiple studies in this area of research demonstrate different and sometimes conflicting results. It is important to note that associative methods have a positive effect on improving cognitive flexibility in combination with creative thinking.
... These efforts are directly in line with the aim of improving the capabilities of older adults. Studies on brain plasticity during ageing provide support for old ideas concerning the 'use it or lose it hypothesis' (Bielak, 2010;Salthouse, 2006), with various mental exercises and activity engagements seeming to partly counteract age-related cognitive decline and the risk of later dementia. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter discusses the value of a capability approach in historical research on older people. Historians are generally focused on studying continuity and change over time. Their research often aims at explaining how and why certain phenomena appear and take different shapes. Capability is a way of capturing an individual’s ability to live a meaningful life, or a life that they perceive as good. A modern analytical tool such as the capability approach can be used for visualising historical patterns, even though individuals’ values of well-being change over time. In that sense, historical studies of individuals’ capabilities, or functions, can add another perspective to this theoretical framework. Old newspapers, biographies, diaries, letters, novels and government reports make it possible to understand which capabilities individuals and societies have valued for older citizens at different times. The meaning of functions differs over time and is dependent on several factors, such as gender and economic conditions, as well as social and civil status. This also means that conditions for a phenomenon such as retirement change over time, but they also differ depending on people’s previous life conditions. In this article, we explore these things using two different examples. Firstly, we discuss how Selma Lagerlöf, a woman with high social status, arranged for her retirement. The second example shows how women with low economic status struggled to retire at the time when universal pension reform was being implemented in Sweden.
... It is theorised that lifetime engagement in such activities may delay cognitive decline by building cognitive reserve, which is a property of the brain that allows for sustained cognitive performance in the presence of age-related changes or brain insults (Stern, 2012). Another related psychological hypothesis is the 'mental-exercise hypothesis', also known as 'use it or lost it', which posits that continued engagement in mentally stimulating activities could maintain one's cognitive abilities and help one better cope with age-related cognitive deterioration (Salthouse, 2006). ...
Article
Full-text available
Although volunteering has been shown to benefit cognitive health, there is a paucity of evidence on informal volunteering and subjective measures of cognitive impairment. Also, little is known about whether such relationships vary by race/ethnicity. This study aimed to examine the associations of both formal and informal volunteering with older adults' objective and subjective cognition and explore the moderating role of race/ethnicity in such associations. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study in the United States (2010–2016), 9941 older adults (51+) who were cognitively unimpaired in 2010 and alive through 2016 were included. Ordered logistic regression models were performed to assess the relationships among volunteering, cognitive impairment and race/ethnicity. Findings showed that more years of formal and informal volunteering significantly reduced the odds of objective cognitive impairment; neither volunteering type was significant for subjective cognitive impairment. The relationship between informal volunteering and objective cognition varied by race/ethnicity. Compared to non‐Hispanic Whites, non‐Hispanic Black older adults who engaged in more years of informal volunteering had a significantly higher odds of cognitive impairment over time. The current study is one of the first to look at the associations between informal volunteering and cognition. The inclusion of subjective cognitive impairment, paired with objective measures of cognition, also adds value to the knowledge body. Our findings indicate any type of volunteering is a viable approach to prevent cognitive impairment for older populations. However, more research is needed to better understand why racial/ethnic minority, particularly non‐Hispanic Black older adults, do not benefit from informal volunteering.
... A protective effect of education for age-associated cognitive decline appears to result in higher levels of CR [30,32]. This is supported by strong positive associations between the number of years of formal education and crystallized measures (e.g., vocabulary) and EF, explaining, in the latter case, even more variance than age itself [33][34][35], compared with fluid abilities, such as processing speed, memory, or visuospatial abilities [34,36,37]. Robust scientific evidence also supports that lower-educated individuals are more likely to suffer from dementia in a wide range of settings [38]. ...
Chapter
In this chapter, we explore how cognitive reserve is implicated in coping with the negative consequences of brain pathology and age-related cognitive decline. Individual differences in cognitive performance are based on different brain mechanisms (neural reserve and neural compensation), and reflect, among others, the effect of education, occupational attainment, leisure activities, and social involvement. These cognitive reserve proxies have been extensively associated with efficient executive functioning. We discuss and focus particularly on the compensation mechanisms related to the frontal lobe and its protective role, in maintaining cognitive performance in old age or even mitigating the clinical expression of dementia.
... These efforts are directly in line with the aim of improving the capabilities of older adults. Studies on brain plasticity during ageing provide support for old ideas concerning the 'use it or lose it hypothesis' (Bielak, 2010;Salthouse, 2006), with various mental exercises and activity engagements seeming to partly counteract age-related cognitive decline and the risk of later dementia. ...
Book
Full-text available
This open access book provides insight on how to interpret capability in ageing – one’s individual ability to perform actions in order to reach goals one has reason to value – from a multidisciplinary approach. With for the first time in history there being more people in the world aged 60 years and over than there are children below the age of 5, the book describes this demographic trends as well as the large global challenges and important societal implications this will have such as a worldwide increase in the number of persons affected with dementia, and in the ratio of retired persons to those still in the labor market. Through contributions from many different research areas, it discussed how capability depends on interactions between the individual (e.g. health, genetics, personality, intellectual capacity), environment (e.g. family, friends, home, work place), and society (e.g. political decisions, ageism, historical period). The final chapter by the editors summarizes the differences and similarities in these contributions. As such this book provides an interesting read for students, teachers and researchers at different levels and from different fields interested in capability and multidisciplinary research.
... In our study, higher occupational class (working in government/institution or in company/enterprise) had higher loadings to the adulthood SES than other types of work did, implying that higher occupational complexity weights more in high CR. Our results support the differential preservation theory or the mechanisms of a "use it or lose it" model [53], which hypothesizes that the rate of age-related cognitive decline is less pronounced for individuals who are more cognitively active. This hypothesis is also supported by the larger factor loadings of attending training course, doing stock investment and using the Internet for CR in later life, suggesting that these activities which heavily involve cognitive training are crucial in slowing down cognitive decline in later life. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Cognitive reserve (CR) could partly explain the individual heterogeneity in cognitive decline. No study measured CR from a life course perspective and investigated the association between CR and trajectories of cognitive decline in older Chinese adults. Methods Data of 6795 Chinese adults aged 60+ from China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study were used. Global cognition score (0–32) was assessed in all four waves. A life-course CR score was constructed using markers of childhood circumstance, education, highest occupational class, and leisure activities in later life. Latent growth curve modelling (LGCM) was applied to assess the association between CR and trajectories of cognitive decline. Results For the life-course CR, factor loadings of markers in adulthood and later life were larger than that of markers in childhood. The life-course CR score (ranged between − 2.727 and 6.537, SD: 1.74) was higher in urban Chinese adults (0.75, SD: 1.90) than in rural Chinese adults (− 0.50, SD: 1.43). The unconditional LGCM results showed that urban older Chinese adults had better global cognition at baseline (intercept: 15.010, 95% CI: 14.783, 15.237) and a slower rate of cognitive decline per year (linear slope: -0.394, 95% CI: − 0.508, − 0.281) than their rural counterparts (intercept: 12.144, 95% CI: 11.960, 12.329; linear slope: -0.498, 95% CI: − 0.588, − 0.408). After controlling for all covariates, one-unit higher CR score was associated with 1.615 (95% CI: 1.521, 1.709) and 1.768 (95% CI: 1.659, 1.876) unit higher global cognition at baseline for urban and rural older Chinese adults, respectively. The slower rate of cognitive decline associated with higher CR was more evident in rural residents (slope: 0.083, 95% CI: 0.057, 0.108) than in their urban counterparts (0.054, 95% CI: 0.031, 0.077). Conclusions CR was associated with better baseline cognition and slower cognitive decline in Chinese older adults. Although rural residents were disadvantaged in both CR and cognition, the protective effect of CR against cognitive decline was stronger for them than in those who live in urban area.
... Leisure activities have generally been thought to improve cognitive health, per the "use it or lose it" hypothesis (Salthouse, 2006). It should be acknowledged that there are varied types of leisure activities, typically physical, social, and productive activities. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Both leisure activities and the ε4 allele of the apolipoprotein E ( APOE ε4) have been shown to affect cognitive health. We aimed to determine whether engagement in leisure activities protects against APOE ε4-related cognitive decline. Methods: We used the cohort data from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. A total of 3,017 participants (mean age of 77.0 years, SD = 9.0; 49.3% female) from 23 provinces of China were recruited in 2008 and were reinterviewed in 2014. We assessed cognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). We calculated cognitive decline using subtraction of the MMSE score of each participant in 2008 and 2014. We genotyped a number of APOE ε4 alleles for each participant at baseline and determined the Index of Leisure Activities (ILAs) by summing up the frequency of nine types of typical activities in productive, social, and physical domains. We used ordinal logistic regression models to estimate the effects of leisure activities, APOE ε4, and their interaction on cognitive decline, statistically adjusted for a range of potential confounders. Results: There were significant associations between APOE ε4 and faster cognitive decline, independent of potential confounders, and between leisure activities and mitigated cognitive decline. The odds ratios were 1.25 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.53) and 0.93 (95% CI: 0.89, 0.97), respectively. We found significant interactions of APOE ε4 with leisure activities with a P -value of 0.018. We also observed interactive effects of subtypes of leisure activities: participants who regularly engaged in productive activities were more likely to reduce the risk of APOE ε4-related cognitive decline. Conclusion: Our findings provide support for the indication that participating in leisure activities reduces the risk of APOE ε4-related cognitive decline.
... There is evidence that the effect is more prominent in fluid cognition (ie. executive function or working memory) than crystallized cognitive abilities [recalling stored knowledge or past experiences; (8)(9)(10)]. That is, one will see less of an effect on tasks that rely on existent knowledge as compared to new tasks that rely on learning (10). ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this systematic review is to identify the utility of metacognitive therapeutic intervention for persons with acquired brain injury (ABI), with a focus on persons with aphasia. Methods A search of six databases resulted in two hundred and sixty-six unique manuscripts relating to the explicit use of metacognitive treatment for people with ABI. Two independent reviewers rated abstracts for inclusion or exclusion of the study given predetermined criteria. Twenty-nine articles, five of which included people with aphasia, were selected for inclusion in this systematic review. SCED+ and PEDro+ rating scales were used to rate the methodological quality of each study. Results Methodological quality of the 29 studies that met inclusion criteria ranged from weak to high quality studies. Three -hundred and sixty-nine individuals with ABI took part in the 29 studies. Varying treatment methods were employed. Outcome measures were inconsistent. Metacognitive treatment has been applied to people with aphasia with positive results, but efficacy of the treatment cannot yet be determined. Conclusions Metacognitive therapeutic intervention tends to be effective for persons with acquired brain injury (ABI) despite variability between intervention designs and treatment outcomes across studies. Due to so few studies with participants with aphasia, we were unable to draw conclusions regarding the efficacy of metacognitive treatment for people with aphasia. Further research on the efficacy of metacognitive treatment for this population is warranted.
Chapter
The number of older consumers making e-commerce purchasing decisions is constantly rising. We examined the impact of age-related cognitive limitations on older adults’ choices in a series of multi-attribute choice tasks designed to mimic the process of products comparison and selection on e-commerce platforms. 135 older, middle-aged and younger adults were asked to participate in an on-line experiment. We found significant age-related limitations in solving simple and moderately difficult tasks, especially in the older adults group. The mediational model indicated an interplay between the age-related limitation and the role of additional variables (Helplessness of Contracting an Infectious Disease and Numeracy) in explaining the relationship between aging and performance in the multi-attribute choice task.
Article
L'effetto del sovraccarico di scelta è stato finora studiato prevalentemente su adulti. L'unico studio condotto su fasce di età diverse dagli adulti ha fornito una prima dimostrazione del fatto che le conseguenze negative dell'avere troppa scelta non si estendono in egual misura a bambini, adolescenti, adulti e anziani. Il presente lavoro si propone di indagare ulteriormente le conseguenze negati-ve dell'avere troppa scelta su bambini, adolescenti e anziani. I dati suggeriscono che mentre gli adolescenti sono influenzati dal fenomeno in modo simile agli adulti, i bambini e gli anziani sembrano invece esserne immuni. Sono discusse le implicazioni teoriche e pratiche dei risultati e sono forniti spunti per ulteriori ricerche.
Article
Full-text available
Helping behaviors and life satisfaction generally increase after middle-age. Identifying the neural substrates of prosocial behaviors in older adults may offer additional insights into these changes over the lifespan. The present study examines the endogenous release of the neuromodulator oxytocin (OT) in participants aged 18–99 and its relationship to prosocial behaviors. OT has been shown to influence trust, altruism, charity, and generosity, yet the effect of age on OT release has not been well-established. Blood samples before and after a video stimulus were obtained from 103 participants in order to examine the impact of OT on prosocial behaviors. We found that OT release following a social prime increased with age (r = 0.49, p = 0.001) and that OT moderated the relationship between age and donations to charity. We tested for robustness by examining three additional prosocial behaviors, money and goods donated to charity during the past year and social-sector volunteering. OT moderated the impact of age on all three prosocial behaviors (ps < 0.05). The analysis also showed that participants’ change in OT was positively associated with satisfaction with life (p = 0.04), empathic concern (p = 0.015), dispositional gratitude (p = 0.019), and religious commitment (p = 0.001). Our findings indicate that the neural chemistry that helps sustain social relationships and live a fulfilled life appear to strengthen with age.
Article
The use of cognitive interventions to remediate deficient cognitive functions, or to enhance or preserve intact cognitive abilities, has been explored for some time, especially in older adults. However, few studies have investigated the long-term persistence of any positive benefits, with none examining whether changes in functional brain activity persist several years later. Here, we assessed whether enhanced cognitive abilities and potential underlying neural changes attained via the use of a custom-made video game (NeuroRacer) played by older adults (60–85 years old) continued to be elevated beyond control participants 6 years later. The NeuroRacer group continued to show reduced multitasking costs beyond control participants, with a neural signature of cognitive control, midline frontal theta power, also continuing to show heightened activity. However, previously evidenced performance benefits that had extended to untrained cognitive control abilities (i.e., enhanced sustained attention and working memory) did not persist, highlighting sustainability limitations. These findings continue to demonstrate the robust plasticity of the prefrontal cognitive control system in the aging brain, a potential neural mechanism underlying enhanced performance over time, and the possible long-term impact that digital therapeutics can have.
Article
Despite the availability of improvisational theater training in different settings, studies that assess its effectiveness as a means for enhancing cognitive training for older adults are scarce. This study examines the influence of short theater improvisation exercises on the cognitive flexibility of cognitively-healthy older adults, and their influence on the four core components of improvisation (i.e., spontaneity, flow, creativity, playfulness). The study also examines the correlation between an improvement in these four key agents and an improvement in cognitive flexibility among older adults. This quantitative empirical study was conducted in retirement homes and daycare centers in Israel. A total of 45 participants took part in this study, all in good physical health and with age-appropriate cognitive abilities. The participants were divided into five research groups; each group met twice a week for a one-hour improvisation session over a six-week period. The data was collected through five questionnaires that were completed at four points of time (before, during, and after the workshop). The findings did not indicate a significant effect of the improvisation exercises on the participants' cognitive flexibility, yet they did show improvement in three components of improvisation: spontaneity, flow, playfulness. As such, the findings of this study indicate that despite a normal decline in basic cognitive functioning among older adults, the beneficial effect of improvisation on cognitive flexibility might still occur through spontaneity, playfulness, and flow. In conclusion, short theater improvisation exercises could contribute to various indicators of healthy aging in various settings.
Article
Individuals’ cognitive skills can be improved through learning by doing various tasks at work. We report the results of studying rich information on job tasks performed at the individual level based on three measures of job task complexity: (i) overall job complexity, (ii) analytical task intensity, and (iii) interactive task intensity. Controlling for task selection, we show that both overall job task complexity and analytical tasks can contribute to the development of a worker’s cognitive skills, while interactive tasks play a less significant role. Furthermore, we find that complex job tasks can offset the effect of aging on cognitive functioning. We show the implications of our research results for work design, cognitive interventions, and retirement policies.
Article
Full-text available
Aim of the study was assessment of executive functions and quality of life (QoL) among scientists aged 22-80 years working in state research centers. The screening test included several questionnairs: “Cognitive screening”, “Age is not a barrier”, “Geriatric Depression Scale" (GDS) and Social Functioning 36 (SF-36) survey. According to the assessment, the group of scientists showed problems related to physical health disorders and presence of numerous risk factors for professional efficiency decline. High rate of preasthenia (39.62%) and asthenia syndrome (11.32%) was identified. This might be due to high level of stress and informational load that causes depletion of functional organism reserves. The rate of cognitive executive functions decline was low (3.77%), stated in young age and possibly associated with depression and asthenia. In comparison to general population, Russian scientists showed a generally high level of quality of life (more than 70% in all domains), best indicators on the scales of "Body Pain" and "Vitality", but lower indicators of "Role functioning” due to the emotional state. In general, scientists’ quality of life decreased with age, especially "Physical Functioning" and "Body Pain" scales. Social skills such as "Role functioning due to emotional state" increased with age. In the scientists group, connection between cognitive functions and the quality of life was observed. Specifically, between "Physical Functioning", "General Health", "Vitality", "Social Functioning" and "Mental Health".
Chapter
In this chapter, we outline our thoughts on capability in relation to previous and ongoing research projects conducted by the Adult Development and Ageing (ADA-Gero) Research Group located at the Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. More specifically, we relate our research on cognitive ageing and subjective well-being to the overarching capability framework implemented as a theoretical platform in the AgeCap research consortium.
Chapter
A major component of the treatment of patients with dementia is so-called non-pharmacological therapy and includes physical exercise and cognitive training and stimulation. Growing interest over the years has led to a widening evidence base with regard to these interventions. Physical activity which includes physical exercise is a prerequisite for a healthy life for anyone including patients with dementia. In addition, exercise may have additional benefit on cognitive functions and activities of daily living. The underlying mechanisms which may mediate the effects of exercise on brain function remain undetermined but is likely to include several mechanisms of action such as release of exerkines from muscle. Exercise is a flexible intervention and may be adapted to fit the cognitive abilities of patients with dementia in a safe manner. Cognitive stimulation and therapy are distinctive approaches which target cognitive function and is designed to improve cognition or slow its decline. Cognitive stimulation has been shown to be effective in improving cognition, whereas the evidence is less certain for cognitive training.
Preprint
Full-text available
Preserving attention abilities is of great concern to older adults who are motivated to maintain their quality of life as they age. Both cognitive and physical fitness interventions have been utilized in intervention studies to assess maintenance and enhancement of attention abilities in seniors, and a coupling of these approaches is a compelling strategy to buttress both cognitive and physical health in a time- and resource-effective manner. With this perspective, we created a closed-loop, motion-capture video game (Body-Brain Trainer: BBT) that adapts a player’s cognitive and physical demands in an integrated approach, thus creating a personalized and cohesive experience across both domains. Older adults who engaged in two months of BBT improved on both physical fitness and attention outcome measures beyond that of an expectancy-matched, active, placebo control group, with maintenance of improved attention performance evidenced 1 year later. Following training, the BBT group’s improvement on the attention outcome measure exceeded performance levels attained by an untrained group of 20-year-olds, and showed age-equilibration of a neural signature of attention shown to decline with age: midline frontal theta power. These findings highlight the potential benefits of an integrated, cognitive-physical, closed-loop training platform as a powerful tool for both cognitive and physical enhancement in older adults.
Article
Since the seminal paper of Rohwedder and Willis (2010), the effect of retirement on cognition has drawn significant research interest from economists. Especially with ongoing policy discussions about public pension reforms and the increasing burden of dementia, it is indisputably an important research question with significant policy implications. Building on this growing literature, our paper makes two important contributions. First, we explicitly consider cognitive demands of jobs in studying hetereogeneity of the retirement effect. As the primary explanation for the potential adverse effect of retirement is that cognition is better maintained through mental exercise (Salthouse, 2006), by investigating the cognitive demands of the job one retires from we can directly test the hypothesized relationship. Second, we avoid biases associated with omitted variables, particularly by controlling for endowed cognitive ability. While endowed, genetic differences in cognitive ability is an important omitted variable that can explain individual differences in cognitive performance as well as selection into a particular type of job, this inherited characteristic has not been controlled for in the prior literature. Taking advantage of the polygenic risk score of cognition (Davies et al., 2015), we control for individual differences in genetic endowments in estimating the effect of retirement on cognition. We find supporting evidence for differential effects of retirement by cognitive demands of jobs after controlling for innate differences in cognition and educational attainment.
Article
Age-related changes in decision making have been attributed to deterioration of cognitive skills, such as learning and memory. On the basis of past research showing age-related decreases in the ability to inhibit irrelevant information, we hypothesize that these changes occur, in part, because of older adults’ tendency to give more weight to low-level, subordinate, and goal-irrelevant information than younger adults do. Consistent with this hypothesis, our findings demonstrated that young adults are willing to pay more for a product with superior end attributes than a product with superior means attributes (Study 1, N = 200) and are more satisfied after an experience with superior end than means attributes (Study 2, N = 399). Young adults are also more satisfied with a goal-relevant than with a goal-irrelevant product (Study 3, N = 201; Study 4, N = 200, preregistered). Importantly, these effects were attenuated with age. Implications for research on construal level and aging, as well as implications for policymakers, are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Objective Studies examining what renders workplace interventions to sustain and promote work ability of older workers successful have largely neglected older workers´ perspective. This paper outlines the results of a study with regard to older workers´ experiences and expectations of a workplace intervention. Based on these findings, some reflections on how to improve the design and the implementation of workplace interventions for older workers are provided. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with older workers ( N = 8) participating in a workplace intervention undertaken at one production site of a large manufacturing company in Baden-Wurttemberg/Germany. The interview guide included questions on participants´ experiences with and expectations of the intervention. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using qualitative content analysis according to Mayring (2014). Results Older workers´ reported some challenges they face due to their participation in the workplace intervention. These resulted from the work environment (physical challenges), the work process design (new long work cycle), the work organization (tight time allowances, little job rotation, change of teams, age stereotypes) and the management of the workplace intervention (bad information, feeling of occupational insecurity and lack of being valued). Conclusions The study shows that challenges arising for older workers from their participation in the workplace intervention may have counteracted the promotion of work ability. As findings suggest, some of these challenges might have been avoided either by considering workers´ perspective during design and implementation of an intervention or by referring to evidence on aging and work ability.
Article
Full-text available
Age differences in performance on memory measures and in subjective ratings of memory adequacy were examined in the context of 12 social, personality, adjustment, and lifestyle measures. Participants were 285 men and women, aged 65 to 93, of middle- and working-class backgrounds. A series of multivariate and univariate analyses revealed that a large proportion of the age differences and virtually all of the social-class differences on memory measures could be accounted for by contextual variables, with education, intellectual activity, extroversion, neuroticism, and lie scores (on the Eysenck Personality Inventory) all accounting for more of the variance in memory performance than did age. Self-rated memory adequacy was not correlated with performance, and although the expected finding of lower ratings by older participants was obtained with the working-class group, the opposite was true for the middle-class group. Implications of these results for understanding age differences in memory are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
The authors reviewed studies of cognitive proficiency and night performance. Age-group differences were found in pilots in perceptual motor skills and memory and, to a lesser extent, in attention and problem solving. Flight experience does not alter this age-related decline, with the possible exception of the metacognitive skill of time sharing. Age-group differences in flight performance are most evident in the secondary task of air traffic control communications. Age-related differences in current measures of pilot cognition are minimally predictive of primary measures of flight performance (flight simulation and accident rates). A model of cognition and flight performance is proposed involving higher order factors that tap into pilot knowledge structure, including mental workload and workload management, mental models, and situation awareness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
A questionnaire designed to assess experience with activities presumed to require spatial visualization abilities, and psychometric tests of these abilities, were administered to 383 adults ranging from 20 to 83 years of age. Although research participants varied considerably in the amount of self-reported experience, statistical control of experience resulted in relatively modest attenuations of the relations between age and spatial visualization performance. These findings seem inconsistent with a strong disuse interpretation of cognitive aging phenomena and suggest that at least some age-related differences in cognitive functioning are independent of the amount of experience with relevant activities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Three studies were conducted to investigate effects related to age and experience on measures of spatial visualization ability. All research participants were college-educated men; those in the experienced group were practicing or recently retired architects. The major results of the studies were (a) that increased age was found to be associated with lower levels of performance on several tests of spatial visualization and (b) that this was true both for unselected adults and for adults with extensive spatial visualization experience. These findings seem to suggest that age-related effects in some aspects of cognitive functioning may be independent of experiential influences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Need for cognition in contemporary literature refers to an individual's tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive endeavors. Individual differences in need for cognition have been the focus of investigation in over 100 empirical studies. This literature is reviewed, covering the theory and history of this variable, measures of interindividual variations in it, and empirical relationships between it and personality variables, as well as individuals' tendencies to seek and engage in effortful cognitive activity and enjoy cognitively effortful circumstances. The article concludes with discussions of an elaborated theory of the variable, including antecedent conditions; interindividual variations in it related to the manner information is acquired or processed to guide perceptions, judgments, and behavior; and the relationship between it and the 5-factor model of personality structure. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
One hundred thirty-three college students (mean age = 19.1 years) and 49 older individuals (mean age = 79.9 years) completed 2 general knowledge tasks, a vocabulary task, a working memory task, a syllogistic reasoning task, and several measures of exposure to print. A series of hierarchical regression analyses indicated that when measures of exposure to print were used as control variables, the positive relationships between age and vocabulary, and age and declarative knowledge, were eliminated. Within each of the age groups, exposure to print was a significant predictor of vocabulary and declarative knowledge even after differences in working memory, general ability, and educational level were controlled. These results support the theory of fluid-crystallized intelligence and suggest a more prominent role for exposure to print in theories of individual differences in knowledge acquisition and maintenance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
The effects of education and continued intellectual engagement on age-associated cognitive change were investigated in a sample of 102 members of the professional and college communities in the metro Atlanta Georgia area (ages 30–76). All participants were administered a 60-minute battery that measured different aspects of memory, intelligence and cognitive performance. Age-associated declines in performance were detected on the digit symbol measure of intelligence. Conversely, positive but non-significant trends were detected on the picture completion, arithmetic and similarities subtests. Age effects were also noted on some measures of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and both versions of the Trail Making Test. The findings suggest that at least among the highly educated, certain cognitive abilities may receive some degree of amelioration as a consequence of continued intellectual engagement. However, the effects may be associated more with compensation rather than protection against the effects of ageing. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine the hypothesis of whether early education and/or maintaining intellectual activities over the life-course have the power to protect against cognitive impairment even in extremely old adults. Ninety centenarians from the population-based Heidelberg Centenarian Study were assessed with a modified version of the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE). Data about education, occupational status, and life-long intellectual activities in four selected domains were obtained. Results demonstrated that 52% of the sample showed mild-to-severe cognitive impairment. Analyzing the influence of early education, occupational status, and intellectual activities on cognitive status we applied several (logistic) regression analyses. Results revealed independent, significant and strong influence of both formal school education and intellectual activities on the cognitive status in very late life, even after controlling for occupational status. However, about one fourth of the effect of early education on cognitive status was exerted indirectly via the assessed intellectual activities. In summary, the present study provides first evidence for the conclusion that even with regard to cognitive performance in very old age, both early education and life-long intellectual activities seem to be of importance.
Article
Full-text available
The effectiveness of memory training for the elderly was examined through a meta-analysis of pre-to-posttest gains on episodic memory tasks in healthy subjects aged 60 or above. Pre-to-posttest gains were found to be significantly larger in training groups (0.73 SD, k = 49) than in both control (0.38 SD, k = 10) and placebo (0.37 SD, k = 8) groups. Treatment gains in training groups were negatively affected by age of participants and duration of training sessions and positively affected by group treatment, pretraining, and memory-related interventions. No differences in treatment gain were obtained as a function of type of mnemonic taught nor the kind of pretraining used.
Article
Full-text available
Age differences in performance on memory measures and in subjective ratings of memory adequacy were examined in the context of 12 social, personality, adjustment, and lifestyle measures. Participants were 285 men and women, aged 65 to 93, of middle- and working-class backgrounds. A series of multivariate and univariate analyses revealed that a large proportion of the age differences and virtually all of the social-class differences on memory measures could be accounted for by contextual variables, with education, intellectual activity, extroversion, neuroticism, and lie scores (on the Eysenck Personality Inventory) all accounting for more of the variance in memory performance than did age. Self-rated memory adequacy was not correlated with performance, and although the expected finding of lower ratings by older participants was obtained with the working-class group, the opposite was true for the middle-class group. Implications of these results for understanding age differences in memory are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the effects of abilities as a young adult, an engaged lifestyle, personality, age, and health on continuity and change in intellectual abilities from early to late adulthood. A battery of measures, including a verbal and nonverbal intelligence test, was given to 326 Canadian army veterans. Archival data provided World War Two enlistment scores on the same intelligence test for this sample: Results indicated relative stability of intellectual scores across 40 years, with increases in vocabulary and decreases in arithmetic, verbal analogies, and nonverbal skills. Young adult intelligence was the most important determinant of older adult performance. Predictors for verbal intelligence were consistent with an engagement model of intellectual maintenance but also indicated the importance of introversion-extraversion and age. Nonverbal intelligence in late life was predicted by young adult nonverbal scores, age, health, and introversion-extraversion.
Article
Traditional theories of aging claim that basic processing speed and memory capacities show inevitable decline with increasing age. Recent research, however, has shown that older experts in some domains are able to maintain their superior performance into old age, but even they display the typical age-related decline in performance on psychometric tests of fluid intelligence. The study of expert performance shows that adults retain the capacity to acquire and maintain performance with the appropriate type of training and practice, even speeded actions and many physiological adaptations. In fact, experts' performance keeps improving for several decades into adulthood and typically reaches its peak between 30 and 50 years of age. The experts can then maintain their attained performance level into old age by regular deliberate practice. Much of the observed decline in older adults' performance can be attributed to age-related reductions in engagement in domain-related activities - in particular, regular deliberate practice.
Article
OBJECTIVES: To compare the longitudinal changes in maximal aerobic capacity (VO(2)max) in healthy middle aged and older athletes and sedentary men. DESIGN: A cohort study with mean follow-up of 8.7 years (range 4.0-12.8). SETTING: Outpatient research at a tertiary hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Forty-two healthy, middle aged, and older athletes (initial age 64 +/- 1 year) and 47 healthy sedentary men of comparable age recruited for research studies. MEASUREMENTS: VO(2)max during a maximal treadmill test. RESULTS: At baseline, the cross-sectional rates of decline in VO(2)max with age (slope) were virtually identical in the athletes and sedentary men (-0.42 versus -0.43 mL(.)kg(-1.)min(-1.)year(-1)). At follow-up, the VO(2)max had declined by 11.9 +/- 1.1 mL(.)kg(-1.)min(-1) (22%) in the athletes, a crude average rate of -1.4 +/- 0.14 mL(.)kg(-1.)min(-1.)year(-1). By comparison, the VO(2)max declined by 4.4 +/- 0.6 mL(.)kg(-1.)min(-1) (14%) in the sedentary men, a crude average rate of change of -0.48 +/- 0.07 mL(.)kg(-1.)min(-1.)year(-1). Therefore, the observed absolute rate of longitudinal decline in VO(2)max in the athletes was triple that of the sedentary men (P = .001) and significantly greater than the decline predicted by their baseline cross-sectional data (P = .001). Post hoc analyses of the longitudinal data in the athletes based on the training regimens over the follow-up period demonstrated that the seven individuals who continued to train vigorously ("high training") had no significant decline in VO(2)max (0.28% change in VO(2)max per year). By contrast, the VO(2)max declined by 2.6% per year in the 'moderate training" group (N = 21), 4.6% per year in the "low training" group (N = 13), and 4.7% per year in the two individuals who developed cardiovascular disease. CONCLUSION: The longitudinal decline in VO(2)max in older male endurance athletes is highly dependent upon the continued magnitude of the training stimulus. The majority of the athletes reduced their training levels over time, resulting in longitudinal reductions in VO(2)max two to three times as large as those predicted by cross-sectional analyses or those observed longitudinally in their sedentary peers.
Article
Pianists of a wide experience and age range were tested on measures of musical memory and musical perceptual speed to better understand the effects of experience on age-cognition relations. Experience-related attenuation might be in the form of an Age x Experience interaction or in the form of a "confounding" of age and experience such that positive age-experience relations offset negative age-cognition relations. It was predicted that the former, considered evidence for disuse interpretations of aging, would be likely to emerge in tasks with strong experience effects and strong age-related declines among inexperienced individuals. However, in no case were the interactions of age and experience on the memory or perceptual speed variables significant. There was, however, evidence that high levels of experience in the older participants partially attenuated the negative effects of age on the memory and perceptual speed tasks.
Article
To make a convincing argument that cognitive stimulation moderates age trends in cognition there must be (a) a negative relation between age and level of cognitive stimulation, (b) a positive relation between level of cognitive stimulation and level of cognitive functioning, and (c) evidence of an interaction between age and cognitive stimulation in the prediction of cognitive functioning. These conditions were investigated in a study in which 204 adults between 20 and 91 years of age completed an activity inventory and performed a variety of cognitive tasks. Only the 1st condition received empirical support, and, thus, the results of this study provide little evidence for the hypothesis that cognitive stimulation preserves or enhances cognitive functioning that would otherwise decline.
Article
This study found that an intercohort decline in vocabulary at all or most educational levels in the United States in recent years was closely related to an intercohort decline in newspaper reading. The decline in newspaper reading, in turn, may have resulted largely from an increase in television watching, but other influences, such as those from women's increased participation in the labor force, seem to have been involved as well. Other types of reading apparently declined in tandem with newspaper reading, and thus differences in reading are the most promising explanation for differences in the verbal ability of the various cohorts.
Article
We searched MEDLINE (Ovid Technologies, 1966 to June 2004; English language) for terms describing physician experience (keywords: physician age, clinician age, physician experience, clinician experience), physician demographic characteristics (keywords: physician characteristics, clinician characteristics), practice variation (subject heading: physician's practice patterns), and performance in various domains (subject headings: clinical competence, health knowledge, attitudes and practice, outcomes assessment[health care]; keywords: knowledge, guideline adherence, appropriateness, outcomes). We retrieved potentially relevant articles and reviewed their reference lists to identify studies that our search strategy may have missed (Figure 1). We also searched our personal archives to identify additional studies. We included studies if they 1) were original reports providing empirical results; 2) measured knowledge, guideline adherence, mortality, or some other quality-of-care process or outcome; and 3) included years since graduation from medical school, years since certification, or physician age as a potential explanatory variable. We excluded studies if they described practice variation that is not known to affect quality of care (for example, assessed test-ordering behavior in clinical situations where optimal practice is unknown) or evaluated the performance of fewer than 20 physicians. For studies that examined several different end points, we included only those outcomes that are linked to knowledge or quality of care. We used a standardized data extraction form to obtain data on study design and relevant results. We categorized studies into 4 groups on the basis of whether they evaluated knowledge (for example, knowledge of indications for blood transfusion), adherence to standards of care for diagnosis, screening, or prevention (for example, adherence to preventive care guidelines), adherence to standards of care for therapy (for example, appropriate prescribing), or health outcomes (for example, mortality). We classified the results of each study into 6 groups on the basis of the nature of the association between length of time in practice or age and performance: consistently negative, partially negative, no effect, mixed effect, partially positive, and consistently positive. “Consistently negative” studies were those for which all reported outcomes demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in performance with increasing years in practice or age. “Partially negative” studies showed decreasing performance with increasing experience for some outcomes and no association for others. We used similar definitions for “consistently positive” and “partially positive” studies. “Concave” studies found performance to initially improve with years in practice or age, then peak, and subsequently decrease.
Article
Results from a study of 263 male players at 48 levels of expertise in the game of GO, and ranging from 18 to 78 years of age, suggest a need to revise the extended theory of fluid (Gf) and crystallized (Gc) intelligence to take account of continued development of intelligence throughout adulthood. The extended theory of Gf–Gc is based on evidence that Gf, short-term apprehension and retrieval (SAR) and cognitive speed (Gs), decline with age over adulthood. Results from a number of studies, however, suggest that within the domains of expertise, high levels of reasoning, feats of memory and speeded thinking similar to Gf are displayed by older adults. To explore this hypothesis, measures of reasoning, memory and cognitive speed were constructed within the domain of expertise related to playing the complex game of GO. Analysis of the structure of the GO-embedded measures and standard measures of Gf (SAR and Gs) indicated a form of short-term memory — labeled expertise working memory (EWM) — that had substantially wider span than the short-term working memory (STWM) of SAR. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that long-term working memory is built up during the course of developing high levels of expertise. The results also suggest that a form of expertise deductive reasoning (EDR), utilizing EWM and incorporating large stores of knowledge, is distinct from Gf. Expertise cognitive speed (ECS), however, was not found to be reliably distinct from the Gs factor. Analyses of cross-sectional age differences indicate an age-related decline in both EDR and EWM, but as higher levels of expertise are reached, age-related decline does not occur. To the extent that there is continued press to advance expertise throughout adulthood, there may be improvement, not decline, in the EDR and EWM forms of intelligence.
Article
Aging is associated with decline in a multitude of cognitive processes and brain functions. However, a growing body of literature suggests that age-related decline in cognition can sometimes be reduced through experience, cognitive training, and other interventions such as fitness training. Research on cognitive training and expertise has suggested that age-related cognitive sparing is often quite narrow, being observed only on tasks and skills similar to those on which individuals have been trained. Furthermore, training and expertise benefits are often realized only after extensive practice with specific training strategies. Like cognitive training, fitness training has narrow effects on cognitive processes, but in the case of fitness training, the most substantial effects are observed for executive-control processes.
Article
High intelligence has been claimed to ‘compensate’ age-related changes in intelligence and memory. In the present study, elderly eminent academics and young PhD students were compared to elderly and young manual workers. The subjects were required to complete both experimental and standard tests of intelligence and memory. Age differences were reduced in high ability subjects on tests of geometric and verbal analogies but not on tests of ‘ecologically valid’ problem solving and memory. Significant reductions in memory and cognitive performance in an elite elderly sample were confirmed.
Article
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the longitudinal change in (V) over dotO(2max) and HRmax in male and female master endurance runners and to compare these changes based upon gender, age, and change in training volume. Methods: Eighty-six male (53.9 +/- 1.1 yr) and 49 female (49.1 +/- 1.2 yr) master endurance runners were tested an average of 8.5 yr apart. Subjects were grouped by age at first visit, change in and change in training volume. Measurements included body composition by hydrostatic weighing, maximal exercise testing on a treadmill, and training history by questionnaire. Data were analyzed by ANOVA and multiple regression. Results: (V) over dotO(2max) and HRmax declined significantly regardless of gender or age group (P < 0.05). The rate of change in (V) over dotO(2max) by age group ranged from -1% to -4.6% per year for men and -0.5% to 2.4% per year for women. Men with the greatest loss in (V) over dotO(2max) had the greatest loss in LBM (-2.8 +/- 0.7 kg), whereas women with the greatest loss in (V) over dotO(2max) demonstrated the greatest change in training volume (-24.1 +/- 3.0 km.wk(-1)). Additionally, women with the greatest loss in (V) over dotO(2max) (-9.6 +/- 2.6 mL.kg(-1).min(-1)) did not replace estrogen after menopause independent of age. HRmax change did not differ by (V) over dotO(2max) change or training volume change in either gender. Conclusions: In conclusion, these data suggest that (V) over dotO(2max) declines in male and female master athletes at a rate similar to or greater than that expected in sedentary older adults. Additionally, these data suggest that maintenance of LBM and (V) over dotO(2max) were associated in men, whereas in women, estrogen replacement and maintenance of training volume were associated with maintained (V) over dotO(2max).
Article
Professors from the University of California at Berkeley were administered a 90-min rest battery of cognitive performance that included measures of reaction time, paired associate learning, working memory, and prose recall. Age effects among the professors were observed on tests of reaction time, paired-associate memory, and some aspects of working memory. Age effects were not observed on measures of proactive interference and prose recall, though age-related declines are generally observed in standard groups of elderly individuals. The findings suggest that age-related decrements in certain cognitive functions may be mitigated in intelligent, cognitively active individuals.
Article
The present report is derived from a community survey conducted in 19 villages of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. The population was entirely native-born. The technique involved the use of a free motion-picture performance and supplementary house-to-house visiting. Army Alpha tests were administered under one or the other of these two situations. In these ways data were collected on Army Alpha scores for 1191 subjects between the ages of 10 and 60 years of age. The developmental curve thus secured for the total Alpha test "may be summarized as involving linear growth to about 16 years, with a negative acceleration beyond 16 to a peak between the ages of 18 and 21. A decline follows which is much more gradual than the curve of growth but which by the age of 55 involves a recession to the 14 year level." The curves for sub-tests within the Alpha show important differences among themselves. The subjects from more rural districts made consistently lower scores than those from villages. A slight superiority of females over males was observed. A differential rate of growth (as between bright and dull adolescents) is found, but there seems to be no evidence for a differential duration of growth. The decline of ability beyond age 21 "is not due to errors of sampling" nor to "faulty administration of the Alpha" nor to "failure of motivation, remoteness of schooling, lack of understanding of directions, disproportion in attention to accuracy versus speed, lack of practice in the test functions, failing hearing or failing eyesight." In fact, "the information tests of the Alpha present an unfair advantage to those in the upper age brackets." A bibliography of 33 titles is appended. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The outgrowth of an earlier study, this investigation was intended to determine the abilities and achievements of adults who took collegiate courses offered through the general extension divisions of seven geographically separated state universities. From the results of general aptitude tests and examinations administered, and from interviews with extension directors and instructors, certain conclusions were developed. Extension students appeared to be socially, educationally, and economically selected. Their chief reason for enrolment was the hope of advancement in their work. They were approximately equal to regular university students in measured "intelligence" and reading. Within the group the women seemed to be more able than the men. Teaching problems related to extension courses are discussed. A final chapter reviews various studies of the relation of learning and "intelligence" to age, pointing toward the probability that differential decline in abilities may be attributable largely to use and disuse. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The influence of expertise and task factors on age differences in a simulated pilot–Air Traffic Control (ATC) communication task was examined. Young, middle-aged, and older pilots and nonpilots listened to ATC messages that described a route through an airspace, during which they referred to a chart of this airspace. Participants read back each message and then answered a probe question about the route. It was found that pilots read back messages more accurately than nonpilots, and younger participants were more accurate than older participants. Age differences were not reduced for pilots. Pilots and younger participants also answered probes more accurately, suggesting that they were better able to interpret the ATC messages in terms of the chart in order to create a situation model of the flight. The findings suggest that expertise benefits occur for adults of all ages. High levels of flying experience among older pilots (as compared with younger pilots) helped to buffer age-related declines in cognitive resources, thus providing evidence for the mediating effects of experience on age differences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The authors respond to issues raised about data from the Victoria Longitudinal Study and further explain concerns regarding evidence for the engagement hypothesis. Discussion focuses on the use of social stratification variables such as occupational prestige and educational attainment as measures of an engaged lifestyle. It is argued that (a) tests of the hypothesis should focus on the relationship of behaviors and activities thought to be proximal beneficial influences on adult cognitive development; (b) persuasive evidence for engagement effects from existing data require demonstration of effects of intellectual activities that are statistically independent of associations of social status with intellectual and cognitive development; and (c) currently available longitudinal data do not provide definitive evidence regarding the benefits of an engaged lifestyle on cognitive change. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The need for a psychology of maturity is stressed. There is a necessary association of life with age, but until recently the earlier ages have been mainly stressed, to the exclusion of maturity, later maturity and senescence. Certain special obstacles exist, as the securing of representative subjects, the necessity of relying on single samples of performance, and the selection of mental processes to be studied. The author gives the results of the Stanford Later Maturity Study, begun in 1930 and continued in 1932, in the earlier part of which 863 persons were used, 335 males and 528 females, age range from 6 to 95 years; and in the later, 1600 persons, 800 of each sex. Each subject was tested individually for four consecutive half-hour sessions. The functions tested were perception, motion, memory, imagination, the capacities for comparing, combining and abstracting, and affects, attitudes, and interests. The age groups were: 10-17 years; 18-29; 30-49; 50-69; 70-89. (1) Visual acuity declines consistently from 100 in the teens to 46 in old age, while perceptual span rises to late adolescence, then declines slightly to 60 and rapidly thereafter; (2) motor abilities fare better than commonly thought, declining to about 70% of the maximum, which is reached between 20 and 30 years of age; (3) memory is at a maximum in the 18-29 period and declines to 55; imagination, as tested by the Rorschach figures, is relatively stable; (4) comparison and judgment decline very slightly; and (5) combination and abstraction, as found in intelligence tests, show more decline in speed of response than in accuracy. It is the abilities that rest close to the physiological which decline most and mature earliest. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This book presents a survey of the literature and a mass of new data on quantitative and qualitative changes in learning ability between the ages of about fifteen and forty-five. The experimental work consisted of the following items: measuring the progress of Sing Sing prisoners who were taking subjects in the prison school; testing the learning ability of prisoners on number-letter substitution and on addition; testing university students on ability to learn to write with the wrong hand and on ability to learn Esperanto; measuring the progress of pupils in evening high schools; measuring the progress of pupils taking typewriting and shorthand in secretarial schools. Nearly all data from the experiments show a maximum at twenty to twenty-four years and a gradual drop from that time on. The results are made comparable by calculating, for each experiment, the percentage which the gain in learning by the subjects thirty-five years of age or over is of the gain by the subjects twenty to twenty-four years of age. Testimony gathered from 99 persons shows that almost anything is learnable up to the age of fifty or later and that most people expect greater increase in difficulty for some kinds of learning than for others as age advances. Older people show slightly less aptitude in dealing with novel tests than young ones. In discussing practical applications, the relative advantages of learning in childhood and adulthood are listed. Loss in learning ability with age is often compensated for by added incentives, better selection of material, and other factors. Many charts and tables supplement the text. Over one-third of the book is devoted to appendices which present the data in detail. There is a bibliography of about 65 titles. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Data from 33 separate studies were combined to create an aggregate data set consisting of 16 cognitive variables and 6832 different individuals who ranged between 18 and 95 years of age. Analyses were conducted to determine where in a hierarchical structure of cognitive abilities individual differences associated with age, gender, education, and self-reported health could be localized. The results indicated that each type of individual difference characteristic exhibited a different pattern of influences within the hierarchical structure, and that aging was associated with four statistically distinct influences; negative influences on a second-order common factor and on first-order speed and memory factors, and a positive influence on a first-order vocabulary factor.
Article
The Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) trial is a randomized, controlled, single-masked trial designed to determine whether cognitive training interventions (memory, reasoning, and speed of information processing), which have previously been found to be successful at improving mental abilities under laboratory or small-scale field conditions, can affect cognitively based measures of daily functioning. Enrollment began during 1998; 2-year follow-up will be completed by January 2002. Primary outcomes focus on measures of cognitively demanding everyday functioning, including financial management, food preparation, medication use, and driving. Secondary outcomes include health-related quality of life, mobility, and health-service utilization. Trial participants (n = 2832) are aged 65 and over, and at entry into the trial, did not have significant cognitive, physical, or functional decline. Because of its size and the carefully developed rigor, ACTIVE may serve as a guide for future behavioral medicine trials of this nature. Control Clin Trials 2001; 22:453–479 Published by Elsevier Science Inc. 2001
Article
In a 5-year longitudinal study, elderly eminent academics were compared with elderly bluecollar workers on tests of intelligence and memory. Both blue-collar workers and academics deteriorated on non-verbal tasks. Their rate of decline did not differ. Contrary to expectations, blue-collar workers improved while academics deteriorated on a test of verbal reasoning. Moreover, a greater ‘proportion’ of the academics deteriorated on Similarities and the National Adult Reading Test (NART). In a crosssectional analysis, the performance of the academics was compared with that of young Ph.D. students. With the exception of the NART, stem completion and figure reproduction, the mean scores of the academics were dramatically lower than that of the Ph.D. students. A few individuals performed above the mean level of Ph.D. students on each test but no individual performed above the mean on more than two of the four main tasks. Problems of regression to the mean, differential survival effects and sample size were addressed. Two conclusions were drawn: high ability is not associated with slower rates of decline and cognitive deterioration is universal on tests of non-verbal intelligence.
Article
A meta-analysis was performed on the published research literature comparing younger and older adults on their learning and retention of text. A total of 194 studies were located, and 1385 effect sizes were computed. Statistical tests then were performed on subclassifications of variables that were hypothesized to be associated with age differences. A statistically significant age deficit was evident in all comparisons and subclassifications. However, the size of the age difference varied as a function of the nature of the learners being compared, the nature of the text passages, the instructions provided to learners, procedural variables at the time of presentation of the texts, procedural variables at the time of testing, and the nature of the scoring procedures.