Costa, P T; Fozard, J L; McCrae, R R; Bosśe, R
The relation between three cognitive ability factors - Information Processing Ability (IPA), Manual Dexterity (MD), and Pattern Analysis Capability (PAC) - and three personality dimensions - Anxiety, Extraversion, and Openness to Experience - were examined in three age groups. Subjects were 969 male volunteers ranging in age from 25 to 82. Subjects high in anixety scored lower on all three cognitive factors; subjects open to experience scored higher on IPA and PAC; and introverted subjects scored higher on PAC. Most of these effects remained when the education and socio-economic status were held constant in covariance analyses. Older subjects performed less well than younger ones on MD and PAC, but not on IPA. While personality has some influence on cognitive performance, the declines with age in performance on some cognitive tasks are not mediated by personality.
Germine, Laura T.; Duchaine, Bradley; Nakayama, Ken
Research on age-related cognitive change traditionally focuses on either development or aging, where development ends with adulthood and aging begins around 55 years. This approach ignores age-related changes during the 35 years in-between, implying that this period is uninformative. Here we investigated face recognition as an ability that may…
In order to gain a greater understanding of the intellectual strengths and weaknesses of the young child, a test was developed (for which data collection is ongoing) to investigate a broad range of cognitive skills in the three- to five-year age range. The test covers skills within four main spheres--cognitively Directed Perception, Concepts and…
Kokis, Judite V.; Macpherson, Robyn; Toplak, Maggie E.; West, Richard F.; Stanovich, Keith E.
Examined developmental and individual differences in tendencies to favor analytic over heuristic responses in three tasks (inductive reasoning, deduction under belief bias conditions, probabilistic reasoning) in children varying in age and cognitive ability. Found significant increases in analytic responding with development on first two tasks.…
Keith, Timothy Z.; Reynolds, Matthew R.; Roberts, Lisa G.; Winter, Amanda L.; Austin, Cynthia A.
Sex differences in the latent general and broad cognitive abilities underlying the Differential Ability Scales, Second Edition were investigated for children and youth ages 5 through 17. Multi-group mean and covariance structural equation modeling was used to investigate sex differences in latent cognitive abilities as well as changes in these…
Köstering, Lena; Stahl, Christoph; Leonhart, Rainer; Weiller, Cornelius; Kaller, Christoph P.
In line with the frontal hypothesis of aging, the ability to plan ahead undergoes substantial change during normal aging. Although impairments on the Tower of London planning task were reported earlier, associations between age-related declines and specific cognitive demands on planning have not been studied. Here we investigated the impact of…
Gazes, Yunglin; Bowman, F. DuBois; Razlighi, Qolamreza R.; O’Shea, Deirdre; Stern, Yaakov; Habeck, Christian
Previous studies investigating the relationship of white matter (WM) integrity to cognitive abilities and aging and have either focused on a global measure or a few selected WM tracts. Ideally, contribution from all of the WM tracts should be evaluated at the same time. However, the high collinearity among WM tracts precludes systematic examination of WM tracts simultaneously without sacrificing statistical power due to stringent multiple-comparison corrections. Multivariate covariance techniques enable comprehensive simultaneous examination of all WM tracts without being penalized for high collinearity among observations. Method In this study, Scaled Subprofile Modeling (SSM) was applied to the mean integrity of 18 major WM tracts to extract covariance patterns that optimally predicted four cognitive abilities (perceptual speed, episodic memory, fluid reasoning, and vocabulary) in 346 participants across ages 20 to 79 years old. Using expression of the covariance patterns, age-independent effects of white matter integrity on cognition and the indirect effect of WM integrity on age-related differences in cognition were tested separately, but inferences from the indirect analyses were cautiously made given cross-sectional data set was used in the analysis. Results A separate covariance pattern was identified that significantly predicted each cognitive ability after controlling for age except for vocabulary, but Age by WM covariance pattern interactions were not significant for any of the three abilities. Furthermore, each of the patterns mediated the effect of age on the respective cognitive ability. A distinct set of WM tracts was most influential in each of the three patterns. The WM covariance pattern accounting for fluid reasoning showed the most number of influential WM tracts whereas the episodic memory pattern showed the least number. Conclusion Specific patterns of WM tracts make significant contributions to the age-related differences in perceptual speed
Raz, Naftali; And Others
The relationship between brain asymmetry and age-related differences in cognitive abilities was examined for 29 adults aged 18 to 78 years using magnetic resonance imagery (MRI). Brain and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex size correlated positively with fluid intelligence but did not add to the fluid intelligence variance explained by age alone.…
Zelanti, Pierre S.; Droit-Volet, Sylvie
The current study investigated how the development of cognitive abilities explains the age-related changes in temporal judgment over short and long duration ranges from 0.5 to 30 s. Children (5- and 9-year-olds) as well as adults were given a temporal bisection task with four different duration ranges: a duration range shorter than 1 s, two…
Rudasill, Kathleen Moritz; Adelson, Jill L.; Callahan, Carolyn M.; Houlihan, Deanna Vogt; Keizer, Benjamin M.
Children whose parents are warm and responsive yet also set limits and have reasonable expectations for their children tend to have better outcomes than their peers whose parents show less warmth and responsiveness, have low expectations, or both. Parenting behavior is related to family race and children's sex, age, and cognitive ability. However,…
Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Strait, Dana L; Anderson, Samira; Hittner, Emily; Kraus, Nina
Much of our daily communication occurs in the presence of background noise, compromising our ability to hear. While understanding speech in noise is a challenge for everyone, it becomes increasingly difficult as we age. Although aging is generally accompanied by hearing loss, this perceptual decline cannot fully account for the difficulties experienced by older adults for hearing in noise. Decreased cognitive skills concurrent with reduced perceptual acuity are thought to contribute to the difficulty older adults experience understanding speech in noise. Given that musical experience positively impacts speech perception in noise in young adults (ages 18-30), we asked whether musical experience benefits an older cohort of musicians (ages 45-65), potentially offsetting the age-related decline in speech-in-noise perceptual abilities and associated cognitive function (i.e., working memory). Consistent with performance in young adults, older musicians demonstrated enhanced speech-in-noise perception relative to nonmusicians along with greater auditory, but not visual, working memory capacity. By demonstrating that speech-in-noise perception and related cognitive function are enhanced in older musicians, our results imply that musical training may reduce the impact of age-related auditory decline.
Tye-Murray, Nancy; Hale, Sandra; Spehar, Brent; Myerson, Joel; Sommers, Mitchell S.
Purpose: The study addressed three research questions: Does lipreading improve between the ages of 7 and 14 years? Does hearing loss affect the development of lipreading? How do individual differences in lipreading relate to other abilities? Method: Forty children with normal hearing (NH) and 24 with hearing loss (HL) were tested using 4…
Finn, Diana Baker
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of specific cognitive abilities and reading comprehension across a variety of norm referenced tests that align with Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory of cognitive abilities and integrative models of reading. Data from existing studies was analyzed by comparing the relationships of four…
Tucker-Drob, Elliot M.; Reynolds, Chandra A.; Finkel, Deborah; Pedersen, Nancy L.
Aging-related declines occur in many different domains of cognitive function during middle and late adulthood. However, whether a global dimension underlies individual differences in changes in different domains of cognition and whether global genetic influences on cognitive changes exist is less clear. We addressed these issues by applying…
Potharst, Eva S.; Houtzager, Bregje A.; van Sonderen, Loekie; Tamminga, Pieter; Kok, Joke H.; Last, Bob F.; van Wassenaer, Aleid G.
Aim: This study investigated prediction of separate cognitive abilities at the age of 5 years by cognitive development at the ages of both 2 and 3 years, and the agreement between these measurements, in very preterm children. Methods: Preterm children (n=102; 44 males; 58 females) with a gestational age less than 30 weeks and/or birthweight less…
Taylor, Adele M.; MacGillivray, Thomas J.; Henderson, Ross D.; Ilzina, Lasma; Dhillon, Baljean; Starr, John M.; Deary, Ian J.
Purpose Cerebral microvascular disease is associated with dementia. Differences in the topography of the retinal vascular network may be a marker for cerebrovascular disease. The association between cerebral microvascular state and non-pathological cognitive ageing is less clear, particularly because studies are rarely able to adjust for pre-morbid cognitive ability level. We measured retinal vascular fractal dimension (Df) as a potential marker of cerebral microvascular disease. We examined the extent to which it contributes to differences in non-pathological cognitive ability in old age, after adjusting for childhood mental ability. Methods Participants from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 Study (LBC1936) had cognitive ability assessments and retinal photographs taken of both eyes aged around 73 years (n = 648). IQ scores were available from childhood. Retinal vascular Df was calculated with monofractal and multifractal analysis, performed on custom-written software. Multiple regression models were applied to determine associations between retinal vascular Df and general cognitive ability (g), processing speed, and memory. Results Only three out of 24 comparisons (two eyes × four Df parameters × three cognitive measures) were found to be significant. This is little more than would be expected by chance. No single association was verified by an equivalent association in the contralateral eye. Conclusions The results show little evidence that fractal measures of retinal vascular differences are associated with non-pathological cognitive ageing. PMID:25816017
Corley, Janie; Gow, Alan J; Starr, John M; Deary, Ian J
We tested the hypothesis that the previously reported association between a higher body mass index (BMI) and poorer cognition in later adulthood is an artifact of confounding by previous cognitive ability and socioeconomic status. Participants were 1,079 adults aged about 70 years in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 Study, on whom there are IQ data from age 11. Cognitive outcome measures included: IQ at age 70 using the same test that was administered at age 11; composite measures of general cognitive ability (g factor), speed of information processing, and memory; and two tests of verbal ability. People classified as overweight or obese in later adulthood had significantly lower scores on tests of childhood IQ, age 70 IQ, g factor, and verbal ability. There was no significant association with processing speed or memory performance. After adjusting for childhood IQ and social class in general linear models, associations with age 70 IQ and g factor were nonsignificant or attenuated. However, throughout the models, there was a persistent (inverse) relationship between BMI and performance on the National Adult Reading Test (NART) and Wechsler Test of Adult Reading (WTAR), which remained significant after full adjustment for all sociodemographic and health covariates (for the NART, p = .025; for the WTAR, p = .011). The findings suggest that the previously reported BMI-cognition associations in later adulthood could be largely accounted for by prior ability and socioeconomic status, and by the possible influence of these factors on the adoption of health behaviors in adulthood.
Chieffo, Daniela; Brogna, Claudia; Berardinelli, Angela; D’Angelo, Grazia; Mallardi, Maria; D’Amico, Adele; Alfieri, Paolo; Mercuri, Eugenio; Pane, Marika
Objective Neurodevelopmental and cognitive difficulties are known to occur frequently in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy but so far none of the published studies have reported both early neurodevelopmental assessments and cognitive tests in the same cohort. The aim of the present longitudinal study was to establish the correlation between early neurodevelopmental assessments performed in preschool boys and the cognitive scales performed at school age or later. Methods We performed cognitive tests at school age (mean age 5.7 year ±1.7 SD) (69 months+19 SD) in a cohort of Duchenne boys, previously assessed using the Griffiths scales before the age of 4 years (mean age when the Griffiths scales were performed 30 months ±8.9 SD). Results The range of total Developmental quotients on the Griffiths ranged between 56 and 116 (mean 89 ± 15.6 SD). The total Intelligence Quotients on the Wechsler scales ranged between 35 and 119 (mean 87 ± 17.2 SD). There was a significant correlation between the findings on the two scales. P = <0.0001. When we subdivided the cohort according to site of mutations, there was a difference between boys with mutations upstream exon 44 and those with mutations in exon 44–45 affecting Dp140 on both Developmental and Intelligence Quotient (p 0.01 and p 0,003 respectively). Conclusions Our results confirm that Duchenne boys tend to slightly underperform on both neurodevelopmental and cognitive assessments. Early neurodevelopmental findings correlated with the cognitive results obtained at school age with a clear concordance between subscales exploring similar domains on the two scales. PMID:26275215
Edmonds, Caroline J.; Isaacs, Elizabeth B.; Visscher, Peter M.; Rogers, Mary; Lanigan, Julie; Singhal, Atul; Lucas, Alan; Gringras, Paul; Denton, Jane; Deary, Ian J.
We studied the age-related differences in inspection time and multiple cognitive domains in a group of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins aged 7 to 17 years. Data from 111 twin pairs and 19 singleton siblings were included. We found clear age-related trends towards more efficient visual information processing in older participants. There…
Conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated. The evidence is based on 1254 community college students and 1600 foreign students seeking entry to United States' universities. At the individual level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores. At the national level of…
Ska, Bernadette; Joanette, Yves
It is now well documented that normal aging modifies the cognitive functioning and most observations suggest that cognition evolves in the direction of deterioration. The more frequently impaired functions are memory, attention and visual-spatial abilities. On the other hand, some abilities seem to increase, such as vocabulary. Considering the aging effect on cognition, questions remain regarding directionality, universality and reversibility. A great variability in aged related impacts is observed among subjects and among cognitive domains. Some individuals evolved more rapidly than others. Some cognitive functions are more affected by aging than others. General and specific factors are hypothesized to explain the aged related cognitive decline. Among them, educational level, health, cognitive style, life style, personality, are likely to modulate the aged related cognitive evolution by influencing attentional resources and cerebral plasticity. Cognitive resources are essential to develop adaptative strategies. During the life span, resources are activated and increased by learning and training. Considering the role of cognitive resources, successful aging is dependent on several conditions : absence of disease leading to a loss of autonomy, maintenance of cognitive and physical activities, and active and social engaged lifestyle.
Rabaglia, Cristina D.; Salthouse, Timothy A.
Although it is often claimed that verbal abilities are relatively well maintained across the adult lifespan, certain aspects of language production have been found to exhibit cross-sectional differences and longitudinal declines. In the current project age-related differences in controlled and naturalistic elicited language production tasks were…
Giovagnoli, A R; Raglio, A
Playing music may involve different cognitive domains, but previous studies of musicians and patients with brain lesions have reported inconsistent associations between music performances and other cognitive functions. Fine musical performance may be associated with high executive and control functions. 21 skilled musicians and 21 age- and education-matched healthy controls with no specific musical competence were compared on attentive, executive, linguistic, perceptual, praxic, memory, and theory of mind functions, using standardized neuropsychological tests. No differences between the musicians and controls, music composers and performers, or between soloists or orchestral players were observed. In musicians, there was no correlation between the test scores and amount of music education. Findings based on these musician groups, carefully evaluated, suggest further exploration of associations of distinct components of music comprehension and expression with different cognitive functions and behavioral aspects.
Pangelinan, Melissa M; Zhang, Guangyu; VanMeter, John W; Clark, Jane E; Hatfield, Bradley D; Haufler, Amy J
There is growing evidence that cognitive and motor functions are interrelated and may rely on the development of the same cortical and subcortical neural structures. However, no study to date has examined the relationships between brain volume, cognitive ability, and motor ability in typically developing children. The NIH MRI Study of Normal Brain Development consists of a large, longitudinal database of structural MRI and performance measures from a battery of neuropsychological assessments from typically developing children. This dataset provides a unique opportunity to examine relationships between the brain and cognitive-motor abilities. A secondary analysis was conducted on data from 172 children between the ages of 6 to 13 years with up to 2 measurement occasions (initial testing and 2-year follow-up). Linear mixed effects modeling was employed to account for age and gender effects on the development of specific cortical and subcortical volumes as well as behavioral performance measures of interest. Above and beyond the effects of age and gender, significant relationships were found between general cognitive ability (IQ) and the volume of subcortical brain structures (cerebellum and caudate) as well as spatial working memory and the putamen. In addition, IQ was found to be related to global and frontal gray matter volume as well as parietal gray and white matter. At the behavioral level, general cognitive ability was also found to be related to visuomotor ability (pegboard) and executive function (spatial working memory). These results support the notion that cognition and motor skills may be fundamentally interrelated at both the levels of behavior and brain structure.
Pangelinan, Melissa M.; Zhang, Guangyu; VanMeter, John W.; Clark, Jane E.; Hatfield, Bradley D.; Haufler, Amy J.
There is growing evidence that cognitive and motor functions are interrelated and may rely on the development of the same cortical and subcortical neural structures. However, no study to date has examined the relationships between brain volume, cognitive ability, and motor ability in typically developing children. The NIH MRI Study of Normal Brain Development consists of a large, longitudinal database of structural MRI and performance measures from a battery of neuropsychological assessments from typically developing children. This dataset provides a unique opportunity to examine relationships between the brain and cognitive-motor abilities. A secondary analysis was conducted on data from 172 children between the ages of 6 to 13 years with up to 2 measurement occasions (initial testing and 2-year follow-up). Linear mixed effects modeling was employed to account for age and gender effects on the development of specific cortical and subcortical volumes as well as behavioral performance measures of interest. Above and beyond the effects of age and gender, significant relationships were found between general cognitive ability (IQ) and the volume of subcortical brain structures (cerebellum and caudate) as well as spatial working memory and the putamen. In addition, IQ was found to be related to global and frontal gray matter volume as well as parietal gray and white matter. At the behavioral level, general cognitive ability was also found to be related to visuomotor ability (pegboard) and executive function (spatial working memory). These results support the notion that cognition and motor skills may be fundamentally interrelated at both the levels of behavior and brain structure. PMID:21078402
Franz, Carol E.; Spoon, Kelly; Thompson, Wesley; Hauger, Richard L.; Hellhammer, Dirk H.; Jacobson, Kristen C.; Lupien, Sonia; Lyons, Michael J.; McCaffery, Jeanne; McKenzie, Ruth; Mendoza, Sally P.; Panizzon, Matthew S.; Ramundo, Ana; Shahroudi, Afrand; Kremen, William S.
Summary In this longitudinal study we investigate the influence of childhood disadvantage on midlife hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation. Two mechanisms by which early life stress may affect later pathophysiology are through its influence on cognitive functioning or later socioeconomic (SES) disadvantage. We predicted that individual differences in young adult cognitive ability and midlife SES would mediate the influence of childhood disadvantage on midlife cortisol. On each of three nonconsecutive days, participants provided five salivary cortisol samples corresponding to their diurnal rhythm (N = 727 men; mean age 55, SD = 2.6). We calculated three measures of cortisol regulation (area-under-the curve cortisol reflecting total daytime cortisol output; cortisol-awakening-response; and wake-to-bed slope), averaging scores for each measure across multiple days. Childhood disadvantage combined four dichotomous indicators used previously by Rutter (1985): father low SES; mother education less than 12th grade; major family disruption/separation before age 18; and large family size (more than 5 siblings). The two mediators were a measure of general cognitive ability assessed at age 20 and highest achieved midlife SES. Men from more disadvantaged childhoods were significantly more likely to have dysregulated cortisol at midlife, with higher daytime cortisol levels decades after their childhood experience. Effects of childhood disadvantage were both direct and indirect. Cognitive ability and adult SES, however, only partially mediated the associations between early life stress and midlife cortisol. Specific indirect effects accounted for 33.8% of the total effect of childhood disadvantage [β = 0.12 (0.05; 0.18)] on total daytime cortisol. Associations remained significant after accounting for ethnicity, smoking status, and self-reported depressive symptoms. PMID:23684478
Franz, Carol E; Spoon, Kelly; Thompson, Wesley; Hauger, Richard L; Hellhammer, Dirk H; Jacobson, Kristen C; Lupien, Sonia; Lyons, Michael J; McCaffery, Jeanne; McKenzie, Ruth; Mendoza, Sally P; Panizzon, Matthew S; Ramundo, Ana; Shahroudi, Afrand; Kremen, William S
In this longitudinal study we investigate the influence of childhood disadvantage on midlife hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation. Two mechanisms by which early life stress may affect later pathophysiology are through its influence on cognitive functioning or later socioeconomic (SES) disadvantage. We predicted that individual differences in young adult cognitive ability and midlife SES would mediate the influence of childhood disadvantage on midlife cortisol. On each of three nonconsecutive days, participants provided five salivary cortisol samples corresponding to their diurnal rhythm (N=727 men; mean age 55, SD=2.6). We calculated three measures of cortisol regulation (area-under-the curve cortisol reflecting total daytime cortisol output; cortisol-awakening-response; and wake-to-bed slope), averaging scores for each measure across multiple days. Childhood disadvantage combined four dichotomous indicators used previously by Rutter (1985): father low SES; mother education less than 12th grade; major family disruption/separation before age 18; and large family size (more than 5 siblings). The two mediators were a measure of general cognitive ability assessed at age 20 and highest achieved midlife SES. Men from more disadvantaged childhoods were significantly more likely to have dysregulated cortisol at midlife, with higher daytime cortisol levels decades after their childhood experience. Effects of childhood disadvantage were both direct and indirect. Cognitive ability and adult SES, however, only partially mediated the associations between early life stress and midlife cortisol. Specific indirect effects accounted for 33.8% of the total effect of childhood disadvantage [β=0.12 (0.05; 0.18)] on total daytime cortisol. Associations remained significant after accounting for ethnicity, smoking status, and self-reported depressive symptoms.
Matzel, Louis D.; Grossman, Henya; Light, Kenneth; Townsend, David; Kolata, Stefan
A defining characteristic of age-related cognitive decline is a deficit in general cognitive performance. Here we use a testing and analysis regimen that allows us to characterize the general learning abilities of young (3-5 mo old) and aged (19-21 mo old) male and female Balb/C mice. Animals' performance was assessed on a battery of seven diverse…
Orbach, Israel; And Others
Findings indicate a main effect of age, anxiety, and cognition on the conception of animal and human death. Human death scores were higher than animal death scores. Anxiety had a stranger impact on cognitively high subjects than on cognitively low subjects. Cognition affected the animal death concept more than the human death concept. (Author/RH)
Mayo, Jessica; Chlebowski, Colby; Fein, Deborah A.; Eigsti, Inge-Marie
Acquiring useful language by age 5 has been identified as a strong predictor of positive outcomes in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This study examined the relationship between age of language acquisition and later functioning in children with ASD (n = 119). First word acquisition at a range of ages was probed for its…
Data from the national standardization of the French version of the WISC-III were analyzed to determine when during childhood the IQ-related process of differentiation appears and how the strength of the relationships among subtests evolves with age in low- and high-IQ groups. Indeed, some recent studies suggest that age might moderate the effect…
Whedon, Margaret; Perry, Nicole B.; Calkins, Susan D.; Bell, Martha Ann
Theoretical perspectives of cognitive development have maintained that functional integration of the prefrontal cortex across infancy underlies the emergence of attentional control and higher cognitive abilities in early childhood. To investigate these proposed relations, we tested whether functional integration of prefrontal regions across the…
Hamilton, Gillian; Harris, Sarah E; Davies, Gail; Liewald, David C; Tenesa, Albert; Payton, Antony; Horan, Michael A; Ollier, William E R; Pendleton, Neil; Starr, John M; Porteous, David; Deary, Ian J
The β-amyloid peptide may play a central role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. We have evaluated variants in seven Aβ-degrading genes (ACE, ECE1, ECE2, IDE, MME, PLAU, and TF) for association with AD risk in the Genetic and Environmental Risk in Alzheimer's Disease Consortium 1 (GERAD1) cohort, and with three cognitive phenotypes in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (LBC1936), using 128 and 121 SNPs, respectively. In GERAD1, we identified a significant association between a four-SNP intragenic ECE1 haplotype and risk of AD in individuals that carried at least one APOE ε4 allele (P = 0.00035, odds ratio = 1.61). In LBC1936, we identified a significant association between a different two-SNP ECE1 intragenic haplotype and non-verbal reasoning in individuals lacking the APOE ε4 allele (P = 0.00036, β = -0.19). Both results showed a trend towards significance after permutation (0.05 < P < 0.10). A follow-up cognitive genetic study evaluated the association of ECE1 SNPs in three additional cohorts of non-demented older people. Meta-analysis of the four cohorts identified the significant association (Z < 0.05) of SNPs in the ECE-1b promoter with non-verbal reasoning scores, particularly in individuals lacking the APOE ε4 allele. Our genetic findings are not wholly consistent. Nonetheless, the AD associated intronic haplotype is linked to the 338A variant of known ECE1b promoter variant, 338C>A (rs213045). We observed significantly less expression from the 338A variant in two human neuroblastoma cell lines and speculate that this promoter may be subject to tissue-specific regulation.
Murray, Catherine; Johnson, Wendy; Wolf, Michael S.; Deary, Ian J.
Three hundred and four participants in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 study took a validated IQ-type test at age 11 years and a battery of cognitive tests at age 70 years. Three tests of health literacy were completed at age 72 years; the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM), the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults…
Cormier, Damien C.; Bulut, Okan; McGrew, Kevin S.; Frison, Jessica
Writing is a complex academic task--it involves numerous mental processes. Given the necessity for developing writing skills from elementary to secondary school, this study aimed to investigate the role of broad cognitive abilities derived from the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory of intelligence in predicting skills associated with writing…
The sustained use of two languages by bilinguals has been shown to induce broad changes in language and cognitive abilities across the lifespan. The largest changes are seen as advantages in executive control, a set of processes responsible for controlled attention, inhibition, and shifting. Moreover, there is evidence that these executive control advantages mitigate cognitive decline in older age and contribute to cognitive reserve. In this paper, we examine some of the evidence for these findings and explain their relation to bilingual language use. These effects are considered in terms of their implications for our understanding of cognitive and brain plasticity. Some implications for social policy are discussed. PMID:25435805
Taub, Gordon E.; McGrew, Kevin S.
Establishing an instrument's factorial invariance provides the empirical foundation to compare an individual's score across time or to examine the pattern of correlations between variables in differentiated age groups. In the recently published Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability (WJ COG) and Achievement (WJ ACH) Third Edition (III) the…
Katz, Mindy J.; Lai, Jennifer Y.; Zimmerman, Molly E.; Bitzer, Markus; Lipton, Richard B.
Background. The relationships between renal function and specific domains of cognitive function have rarely been explored in representative, community-based samples of older adults. We assessed the association between renal and cognitive function based on an extensive battery of neurocognitive tests. Methods. In a sample of Einstein Aging Study participants (n = 649, age = 70+ years) we calculated estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration formula. We predefined three groups based on eGFR units of mL/min/1.73 m2 as low (<45), medium (45–59), and high (≥60). Thirteen neurocognitive tests were subjected to principle component analysis revealing three components: a global component, an episodic memory component, and a frontal-executive component. We first examined the relationship of eGFR group to cognitive performance in each domain and then examined subtests for the domains which proved to be statistically significant. Results. The sample (mean = 79.2, 61% = female) was distributed among eGFR categories as follows: low (n = 67), medium (n = 151), and high (n = 431). The frontal-executive domain was significantly associated with poor cognitive performance in the low eGFR group (p <.001). When we examined the neuropsychological test components for frontal-executive domain, performance was lower on two of four contributing tests (Trail Making Test Part B and the Digit Symbol Substitution test). Other domains of cognitive function were not associated with eGFR. Conclusions. Low eGFR is associated with reduced performance on executive function. Individuals with poor renal function should be assessed for cognitive impairment. Potential mechanisms are discussed. PMID:25394616
Viezel, Kathleen D.; Freer, Benjamin D.; Lowell, Ari; Castillo, Jenean A.
School psychologists should be aware of developmental risk factors for children who have been abused or neglected. The present study used the "Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition" to examine the cognitive abilities of 120 children in foster care subsequent to maltreatment. Results indicated that, compared to a…
Ihle, Andreas; Oris, Michel; Fagot, Delphine; Chicherio, Christian; van der Linden, Bernadette W A; Sauter, Julia; Kliegel, Matthias
We investigated whether the relation of educational attainment and cognitive level of job to performance in verbal ability and processing speed in old age was mediated via the number of chronic diseases. A total of 2,812 older adults participated. Psychometric tests on verbal ability and processing speed were administered. Individuals were interviewed regarding their education, midlife occupation, and chronic diseases in old age. Higher educational attainment and higher cognitive level of job were correlated with better performance in verbal ability and processing speed (.15 ≤ r ≤ .33, ps < .001). 1.4 to 7.3% of these relations was mediated via the number of chronic diseases (β = .01, ps < .026). In conclusion, individuals with higher educational attainment and higher cognitive level of job may possibly suffer from fewer chronic diseases later in life. Possibly, this may finally be related to better performance in verbal ability and processing speed in those individuals in old age.
Kaufman, Alan S.; Johnson, Cheryl K.; Liu, Xin
Age differences for nine age groups between 22 and 25 years and 81 and 90 years were evaluated, covarying educational attainment, on five Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) abilities: fluid reasoning (Gf), crystallized ability (Gc), quantitative knowledge (Gq), reading (Grw-Reading), and writing (Grw-Writing). Data were from the adult portions of the…
Hernandez, Amanda Martinez; Caçola, Priscila
Research has shown links between motor proficiency and cognition in school-age children, however, few have explored earlier ages. We aimed to determine the association between motor proficiency and cognitive ability in four-year-olds. Motor and cognitive skills were examined in 32 (15 males, 17 females) four-year-olds (±5.59 months) using the…
Dietrich, K.N.; Succop, P.A.; Berger, O.G.; Keith, R.W. )
This analysis examined the relationship between lead exposure as registered in whole blood (PbB) and the central auditory processing abilities and cognitive developmental status of the Cincinnati cohort (N = 259) at age 5 years. Although the effects were small, higher prenatal, neonatal, and postnatal PbB levels were associated with poorer central auditory processing abilities on the Filtered Word Subtest of the SCAN (a screening test for auditory processing disorders). Higher postnatal PbB levels were associated with poorer performance on all cognitive developmental subscales of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC). However, following adjustment for measures of the home environment and maternal intelligence, few statistically or near statistically significant associations remained. Our findings are discussed in the context of the related issues of confounding and the detection of weak associations in high risk populations.
Frisk, Virginia; Amsel, Rhonda; Whyte, Hilary E A
This study evaluated the effects of head growth compromise beginning in utero and continuing, in some cases, through the first 9 months of life on the cognitive and literacy skills of school-age small-for-gestational-age (SGA) children. Seventy-one SGA children, aged 7 to 9 years (gestational ages, 24-41 weeks) and 16 full-term appropriate-for-gestational-age control children of comparable socioeconomic backgrounds and age at testing completed tests assessing intelligence, receptive language, working memory, problem solving, visual-motor integration, phonological awareness, reading, and spelling. SGA children were subdivided into head-growth pattern groups based on their head circumference at birth and at 9 months postterm. Analyses showed that SGA children with poor prenatal and postnatal head growth had the worst outcomes, followed by those with prenatal brain compromise, but good postnatal head growth. SGA children with preserved head growth in utero as well as good head growth after birth demonstrated the best outcomes, although spelling skills were deficient relative to full-term peers. The Verbal and Full Scale IQ ratings of the SGA children who had experienced brain compromise in utero declined significantly from 5 to 8 years of age. We conclude that mild intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) has a minimal effect on the development of cognitive or academic abilities, providing that brain growth in utero is not affected. IUGR that slows brain growth in utero impairs the acquisition of some cognitive and academic abilities, even when followed by good catch-up head growth after birth, whereas poor brain growth in utero followed by little or no catch-up head growth results in widespread impairments. Findings highlight the limits to brain plasticity and emphasize the importance of optimal prenatal and postnatal brain growth.
Huang, Guoying; Xie, Yu; Xu, Hongwei
In this paper, we describe the measurement of cognitive ability in the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), especially for verbal skill, mathematical skill, memory, and quantitative reasoning. The available CFPS cognitive measurements can be useful for studies on the importance of cognitive ability in many substantive domains of interest. Using the CFPS data, we show that measures of cognitive ability are clearly related to key demographic and social characteristics, such as age, gender, education, and hukou status. We also illustrate how cognitive ability influences school performance and deviant behaviors among children, income and political capital among adults, and daily functioning among the elderly. PMID:27570709
Rohde, Treena Eileen; Thompson, Lee Anne
The purpose of the present study is to explain variation in academic achievement with general cognitive ability and specific cognitive abilities. Grade point average, Wide Range Achievement Test III scores, and SAT scores represented academic achievement. The specific cognitive abilities of interest were: working memory, processing speed, and…
Bilkei-Gorzo, Andras; Drews, Eva; Albayram, Önder; Piyanova, Anastasia; Gaffal, Evelyn; Tueting, Thomas; Michel, Kerstin; Mauer, Daniela; Maier, Wolfgang; Zimmer, Andreas
Genetic deletion of the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor leads to an early onset of learning and memory impairment. In the present study we asked whether the lack of CB1 receptors accelerates aging in general or is selective for cognitive functions. We therefore compared the onset and dynamics of age-dependent changes in social memory, locomotor activity, hearing ability, and in the histopathology of peripheral organs between wild-type and Cnr1 knockout (Cnr1(-/-)) mice. We observed deficits in social memory already in 3-month-old Cnr1(-/-) mice. In contrast, wild-type animals showed such deficits at the age of 6 months. Sensory and motor functions were similar between the genotypes. Thus, hearing loss for higher frequencies and the development of hypomotility showed a similar age-dependent course. In the periphery we detected an early onset of aging-like histological changes in the skin, but not in other organs. We conclude that the lack of CB1 receptor does not induce accelerated aging in general, but induces changes in cognitive function and in skin structure that resemble those associated with aging.
Vallet, Guillaume T.
Embodiment is revolutionizing the way we consider cognition by incorporating the influence of our body and of the current context within cognitive processing. A growing number of studies which support this view of cognition in young adults stands in stark contrast with the lack of evidence in favor of this view in the field of normal aging and neurocognitive disorders. Nonetheless, the validation of embodiment assumptions on the whole spectrum of cognition is a mandatory step in order for embodied cognition theories to become theories of human cognition. More pragmatically, aging populations represent a perfect target to test embodied cognition theories due to concomitant changes in sensory, motor and cognitive functioning that occur in aging, since these theories predict direct interactions between them. Finally, the new perspectives on cognition provided by these theories might also open new research avenues and new clinical applications in the field of aging. The present article aims at showing the value and interest to explore embodiment in normal and abnormal aging as well as introducing some potential theoretical and clinical applications. PMID:25932019
Salthouse, Timothy A.; Davis, Hasker P.
Data from over 3400 individuals ranging from 5 to 93 years of age were analyzed to investigate the structural organization of cognitive variables, and to use that structure to examine relations between cognitive abilities and neuropsychological variables. The results indicated that the variables could be organized into the same cognitive ability…
Sheft, Stanley; Norris, Molly; Spanos, George; Radasevich, Katherine; Formsma, Paige; Gygi, Brian
Objective Sounds in everyday environments tend to follow one another as events unfold over time. The tacit knowledge of contextual relationships among environmental sounds can influence their perception. We examined the effect of semantic context on the identification of sequences of environmental sounds by adults of varying age and hearing abilities, with an aim to develop a nonspeech test of auditory cognition. Method The familiar environmental sound test (FEST) consisted of 25 individual sounds arranged into ten five-sound sequences: five contextually coherent and five incoherent. After hearing each sequence, listeners identified each sound and arranged them in the presentation order. FEST was administered to young normal-hearing, middle-to-older normal-hearing, and middle-to-older hearing-impaired adults (Experiment 1), and to postlingual cochlear-implant users and young normal-hearing adults tested through vocoder-simulated implants (Experiment 2). Results FEST scores revealed a strong positive effect of semantic context in all listener groups, with young normal-hearing listeners outperforming other groups. FEST scores also correlated with other measures of cognitive ability, and for CI users, with the intelligibility of speech-in-noise. Conclusions Being sensitive to semantic context effects, FEST can serve as a nonspeech test of auditory cognition for diverse listener populations to assess and potentially improve everyday listening skills. PMID:27893791
Shineman, Diana W; Salthouse, Timothy A; Launer, Lenore J; Hof, Patrick R; Bartzokis, George; Kleiman, Robin; Luine, Victoria; Buccafusco, Jerry J; Small, Gary W; Aisen, Paul S; Lowe, David A; Fillit, Howard M
This review summarizes the scientific talks presented at the conference "Therapeutics for Cognitive Aging," hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences and the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation on May 15, 2009. Attended by scientists from industry and academia, as well as by a number of lay people-approximately 200 in all-the conference specifically tackled the many aspects of developing therapeutic interventions for cognitive impairment. Discussion also focused on how to define cognitive aging and whether it should be considered a treatable, tractable disease.
Molfese, Victoria J; And Others
Investigated the effects of biomedical and social-environmental conditions on cognitive and language development in children toddlers. Hypothesized a strong effect of biomedical factors in first two years and a strong environmental influence at three years. Used analysis approach to estimate variables assumed to underlie measurement data. Results…
Sharp, Emily Schoenhofen; Reynolds, Chandra A.; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Gatz, Margaret
The purpose of this study was to examine whether openness to experience is related to longitudinal change in cognitive performance across advancing age. Participants were 857 individuals from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA). Factors for 5 cognitive domains were created including: verbal ability, spatial ability, memory, processing speed, and a global score, “g”. Latent growth curve models were used to assess level and longitudinal trajectories of cognitive performance. It was hypothesized that individuals who endorsed higher levels of openness would have higher cognitive test scores and lesser rates of cognitive decline. As predicted, higher openness to experience was associated with significantly higher performance across all cognitive tests for both males and females even after adjusting for education, cardiovascular disease and activities of daily living. Openness, however, was not predictive of differences in the trajectories of cognitive performance over age. PMID:20230128
Murman, Daniel L.
This article reviews the cognitive changes that occur with normal aging, the structural and functional correlates of these cognitive changes, and the prevalence and cognitive effects of age-associated diseases. Understanding these age-related changes in cognition is important given our growing elderly population and the importance of cognition in maintaining functional independence and effective communication with others. The most important changes in cognition with normal aging are declines in performance on cognitive tasks that require one to quickly process or transform information to make a decision, including measures of speed of processing, working memory, and executive cognitive function. Cumulative knowledge and experiential skills are well maintained into advanced age. Structural and function changes in the brain correlate with these age-related cognitive changes, including alterations in neuronal structure without neuronal death, loss of synapses, and dysfunction of neuronal networks. Age-related diseases accelerate the rate of neuronal dysfunction, neuronal loss, and cognitive decline, with many persons developing cognitive impairments severe enough to impair their everyday functional abilities. There is emerging evidence that healthy lifestyles may decrease the rate of cognitive decline seen with aging and help delay the onset of cognitive symptoms in the setting of age-associated diseases. PMID:27516712
Toplak, Maggie E; West, Richard F; Stanovich, Keith E
We studied developmental trends in 5 important reasoning tasks that are critical components of the operational definition of rational thinking. The tasks measured denominator neglect, belief bias, base rate sensitivity, resistance to framing, and the tendency toward otherside thinking. In addition to age, we examined 2 other individual difference domains that index cognitive sophistication: cognitive ability (intelligence and executive functioning) and thinking dispositions (actively open-minded thinking, superstitious thinking, and need for cognition). All 5 reasoning domains were consistently related to cognitive sophistication regardless of how it was indexed (age, cognitive ability, thinking dispositions). The implications of these findings for taxonomies of developmental trends in rational thinking tasks are discussed.
This study examined the relations between cognitive ability, socioemotional competency (SEC), and achievement in gifted children. Data were collected on children between the ages of 8 and 15 years (n = 124). Children were assessed via teacher reports of SEC, standardized cognitive assessment, and standardized achievement assessment. Composite…
Payton, Antony; Dawes, Piers; Platt, Hazel; Morton, Cynthia C; Moore, David R; Massey, Jonathan; Horan, Michael; Ollier, William; Munro, Kevin J; Pendleton, Neil
Cognitive abilities (memory, processing speed, vocabulary, and fluid intelligence) are correlated with educational attainment and occupational status, as well as physical and mental health. The variation in cognitive abilities observed within a population has a substantial genetic contribution (heritability ∼50%) and yet the identification of genetic polymorphisms from both genome-wide association and candidate studies have to date only uncovered a limited number of genetic variants that exert small genetic effects. Here we impute human leukocyte antigens (HLA) using existing genome-wide association data from 1,559 non-pathological elderly volunteers who have been followed for changes in cognitive functioning between a 12- and 18-year period. Specifically, we investigate DRB1*05 (*11/*12) and DRB1*01, which have previously been associated with cognitive ability. We also analyze DRB1*0801, which shares close sequence homology with DRB1*1101. Together with DRB1*1101, DRB1*0801 has been associated with several diseases including multiple sclerosis and primary biliary cirrhosis, which themselves are associated with cognitive impairment. We observed that both DRB1*0801 and DRB1*1101 were significantly associated with vocabulary ability (cross-sectional and longitudinal scores) and that the effects were in opposite directions with DRB1*0801 associated with lower score and faster decline. This opposing affect is similar to that reported by other groups in systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, and primary biliary cirrhosis. DRB1*0801 was also significantly associated with reduced memory ability. We observed no associations between cognitive abilities and DRB1*01 or DRB1*12.
Objective The objective was to evaluate the association of peripheral and central hearing abilities with cognitive function in older adults. Methods Recruited from epidemiological studies of aging and cognition at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, participants were a community-dwelling cohort of older adults (range 63–98 years) without diagnosis of dementia. The cohort contained roughly equal numbers of Black (n=61) and White (n=63) subjects with groups similar in terms of age, gender, and years of education. Auditory abilities were measured with pure-tone audiometry, speech-in-noise perception, and discrimination thresholds for both static and dynamic spectral patterns. Cognitive performance was evaluated with a 12-test battery assessing episodic, semantic, and working memory, perceptual speed, and visuospatial abilities. Results Among the auditory measures, only the static and dynamic spectral-pattern discrimination thresholds were associated with cognitive performance in a regression model that included the demographic covariates race, age, gender, and years of education. Subsequent analysis indicated substantial shared variance among the covariates race and both measures of spectral-pattern discrimination in accounting for cognitive performance. Among cognitive measures, working memory and visuospatial abilities showed the strongest interrelationship to spectral-pattern discrimination performance. Conclusions For a cohort of older adults without diagnosis of dementia, neither hearing thresholds nor speech-in-noise ability showed significant association with a summary measure of global cognition. In contrast, the two auditory metrics of spectral-pattern discrimination ability significantly contributed to a regression model prediction of cognitive performance, demonstrating association of central auditory ability to cognitive status using auditory metrics that avoided the confounding effect of speech materials. PMID:26237423
West African Hausan Children (N=110) aged 5-6 were administered a torque test and relationshps between the torque task and visual spatial tasks were analyzed. Findings supported the assumption that educational experience related to circling accounts for decrease in torque, or that the educational experiences have potential influence on cortical…
Spinath, Frank M.; Ronald, Angelica; Harlaar, Nicole; Price, Thomas S.; Plomin, Robert
Studied the emergence of general cognitive ability ("g") in early development and its genetic developmental etiology in 6,963 pairs of twins at 2, 3, and 4 years. Findings show phenotypic "g" to be evident early in life, with genetic influence less in early childhood than in middle childhood or after adolescence and that…
Haworth, Claire M A; Dale, Philip S; Plomin, Robert
The concept of generalist genes operating across diverse domains of cognitive abilities is now widely accepted. Much less is known about the etiology of the high extreme of performance. Is there more specialization at the high extreme? Using a representative sample of 4,000 12-year-old twin pairs from the UK Twins Early Development Study, we investigated the genetic and environmental overlap between web-based tests of general cognitive ability, reading, mathematics and language performance for the top 15% of the distribution using DF extremes analysis. Generalist genes are just as evident at the high extremes of performance as they are for the entire distribution of abilities and for cognitive disabilities. However, a smaller proportion of the phenotypic intercorrelations appears to be explained by genetic influences for high abilities.
The availability of neuroimaging technology has spurred a marked increase in the human cognitive neuroscience literature, including the study of cognitive ageing. Although there is a growing consensus that the ageing brain retains considerable plasticity of function, currently measured primarily by means of functional MRI, it is less clear how age differences in brain activity relate to cognitive performance. The field is also hampered by the complexity of the ageing process itself and the large number of factors that are influenced by age. In this Review, current trends and unresolved issues in the cognitive neuroscience of ageing are discussed.
This study examined the relative contributions of general cognitive abilities and number abilities to word problem solving, calculation, and arithmetic fact retrieval in a sample of 134 children aged 10 to 13 years. The following tasks were administered: listening span, visual matrix span, verbal fluency, color naming, Raven's Progressive Matrices, enumeration, number line estimation, and digit comparison. Hierarchical multiple regressions demonstrated that number abilities provided an independent contribution to fact retrieval and word problem solving. General cognitive abilities contributed to problem solving and calculation. All three number tasks accounted for a similar amount of variance in fact retrieval, whereas only the number line estimation task contributed unique variance in word problem solving. Verbal fluency and Raven's matrices accounted for an equal amount of variance in problem solving and calculation. The current findings demonstrate, in accordance with Fuchs and colleagues' developmental model of mathematical learning (Developmental Psychology, 2010, Vol. 46, pp. 1731-1746), that both number abilities and general cognitive abilities underlie 10- to 13-year-olds' proficiency in problem solving, whereas only number abilities underlie arithmetic fact retrieval. Thus, the amount and type of cognitive contribution to arithmetic proficiency varies between the different aspects of arithmetic. Furthermore, how closely linked a specific aspect of arithmetic is to the whole number representation systems is not the only factor determining the amount and type of cognitive contribution in 10- to 13-year-olds. In addition, the mathematical complexity of the task appears to influence the amount and type of cognitive support.
Breaban, Adriana; van de Kuilen, Gijs; Noussair, Charles N.
We report an experiment to consider the emotional correlates of prudent decision making. In the experiment, we present subjects with lotteries and measure their emotional response with facial recognition software. They then make binary choices between risky lotteries that distinguish prudent from imprudent individuals. They also perform tasks to measure their cognitive ability and a number of personality characteristics. We find that a more negative emotional state correlates with greater prudence. Higher cognitive ability and less conscientiousness is also associated with greater prudence. PMID:27840616
Thorvaldsson, Valgeir; Skoog, Ingmar; Johansson, Boo
Terminal decline (TD) refers to acceleration in within-person cognitive decline prior to death. The cognitive reserve hypothesis postulates that individuals with higher IQ are able to better tolerate age-related increase in brain pathologies. On average, they will exhibit a later onset of TD, but once they start to decline, their trajectory is steeper relative to those with lower IQ. We tested these predictions using data from initially nondemented individuals (n = 179) in the H70-study repeatedly measured at ages 70, 75, 79, 81, 85, 88, 90, 92, 95, 97, 99, and 100, or until death, on cognitive tests of perceptual-and-motor-speed and spatial and verbal ability. We quantified IQ using the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM) test administrated at age 70. We fitted random change point TD models to the data, within a Bayesian framework, conditioned on IQ, age of death, education, and sex. In line with predictions, we found that 1 additional standard deviation on the IQ scale was associated with a delay in onset of TD by 1.87 (95% highest density interval [HDI; 0.20, 4.08]) years on speed, 1.96 (95% HDI [0.15, 3.54]) years on verbal ability, but only 0.88 (95% HDI [-0.93, 3.49]) year on spatial ability. Higher IQ was associated with steeper rate of decline within the TD phase on measures of speed and verbal ability, whereas results on spatial ability were nonconclusive. Our findings provide partial support for the cognitive reserve hypothesis and demonstrate that IQ can be a significant moderator of cognitive change trajectories in old age. (PsycINFO Database Record
Sabbah, Wael; Sheiham, Aubrey
There are very few studies on the relationship between cognitive ability and dental status in middle aged and younger adults. We postulate that lower cognitive ability is directly related to poorer dental status and that this relationship operates through the relationship between cognitive ability and health-related behaviors. The objectives of…
Bak, Thomas H; Nissan, Jack J; Allerhand, Michael M; Deary, Ian J
Recent evidence suggests a positive impact of bilingualism on cognition, including later onset of dementia. However, monolinguals and bilinguals might have different baseline cognitive ability. We present the first study examining the effect of bilingualism on later-life cognition controlling for childhood intelligence. We studied 853 participants, first tested in 1947 (age = 11 years), and retested in 2008-2010. Bilinguals performed significantly better than predicted from their baseline cognitive abilities, with strongest effects on general intelligence and reading. Our results suggest a positive effect of bilingualism on later-life cognition, including in those who acquired their second language in adulthood.
Nori, Raffaella; Giusberti, Fiorella
Previous studies on spatial memory reveal that people represent spatial information in 3 different forms: landmark, route, and survey. The aim of this work was to assess spatial abilities in order to predict a person's cognitive style. In order to do this we used 9 different spatial tasks, which were linked with these 3 forms of spatial representations. We found that the 9 spatial tasks are able to distinguish different levels of spatial ability.
Apolinario, Daniel; Brucki, Sonia Maria Dozzi; Ferretti, Renata Eloah de Lucena; Farfel, José Marcelo; Magaldi, Regina Miksian; Busse, Alexandre Leopold; Jacob-Filho, Wilson
Objective To develop an informant-based instrument that would provide a valid estimate of premorbid cognitive abilities in low-educated populations. Methods A questionnaire was drafted by focusing on the premorbid period with a 10-year time frame. The initial pool of items was submitted to classical test theory and a factorial analysis. The resulting instrument, named the Premorbid Cognitive Abilities Scale (PCAS), is composed of questions addressing educational attainment, major lifetime occupation, reading abilities, reading habits, writing abilities, calculation abilities, use of widely available technology, and the ability to search for specific information. The validation sample was composed of 132 older Brazilian adults from the following three demographically matched groups: normal cognitive aging (n = 72), mild cognitive impairment (n = 33), and mild dementia (n = 27). The scores of a reading test and a neuropsychological battery were adopted as construct criteria. Post-mortem inter-informant reliability was tested in a sub-study with two relatives from each deceased individual. Results All items presented good discriminative power, with corrected item-total correlation varying from 0.35 to 0.74. The summed score of the instrument presented high correlation coefficients with global cognitive function (r = 0.73) and reading skills (r = 0.82). Cronbach's alpha was 0.90, showing optimal internal consistency without redundancy. The scores did not decrease across the progressive levels of cognitive impairment, suggesting that the goal of evaluating the premorbid state was achieved. The intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.96, indicating excellent inter-informant reliability. Conclusion The instrument developed in this study has shown good properties and can be used as a valid estimate of premorbid cognitive abilities in low-educated populations. The applicability of the PCAS, both as an estimate of premorbid intelligence and cognitive
Halpern, Diane F.
The fourth edition of "Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities" critically examines the breadth of research on this complex and controversial topic, with the principal aim of helping the reader to understand where sex differences are found--and where they are not. Since the publication of the third edition, there have been many exciting and…
Rindermann, Heiner; Woodley, Michael A.; Stratford, James
Studies investigating evolutionary theories on the origins of national differences in intelligence have been criticized on the basis that both national cognitive ability measures and supposedly evolutionarily informative proxies (such as latitude and climate) are confounded with general developmental status. In this study 14 Y chromosomal…
Chow, Bonnie Wing-Yin; Ho, Connie Suk-Han; Wong, Simpson Wai-Lap; Waye, Mary M. Y.; Bishop, Dorothy V. M.
This study considered how far nonverbal cognitive, language and reading abilities are affected by common genetic influences in a sample of 312 typically developing Chinese twin pairs aged from 3 to 11 years. Children were individually given tasks of Chinese word reading, receptive vocabulary, phonological memory, tone awareness, syllable and rhyme…
Floyd, Randy G.; Bergeron, Renee; Alfonso, Vincent C.
This study examines cognitive ability profiles of children with specific age-based normative weaknesses in reading comprehension and compares those profiles to the profiles of (a) children with at least average achievement in reading comprehension, reading decoding skills, and mathematics and (b) children with low achievement across the 3…
Zahrou, Fatima Ezzahra; Azlaf, Mehdi; El Menchawy, Imane; El Mzibri, Mohamed; El Kari, Khalid; El Hamdouchi, Asmaa; Mouzouni, Fatima-Zahra; Barkat, Amina; Aguenaou, Hassan
Iodine is required for the production of the thyroid hormones essential for the growth and development of the brain. All forms of iodine deficiency (ID) affect the mental development of the child. Our study aims to assess the impact of ID on the intellectual development of Moroccan schoolchildren and to evaluate the effect of consumption of fortified milk on reducing ID. In a double-blind controlled trial conducted on schoolchildren, children were divided into two groups to receive fortified milk (30% of cover of RDI iodine) or nonfortified milk for 9 months. Urinary iodine was analyzed using the Sandell-Kolthoff reaction, a dynamic cognitive test using Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices to assess learning potential was performed at baseline and end line, and anthropometric assessment was done only at baseline. The study included schoolchildren who were severely iodine deficient. The prevalence of malnutrition was high in both groups; in this study, we found improvements in iodine status and in cognitive abilities among Moroccan schoolchildren. Our study showed that the consumption of fortified milk led to a clear improvement in iodine status and also appeared to have a favorable effect on the cognitive ability of Moroccan schoolchildren in a rural mountainous region. PMID:27069679
Reese, Celinda M.; Cherry, Katie E.
The authors examined the effects of age and ability (as measured by education and verbal ability) on self-reported memory functioning in adulthood. In Study 1, the age and ability groups responded similarly to the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (D. E. Broadbent, P. F. Cooper, P. Fitzgerald, & K. R. Parkes, 1982), but differences emerged when the…
Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando; Hillman, Charles
Scientific evidence based on neuroimaging approaches over the last decade has demonstrated the efficacy of physical activity improving cognitive health across the human lifespan. Aerobic fitness spares age-related loss of brain tissue during aging, and enhances functional aspects of higher order regions involved in the control of cognition. More active or higher fit individuals are capable of allocating greater attentional resources toward the environment and are able to process information more quickly. These data are suggestive that aerobic fitness enhances cognitive strategies enabling to respond effectively to an imposed challenge with a better yield in task performance. In turn, animal studies have shown that exercise has a benevolent action on health and plasticity of the nervous system. New evidence indicates that exercise exerts its effects on cognition by affecting molecular events related to the management of energy metabolism and synaptic plasticity. An important instigator in the molecular machinery stimulated by exercise is brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which acts at the interface of metabolism and plasticity. Recent studies show that exercise collaborates with other aspects of lifestyle to influence the molecular substrates of cognition. In particular, select dietary factors share similar mechanisms with exercise, and in some cases they can complement the action of exercise. Therefore, exercise and dietary management appear as a noninvasive and effective strategy to counteract neurological and cognitive disorders.
Bijwaard, Govert; Veenman, Justus
We aim to disentangle the relative impact of (i) cognitive ability, and (ii) education on health and mortality using a structural equation model suggested by Conti et al. (2010). We extend their model by allowing for a duration dependent variable (mortality), and an ordinal educational variable. Data come from a Dutch cohort born between 1937 and 1941, including detailed measures of cognitive ability and family background in the final grade of primary school. The data are linked to the mortality register 1995–2011, such that we observe mortality between ages 55 and 75. The results suggest that at least half of the unconditional survival differences between educational groups are due to a ‘selection effect’, primarily on the basis of cognitive ability. Conditional survival differences across those having finished just primary school and those entering secondary education are still substantial, and amount to a 4 years gain in life expectancy, on average. PMID:25912224
Bijwaard, Govert E; van Kippersluis, Hans; Veenman, Justus
We aim to disentangle the relative impact of (i) cognitive ability and (ii) education on health and mortality using a structural equation model suggested by Conti et al. (2010). We extend their model by allowing for a duration dependent variable (mortality), and an ordinal educational variable. Data come from a Dutch cohort born between 1937 and 1941, including detailed measures of cognitive ability and family background in the final grade of primary school. The data are linked to the mortality register 1995-2011, such that we observe mortality between ages 55 and 75. The results suggest that at least half of the unconditional survival differences between educational groups are due to a 'selection effect', primarily on the basis of cognitive ability. Conditional survival differences across those having finished just primary school and those entering secondary education are still substantial, and amount to a 4 years gain in life expectancy, on average.
Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Lanfranchi, Silvia; Altoè, Gianmarco; Sollazzo, Nadia
In this study, a unitary path analysis model was developed to investigate the relationship between cognitive variables (derived from published studies) and early numerical abilities in children attending the last year of kindergarten. We tested 100 children starting their last year of kindergarten on the following cognitive abilities: intelligence, phonological abilities, counting, verbal and visuospatial short-term memory and working memory, processing speed, and early numerical abilities. The same children were tested again on early numerical abilities at the end of the same year. The children's early numerical abilities at the beginning of the final year of kindergarten were found to be directly related to their verbal intelligence, phonological abilities, processing speed, and working memory and to be indirectly related to their nonverbal intelligence. Early numerical abilities at the end of the same year are directly related not only to early numerical abilities assessed at the beginning of the year but also to working memory and phonological abilities as well as have an indirect relationship with verbal and nonverbal intelligence. Overall, our results showed that both general and specific abilities are related to early mathematic learning in kindergarten-age children.
von Stumm, Sophie
The current study tests if the type of children's daily main meal (slow versus fast food) mediates the association of socioeconomic status (SES) with cognitive ability and cognitive growth in childhood. A Scottish birth cohort (Growing Up in Scotland) was assessed at ages 3 (N = 4512) and 5 years (N = 3833) on cognitive ability (i.e. vocabulary…
Kumpulainen, S M; Heinonen, K; Salonen, M K; Andersson, S; Wolke, D; Kajantie, E; Eriksson, J G; Raikkonen, K
Background: Childhood cognitive ability has been identified as a novel risk factor for adulthood overweight and obesity as assessed by adult body mass index (BMI). BMI does not, however, distinguish fat-free and metabolically harmful fat tissue. Hence, we examined the associations between childhood cognitive abilities and body fat percentage (BF%) in young adulthood. Methods: Participants of the Arvo Ylppö Longitudinal Study (n=816) underwent tests of general reasoning, visuomotor integration, verbal competence and language comprehension (M=100; s.d.=15) at the age of 56 months. At the age of 25 years, they underwent a clinical examination, including measurements of BF% by the InBody 3.0 eight-polar tactile electrode system, weight and height from which BMI (kg m−2) was calculated and waist circumference (cm). Results: After adjustments for sex, age and BMI-for-age s.d. score at 56 months, lower general reasoning and visuomotor integration in childhood predicted higher BMI (kg m−2) increase per s.d. unit decrease in cognitive ability (−0.32, 95% confidence interval −0.60,−0.05; −0.45, −0.75,−0.14, respectively) and waist circumference (cm) increase per s.d. unit decrease in cognitive ability (−0.84, −1.56,−0.11; −1.07,−1.88,−0.26, respectively) in adulthood. In addition, lower visuomotor integration predicted higher BF% per s.d. unit decrease in cognitive ability (−0.62,−1.14,−0.09). Associations between general reasoning and BMI/waist were attenuated when adjusted for smoking, alcohol consumption, intake of fruits and vegetables and physical activity in adulthood, and all associations, except for visuomotor integration and BMI, were attenuated when adjusted for parental and/or own attained education and/or birth weight. Conclusions: Of the measured childhood cognitive abilities, only lower visuomotor integration was associated with BF% in adulthood. This challenges the view that cognitive ability, at least when measured in
Pardeller, Silvia; Frajo-Apor, Beatrice; Kemmler, Georg; Hofer, Alex
In order to expand on previous research, this cross-sectional study investigated the relationship between Emotional Intelligence (EI) and cognitive abilities in healthy adults with a special focus on potential sex differences. EI was assessed by means of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), whereas cognitive abilities were investigated using the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS), which measures key aspects of cognitive functioning, i.e. verbal memory, working memory, motor speed, verbal fluency, attention and processing speed, and reasoning and problem solving. 137 subjects (65% female) with a mean age of 38.7 ± 11.8 years were included into the study. While males and females were comparable with regard to EI, men achieved significantly higher BACS composite scores and outperformed women in the BACS subscales motor speed, attention and processing speed, and reasoning and problem solving. Verbal fluency significantly predicted EI, whereas the MSCEIT subscale understanding emotions significantly predicted the BACS composite score. Our findings support previous research and emphasize the relevance of considering cognitive abilities when assessing ability EI in healthy individuals.
Chow, Bonnie Wing-Yin; Ho, Connie Suk-Han; Wong, Simpson Wai-Lap; Waye, Mary M Y; Bishop, Dorothy V M
This study considered how far nonverbal cognitive, language and reading abilities are affected by common genetic influences in a sample of 312 typically developing Chinese twin pairs aged from 3 to 11 years. Children were individually given tasks of Chinese word reading, receptive vocabulary, phonological memory, tone awareness, syllable and rhyme awareness, rapid automatized naming, morphological awareness and orthographic skills, and Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices. Factor analyses on the verbal tasks adjusted for age indicated two factors: Language as the first factor and Reading as the second factor. Univariate genetic analyses indicated that genetic influences were substantial for nonverbal cognitive ability and moderate for language and reading. Multivariate genetic analyses showed that nonverbal cognitive ability, language and reading were influenced by shared genetic origins, although there were specific genetic influences on verbal skills that were distinct from those on nonverbal cognitive ability. This study extends the Generalist Genes Hypothesis to Chinese language and reading skills, suggesting that the general effects of genes could be universal across languages.
Sands, Jeff M
Urine concentrating ability is reduced during normal aging in people and rats. The abundance of many of the key transport proteins that contribute to urine concentrating ability is reduced in the kidney medulla of aged rats. The reductions in water, sodium, and urea transport protein abundances, and their reduced response to water restriction, contribute to the reduced ability of aged rats to concentrate their urine and conserve water. If similar mechanisms occur in human kidneys, it would provide a molecular explanation for the reduced urine concentrating ability in aging and may provide opportunities for novel therapeutic approaches to improve urine concentrating ability and/or nocturnal polyuria.
Barnes, Jill N
Increasing the lifespan of a population is often a marker of a country's success. With the percentage of the population over 65 yr of age expanding, managing the health and independence of this population is an ongoing concern. Advancing age is associated with a decrease in cognitive function that ultimately affects quality of life. Understanding potential adverse effects of aging on brain blood flow and cognition may help to determine effective strategies to mitigate these effects on the population. Exercise may be one strategy to prevent or delay cognitive decline. This review describes how aging is associated with cardiovascular disease risks, vascular dysfunction, and increasing Alzheimer's disease pathology. It will also discuss the possible effects of aging on cerebral vascular physiology, cerebral perfusion, and brain atrophy rates. Clinically, these changes will present as reduced cognitive function, neurodegeneration, and the onset of dementia. Regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function, and we hypothesize that this occurs through beneficial adaptations in vascular physiology and improved neurovascular coupling. This review highlights the potential interactions and ideas of how the age-associated variables may affect cognition and may be moderated by regular exercise.
Barnes, Jill N.
Increasing the lifespan of a population is often a marker of a country's success. With the percentage of the population over 65 yr of age expanding, managing the health and independence of this population is an ongoing concern. Advancing age is associated with a decrease in cognitive function that ultimately affects quality of life. Understanding…
González-Gómez, Paulina L; Razeto-Barry, Pablo; Araya-Salas, Marcelo; Estades, Cristian F
In the context of global change the possible loss of biodiversity has been identified as a major concern. Biodiversity could be seriously threatened as a direct consequence of changes in availability of food, changing thermal conditions, and loss and fragmentation of habitat. Considering the magnitude of global change, an understanding of the mechanisms involved in coping with a changing environment is urgent. We explore the hypothesis that species and individuals experiencing highly variable environments are more likely to develop a wider range of responses to handle the different and unpredictable conditions imposed by global change. In the case of vertebrates, the responses to the challenges imposed by unpredictable perturbations ultimately are linked to cognitive abilities allowing the solving of problems, and the maximization of energy intake. Our models were hummingbirds, which offer a particularly compelling group in which to examine the functional and mechanistic links between behavioral and energetic strategies in individuals experiencing different degrees of social and environmental heterogeneity.
Hartshorne, Joshua K.; Germine, Laura T.
Understanding how and when cognitive change occurs over the lifespan is a prerequisite for understanding normal and abnormal development and aging. Most studies of cognitive change are constrained, however, in their ability to detect subtle, but theoretically informative lifespan changes, as they rely on either comparing broad age groups or sparse sampling across the age range. Here, we present convergent evidence from 48,537 Web participants and a comprehensive analysis of normative data from standardized IQ and memory tests. Our results reveal considerable heterogeneity in when cognitive abilities peak: some abilities peak and begin to decline around high school graduation; some abilities plateau in early adulthood, beginning to decline in the 30s; still others do not peak until the 40s or later. These findings motivate a nuanced theory of maturation and age-related decline, where multiple, dissociable factors differentially affect different domains of cognition. PMID:25770099
van Tuijl, Cathy; Leseman, Paul P. M.
The current longitudinal study examined the development of general cognitive abilities of 4-6-year-old children of low-income, ethnic-minority families in preschool over two and a half years by determining the changes in general, and in verbal and fluid cognitive abilities, relative to age norms, using an intelligence test. The results revealed…
Minehan, Janet A.; Newcomb, Michael D.; Galaif, Elisha R.
Purpose in life and coping skills are hypothesized to mediate association between cognitive abilities (e.g., fluid and crystallized intelligence) and polydrug use. Results indicated relationship between crystallized intelligence and alcohol use was mediated by purpose in life. Older age predicted higher cognitive abilities, stronger coping…
Hart, Sara A.; Petrill, Stephen A.; Deckard, Kirby Deater; Thompson, Lee A.
This study examined shared environmental influences on the longitudinal stability of general cognitive ability, as mediated by socioeconomic status and chaos in the home, using 287 pairs of elementary school-age twins drawn from the Western Reserve Reading Project (WRRP). General cognitive ability was evaluated at two annual assessments using the…
Staals, Julie; Booth, Tom; Morris, Zoe; Bastin, Mark E; Gow, Alan J; Corley, Janie; Redmond, Paul; Starr, John M; Deary, Ian J; Wardlaw, Joanna M
Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) may cause cognitive dysfunction. We tested the association between the combined presence of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of SVD and cognitive ability in older age. Cognitive testing and brain MRI were performed in 680 older participants. MRI presence of lacunes, white matter hyperintensities, microbleeds, and perivascular spaces were summed in a score of 0-4 representing all SVD features combined. We also applied latent variable modeling to test whether the 4 MRI features form a unitary SVD construct. The SVD score showed significant associations with general cognitive ability. Latent variable modeling indicated that the 4 MRI markers formed a unitary construct, which showed consistent associations with cognitive ability compared with the SVD score. Total MRI load of SVD is associated with lower general cognitive ability in older age. The total SVD score performed consistently with the more complex latent variable model, suggesting validity and potential utility in future research for determining total SVD load.
Background: Down syndrome (DS), the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, is associated with an ultra-high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is individual variability in the onset of clinical dementia and in baseline cognitive abilities prior to decline, particularly in memory, executive functioning, and motor coordination. The LonDownS Consortium aims to determine risk and protective factors for the development of dementia and factors relating to cognitive abilities in people with DS. Here we describe our cognitive test battery and related informant measures along with reporting data from our baseline cognitive and informant assessments. Methods: We developed a cognitive test battery to assess general abilities, memory, executive function, and motor coordination abilities in adults with DS, with informant ratings of similar domains also collected, designed to allow for data on a broad range of participants. Participants (n=305) had a range of ages and abilities, and included adults with and without a clinical diagnosis of dementia. Results: Results suggest the battery is suitable for the majority of adults with DS, although approximately half the adults with dementia were unable to undertake any cognitive task. Many test outcomes showed a range of scores with low floor and ceiling effects. Non-verbal age-adjusted IQ scores had lower floor effects than verbal IQ scores. Before the onset of any cognitive decline, females aged 16-35 showed better verbal abilities compared to males. We also identified clusters of cognitive test scores within our battery related to visuospatial memory, motor coordination, language abilities, and processing speed / sustained attention. Conclusions: Our further studies will use baseline and longitudinal assessments to explore factors influencing cognitive abilities and cognitive decline related to ageing and onset of dementia in adults with DS. PMID:28018980
Objective. Investigate time-related age differences in cognitive functioning without influences of prior test experience. Methods. Cognitive scores were compared in different individuals from the same birth years who were tested in different years, when they were at different ages. These types of quasi-longitudinal comparisons were carried out on data from three large projects: the Seattle Longitudinal Study [Schaie, K. W. (2013). Developmental influences on adult intelligence: The Seattle Longitudinal Study (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press], the Betula Project [Ronnlund, M., & Nilsson, L-G. (2008). The magnitude, generality, and determinants of Flynn effects on forms of declarative memory and visuospatial ability: Time-sequential analyses of data from a Swedish cohort study. Intelligence, 36, 192–209], and the Virginia Cognitive Aging Project (this study). Results. In each data set, the results revealed that the estimates of cognitive change with no prior test experience closely resembled the estimates of age relations based on cross-sectional comparisons. Furthermore, longitudinal comparisons revealed positive changes at young ages that gradually became more negative with increased age, whereas all of the estimates of change without prior test experience were negative except those for measures of vocabulary. Discussion. The current results suggest that retest effects can distort the mean age trends in longitudinal comparisons that are not adjusted for experience. Furthermore, the findings can be considered robust because the patterns were similar across three data sets involving different samples of participants and cognitive tests, and across different methods of controlling experience effects in the new data set. PMID:25182845
Badgio, Peter C; Worden, Blaise L
Deficits in cognitive function may impact one's ability to attend to stimuli, think clearly, reason, and remember. Impaired cognitive function is a common complaint among older women presenting for treatment in both mental health and medical care settings, and differential diagnosis of type and extent of cognitive impairment is important for appropriate treatment planning and prognosis. Although overall gender differences in prevalence of cognitive dysfunction are minimal, it is important when treating older women to take into account unique challenges they face in the aging process that impact the cause, type and extent of cognitive complaints with which they present in clinical settings. The current paper provides an overview to guide accurate diagnosis, particularly in women, of different types of cognitive impairment under the broad category of dementias, including Alzheimer's, Lewy Body Disease, Vascular Dementia, and due to general medical conditions such as coronary artery bypass surgery, head injury, menopause, hypothyroidism, breast cancer treatment, Fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue. In addition, emotional factors such as depression in older female patients complicate differential diagnosis of cognitive impairment and must be addressed. Given the multiplicity of causes of cognitive difficulties for women across the life span, careful assessment is crucial; the current paper reviews assessment strategies to prepare an integrated, biopsychosocial strategy for identifying particular cognitive deficits and related psychological and medical problems. In addition, prognostic indicators and treatment planning are discussed to help the practitioner organize an empathic, reasoned and multifaceted treatment approach to maximize recovery, minimize deterioration, and manage symptoms for older women in the context of their social support system and living environment.
Hunt, Lauren; Lewis, Danielle; Reisel, Sharon; Waldrup, Lanae; Wooster, Donna M. Adam
A study of 28 infants (ages 8-12 months) investigated their ability to drink from a straw. Results indicate 22 percent were not able to drink from a straw, whereas 78 percent were able to do so. Data failed to reveal any significant differences based on gender, age, or ethnicity. (Contains nine references.) (Author/CR)
Ritchie, Stuart J; Bates, Timothy C; Deary, Ian J
Previous research has indicated that education influences cognitive development, but it is unclear what, precisely, is being improved. Here, we tested whether education is associated with cognitive test score improvements via domain-general effects on general cognitive ability (g), or via domain-specific effects on particular cognitive skills. We conducted structural equation modeling on data from a large (n = 1,091), longitudinal sample, with a measure of intelligence at age 11 years and 10 tests covering a diverse range of cognitive abilities taken at age 70. Results indicated that the association of education with improved cognitive test scores is not mediated by g, but consists of direct effects on specific cognitive skills. These results suggest a decoupling of educational gains from increases in general intellectual capacity.
Curtis, Rachel G; Windsor, Tim D; Soubelet, Andrea
It is well established that fundamental aspects of cognition such as memory and speed of processing tend to decline with age; however, there is substantial between-individual variability in levels of cognitive performance in older adulthood and in rates of change in cognitive abilities over time. Recent years have seen an increasing number of studies concerned with examining personality characteristics as possible predictors of some of this variability in cognitive aging. The purpose of this article is to review the literature, and identify patterns of findings regarding the relationships between personality (focusing on the Big-5) and cognitive ability across nonclinical populations of older adults. Possible mechanisms underlying associations of personality characteristics with cognition are reviewed, and assessed in the context of the current literature. Some relatively consistent relationships are identified, including positive associations between openness and cognitive ability, and associations of conscientiousness with slower rates of cognitive decline. However, the relationships between several personality traits and cognitive abilities in older adults remain unclear. We suggest some approaches to research design and analysis that may help increase our understanding of how personality differences may contribute to cognitive aging.
Furnham, Adrian; Swami, Viren; Arteche, Adriane; Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas
The relationship between general knowledge (GK) and cognitive ability (IQ and abstract reasoning), learning approaches, and personality ("big five" traits and typical intellectual engagement) was investigated in a sample of 101 British undergraduates. As predicted, GK was positively correlated with cognitive ability (more so with IQ than…
Reeve, Charlie L.; Bonaccio, Silvia
Although test anxiety is typically negatively related to performance on cognitive ability tests, little research has systematically investigated whether differences in test anxiety result in measurement bias on cognitive ability tests. The current paper uses a structural equation modeling technique to explicitly test for measurement bias due to…
Ivie, Jennifer L.; Embretson, Susan E.
Spatial ability tasks appear on many intelligence and aptitude tests. Although the construct validity of spatial ability tests has often been studied through traditional correlational methods, such as factor analysis, less is known about the cognitive processes involved in solving test items. This study examines the cognitive processes involved in…
Kim, Eugene; Glomb, Theresa M.
Drawing on the victim precipitation model, this study provides an empirical investigation of the relationship between cognitive ability and victimization at work. We propose that people high in cognitive ability are more prone to victimization. In this study, we also examine the direct and moderating effects of victims' personality traits,…
Starnawska, A; Tan, Q; Lenart, A; McGue, M; Mors, O; Børglum, A D; Christensen, K; Nyegaard, M; Christiansen, L
The epigenetic clock, also known as DNA methylation age (DNAmAge), represents age-related changes of DNA methylation at multiple sites of the genome and is suggested to be a biomarker for biological age. Elevated blood DNAmAge is associated with all-cause mortality, with the strongest effects reported in a recent intrapair twin study where epigenetically older twins had increased mortality risk in comparison to their co-twins. In the study presented here, we hypothesize that DNAmAge in blood is associated with cross-sectional and longitudinal cognitive abilities in middle-aged individuals. In 486 monozygotic twins, we investigated the association of DNAmAge, difference between DNAmAge and chronological age and age acceleration with cognition. Despite using a powerful paired twin design, we found no evidence for association of blood DNAmAge with cognitive abilities. This observation was confirmed in unpaired analyses, where DNAmAge initially correlated with cognitive abilities, until adjusting for chronological age. Overall, our study shows that for middle-aged individuals DNAmAge calculated in blood does not correlate with cognitive abilities.
AlAbdulwahab, Sami S.; Kachanathu, Shaji John; AlKhamees, Abdullah K.
[Purpose] The selection of a college major is a struggle that high school students undergo every year; however, there is a dearth of studies examining the role of cognitive ability tests as a tool for determining the aptitude of prospective students. Hence, the purpose of this study was to assess cognitive ability differences among students. [Subjects and Methods] A convenience sample of 60 college students (30 health science and 30 art students) with a mean age of 19 ± 1.6 years, voluntarily participated in this study. Cognitive ability was assessed using the self-administered Cognitive Assessment of Minnesota (CAM) scale under the supervision of a researcher. [Results] The findings indicated that there was a significant cognitive ability difference between health science and art students, especially in the cognitive components of knowledge, calculation, and thinking. However, the difference in the social cognitive component of both the health science and art students was not significant. [Conclusion] The results indicate that the health science students’ cognitive abilities were better than those of the art students. This finding implies that it is important for high school graduates to undertake a cognitive ability assessment prior to choosing a subject major. Hence, it is recommended that cognitive scales should be included as an aptitude assessment tool for the decision-makers and prospective students to determine an appropriate career, since it might reduce the percentage of university drop-out ratio. PMID:27313350
AlAbdulwahab, Sami S; Kachanathu, Shaji John; AlKhamees, Abdullah K
[Purpose] The selection of a college major is a struggle that high school students undergo every year; however, there is a dearth of studies examining the role of cognitive ability tests as a tool for determining the aptitude of prospective students. Hence, the purpose of this study was to assess cognitive ability differences among students. [Subjects and Methods] A convenience sample of 60 college students (30 health science and 30 art students) with a mean age of 19 ± 1.6 years, voluntarily participated in this study. Cognitive ability was assessed using the self-administered Cognitive Assessment of Minnesota (CAM) scale under the supervision of a researcher. [Results] The findings indicated that there was a significant cognitive ability difference between health science and art students, especially in the cognitive components of knowledge, calculation, and thinking. However, the difference in the social cognitive component of both the health science and art students was not significant. [Conclusion] The results indicate that the health science students' cognitive abilities were better than those of the art students. This finding implies that it is important for high school graduates to undertake a cognitive ability assessment prior to choosing a subject major. Hence, it is recommended that cognitive scales should be included as an aptitude assessment tool for the decision-makers and prospective students to determine an appropriate career, since it might reduce the percentage of university drop-out ratio.
Christopher, Micaela E; Keenan, Janice M; Hulslander, Jacqueline; DeFries, John C; Miyake, Akira; Wadsworth, Sally J; Willcutt, Erik; Pennington, Bruce; Olson, Richard K
Although previous research has shown cognitive skills to be important predictors of reading ability in children, the respective roles for genetic and environmental influences on these relations is an open question. The present study explored the genetic and environmental etiologies underlying the relations between selected executive functions and cognitive abilities (working memory, inhibition, processing speed, and naming speed) with 3 components of reading ability (word reading, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension). Twin pairs drawn from the Colorado Front Range (n = 676; 224 monozygotic pairs; 452 dizygotic pairs) between the ages of 8 and 16 (M = 11.11) were assessed on multiple measures of each cognitive and reading-related skill. Each cognitive and reading-related skill was modeled as a latent variable, and behavioral genetic analyses estimated the portions of phenotypic variance on each latent variable due to genetic, shared environmental, and nonshared environmental influences. The covariance between the cognitive skills and reading-related skills was driven primarily by genetic influences. The cognitive skills also shared large amounts of genetic variance, as did the reading-related skills. The common cognitive genetic variance was highly correlated with the common reading genetic variance, suggesting that genetic influences involved in general cognitive processing are also important for reading ability. Skill-specific genetic variance in working memory and processing speed also predicted components of reading ability. Taken together, the present study supports a genetic association between children's cognitive ability and reading ability.
Harden, K. Paige; Turkheimer, Eric
It is well-established that genetic factors account for large proportions of individual differences in multiple cognitive abilities. It is also well-established that individual differences in performance on many different cognitive ability measures are strongly correlated. Recent empirical investigations, however, have suggested two interesting qualifications to these well-established findings: Genetic variance in cognitive abilities is higher in richer home environments (gene-by-environment interaction), and common variance in different cognitive abilities is lower at higher levels of overall ability (nonlinear factor structure). Although they have been investigated independently, these two phenomena may interact, because richer environments are routinely associated with higher ability levels. Using simulation we demonstrate how un-modeled nonlinear factor structure can obscure interpretation of gene-by-environment interaction. We then reanalyze data from the National Collaborative Perinatal Project, previously used by Turkheimer et al. (2003; Psychol Science), with a two-step method to model both phenomena. PMID:19633945
Costa, G; Sartori, S
The current paper reports the main results of several studies carried out on Italian workers using the work ability index as a complementary tool for workers' periodical health surveillance. The work ability index shows a general decreasing trend over the years, but it changes differently according to working conditions and personal health status. In jobs with higher mental involvement and autonomy, but lower physical constraint, it remains quite constant and high over the years, while it significantly decreases with a steeper trend the higher the physical work load and the lower the job control are. Sex and working hours appear to act concurrently in influencing work ability, particularly in association with more physically demanding jobs. It is therefore necessary to adopt flexible interventions, able to give ageing shift workers a proper support for maintaining a satisfactory work ability, by means of actions addressed both to work organization and psycho-physical conditions.
Halpern, Diane F.
This book examines the science and politics of cognitive sex differences, reflecting theories and research in the area over the past several years. Eight chapters discuss: (1) "Introduction and Overview" (e.g., theoretical approaches, values and science, and terminology); (2) "Searching for Sex Differences in Cognitive…
Gray, Sarah A; Reeve, Robert A
Different number-specific and general cognitive markers have been claimed to underlie preschoolers' math ability. It is unclear, however, whether similar/different cognitive markers, or combinations of them, are associated with different patterns of emerging math abilities (i.e., different patterns of strength and weakness). To examine this question, 103 preschoolers (40-60 months of age) completed six math tasks (count sequence, object counting, give a number, naming numbers, ordinal relations, and arithmetic), three number-specific markers of math ability (dot enumeration, magnitude comparison, and spontaneous focusing on numerosity), and four general markers (working memory, response inhibition, attention, and vocabulary). A three-step latent profile modeling procedure identified five math ability profiles that differed in their patterns of math strengths and weaknesses; specifically, the profiles were characterized by (a) excellent math ability on all math tasks, (b) good arithmetic ability, (c) good math ability but relatively poor count sequence recitation ability, (d) average ability on all math tasks, and (e) poor ability on all math tasks. After controlling for age, only dot enumeration and spontaneous focusing on numerosity were associated with the math ability profiles, whereas vocabulary was also marginally significant, and these markers were differentially associated with different profiles; that is, different cognitive markers were associated with different patterns of strengths and weaknesses in math abilities. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for the development of math cognition.
Unsworth, Nash; Redick, Thomas S; McMillan, Brittany D; Hambrick, David Z; Kane, Michael J; Engle, Randall W
The relations between video-game experience and cognitive abilities were examined in the current study. In two experiments, subjects performed a number of working memory, fluid intelligence, and attention-control measures and filled out a questionnaire about their video-game experience. In Experiment 1, an extreme-groups analysis indicated that experienced video-game players outperformed nonplayers on several cognitive-ability measures. However, in Experiments 1 and 2, when analyses examined the full range of subjects at both the task level and the latent-construct level, nearly all of the relations between video-game experience and cognitive abilities were near zero. These results cast doubt on recent claims that playing video games leads to enhanced cognitive abilities. Statistical and methodological issues with prior studies of video-game experience are discussed along with recommendations for future studies.
Shenkin, Susan D.; Starr, John M.; Deary, Ian J.
Individual differences in cognitive ability may in part have prenatal origins. In high-risk (low birth weight/premature) babies, birth weight correlates positively with cognitive test scores in childhood, but it is unclear whether this holds for those with birth weights in the normal range. The authors systematically reviewed literature on the…
This study examined computerized adaptive testing and cognitive ability testing of adults with cognitive disabilities. Adult subjects (N=250) were given computerized tests on language usage and space relations in one of three administration conditions: paper and pencil, fixed length computer adaptive, and variable length computer adaptive.…
Othman, Mahfudzah; Muhd Zain, Nurzaid
This study is primarily focused on assessing the students' logical thinking and cognitive levels in an online collaborative environment. The aim is to investigate whether the online collaboration has significant impact to the students' cognitive abilities. The assessment of the logical thinking involved the use of the online Group Assessment…
Eckstein, Shulamith Graus
Extends dynamic model of cognitive growth proposed by van Geert in three directions: (1) added a term to consider exposure to material to be learned; (2) developed method to apply model to cross-sectional studies; and (3) developed procedure to scale cognitive abilities tests with items of varying difficulty. Tests model with 2- to 15-year-olds'…
Ben-Shakhar, Gershon; Sheffer, Limor
Studied individual differences in the ability to allocate processing resources among competing tasks and its relationship with general cognitive ability for 50 Israeli undergraduates performing single and dual tasks. Results suggest that the unique ability to perform dual tasks may become more automatic and less controlled with practice so that…
Beaujean, A. Alexander; Freeman, Megan Joseph; Youngstrom, Eric; Carlson, Gabrielle
This study compared the structure of cognitive ability (specifically, verbal/crystallized ["Gc"] and visual-spatial ability ["Gv"]), as measured in the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, in youth with manic symptoms with a nationally representative group of similarly aged youth. Multigroup confirmatory factor analysis…
Li, Ye; Gao, Jie; Enkavi, A Zeynep; Zaval, Lisa; Weber, Elke U; Johnson, Eric J
Age-related deterioration in cognitive ability may compromise the ability of older adults to make major financial decisions. We explore whether knowledge and expertise accumulated from past decisions can offset cognitive decline to maintain decision quality over the life span. Using a unique dataset that combines measures of cognitive ability (fluid intelligence) and of general and domain-specific knowledge (crystallized intelligence), credit report data, and other measures of decision quality, we show that domain-specific knowledge and expertise provide an alternative route for sound financial decisions. That is, cognitive aging does not spell doom for financial decision-making in domains where the decision maker has developed expertise. These results have important implications for public policy and for the design of effective interventions and decision aids.
Li, Ye; Gao, Jie; Enkavi, A. Zeynep; Zaval, Lisa; Weber, Elke U.; Johnson, Eric J.
Age-related deterioration in cognitive ability may compromise the ability of older adults to make major financial decisions. We explore whether knowledge and expertise accumulated from past decisions can offset cognitive decline to maintain decision quality over the life span. Using a unique dataset that combines measures of cognitive ability (fluid intelligence) and of general and domain-specific knowledge (crystallized intelligence), credit report data, and other measures of decision quality, we show that domain-specific knowledge and expertise provide an alternative route for sound financial decisions. That is, cognitive aging does not spell doom for financial decision-making in domains where the decision maker has developed expertise. These results have important implications for public policy and for the design of effective interventions and decision aids. PMID:25535381
Park, Denise C.; Bischof, Gérard N.
Is it possible to enhance neural and cognitive function with cognitive training techniques? Can we delay age-related decline in cognitive function with interventions and stave off Alzheimer's disease? Does an aged brain really have the capacity to change in response to stimulation? In the present paper, we consider the neuroplasticity of the aging brain, that is, the brain's ability to increase capacity in response to sustained experience. We argue that, although there is some neural deterioration that occurs with age, the brain has the capacity to increase neural activity and develop neural scaffolding to regulate cognitive function. We suggest that increase in neural volume in response to cognitive training or experience is a clear indicator of change, but that changes in activation in response to cognitive training may be evidence of strategy change rather than indicative of neural plasticity. We note that the effect of cognitive training is surprisingly durable over time, but that the evidence that training effects transfer to other cognitive domains is relatively limited. We review evidence which suggests that engagement in an environment that requires sustained cognitive effort may facilitate cognitive function. PMID:23576894
Park, Denise C; Bischof, Gérard N
Is it possible to enhance neural and cognitive function with cognitive training techniques? Can we delay age-related decline in cognitive function with interventions and stave off Alzheimer's disease? Does an aged brain really have the capacity to change in response to stimulation? In the present paper, we consider the neuroplasticity of the aging brain, that is, the brain's ability to increase capacity in response to sustained experience. We argue that, although there is some neural deterioration that occurs with age, the brain has the capacity to increase neural activity and develop neural scaffolding to regulate cognitive function. We suggest that increase in neural volume in response to cognitive training or experience is a clear indicator of change, but that changes in activation in response to cognitive training may be evidence of strategy change rather than indicative of neural plasticity. We note that the effect of cognitive training is surprisingly durable over time, but that the evidence that training effects transfer to other cognitive domains is relatively limited. We review evidence which suggests that engagement in an environment that requires sustained cognitive effort may facilitate cognitive function.
Musch, Jochen; Ehrenberg, Katja
According to the probability misjudgment account of paranormal belief (Blackmore & Troscianko, 1985), believers in the paranormal tend to wrongly attribute remarkable coincidences to paranormal causes rather than chance. Previous studies have shown that belief in the paranormal is indeed positively related to error rates in probabilistic reasoning. General cognitive ability could account for a relationship between these two variables without assuming a causal role of probabilistic reasoning in the forming of paranormal beliefs, however. To test this alternative explanation, a belief in the paranormal scale (BPS) and a battery of probabilistic reasoning tasks were administered to 123 university students. Confirming previous findings, a significant correlation between BPS scores and error rates in probabilistic reasoning was observed. This relationship disappeared, however, when cognitive ability as measured by final examination grades was controlled for. Lower cognitive ability correlated substantially with belief in the paranormal. This finding suggests that differences in general cognitive performance rather than specific probabilistic reasoning skills provide the basis for paranormal beliefs.
Breuer, L E M; Boon, P; Bergmans, J W M; Mess, W H; Besseling, R M H; de Louw, A; Tijhuis, A G; Zinger, S; Bernas, A; Klooster, D C W; Aldenkamp, A P
A long-standing concern has been whether epilepsy contributes to cognitive decline or so-called 'epileptic dementia'. Although global cognitive decline is generally reported in the context of chronic refractory epilepsy, it is largely unknown what percentage of patients is at risk for decline. This review is focused on the identification of risk factors and characterization of aberrant cognitive trajectories in epilepsy. Evidence is found that the cognitive trajectory of patients with epilepsy over time differs from processes of cognitive ageing in healthy people, especially in adulthood-onset epilepsy. Cognitive deterioration in these patients seems to develop in a 'second hit model' and occurs when epilepsy hits on a brain that is already vulnerable or vice versa when comorbid problems develop in a person with epilepsy. Processes of ageing may be accelerated due to loss of brain plasticity and cognitive reserve capacity for which we coin the term 'accelerated cognitive ageing'. We believe that the concept of accelerated cognitive ageing can be helpful in providing a framework understanding global cognitive deterioration in epilepsy.
Panaoura, Areti; Philippou, George
Metacognition is a multidimensional construct with two main dimensions: knowledge about cognition and regulation of cognition. The present study aimed to model the development of young pupils' metacognitive abilities in mathematics in relation to processing efficiency, working memory and mathematical performance. We developed instruments measuring…
Cheng, Helen; Furnham, Adrian
This study explored a longitudinal data set of nearly 5000 adults examining the effects of childhood cognitive ability (measured at age 11), parental social class (measured at birth), and personality on current occupational prestige (all measured at age 50), taking account the effects of education and the previous occupational levels (both…
Petrill, Stephen A.; Deater-Deckard, Kirby
The current study employed a within-family adoption design to examine the genetic and environmental influences on general cognitive ability. A sample of 51 families with biological (mean age = 9.83 years, S.D. = 2.81) and adoptive children (mean age = 6.86, S.D. = 1.92) was selected from the larger "Northeast-Northwest Collaborative Adoption…
Riedel, W J; Jorissen, B L
Many nutrients or indices of nutritional status are associated with cognitive functioning, although the size of the effects on cognitive performance may be small. Results from recent studies, however, seem consistently to indicate that supplementation with beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol, substances that promote antioxidant vitamins A and E, respectively, can be beneficial to cognitive function in elderly people. Folate rather than vitamin B12 appears to be associated with cognitive functioning. Furthermore the daily intake of ginkgo biloba extract can enhance cognitive performance and has been proved to delay cognitive decline in dementia. A proper dietary composition with regard to the ratio of carbohydrates to proteins, as well as the inclusion of sufficient micronutrients, seems to be favourable in the maintenance of cognitive function in the elderly. Glucose can enhance cognitive function, but a rapid decline of glucose levels may impair cognitive function or may induce feelings of lack of energy. Low doses of caffeine may also enhance cognitive function, although most studies on caffeine and cognition, as with studies on glucose and cognition, have not been carried out in elderly individuals. The effects of nutritional supplements are modest but do not seem to be very different from those of medicinal or investigational cognition-enhancing or anti-dementia drugs.
Baker, Laura A.; And Others
Measures of general cognitive ability in one- and two-year-old adopted and nonadopted infants and their parents were subjected to path analysis to estimate the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to short-term stability of mental ability. (Author/RH)
Gilhooly, K. J.; Gilhooly, M. L.; Phillips, L. H.; Harvey, D.; Murray, A.; Hanlon, P.
This study examined relationships between cognitive functioning in older people and (1) levels of mental, physical and social activities, and (2) intentions regarding maintenance of cognitive functioning. Participants (N = 145) were 70-91 years of age, varied in health status and socio-economic backgrounds. Current cognitive functioning was…
Hung, Galen Chin-Lun; Pietras, Stefanie A.; Carliner, Hannah; Martin, Laurie; Seidman, Larry J.; Buka, Stephen L.; Gilman, Stephen E.
Background There is inconsistent evidence regarding the influence of general cognitive abilities on the long-term course of depression. Aims To investigate the association between general childhood cognitive abilities and adult depression outcomes. Method We conducted a cohort study using data from 633 participants in the New England Family Study with lifetime depression. Cognitive abilities at age 7 were measured using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Depression outcomes were assessed using structured diagnostic interviews administered up to four times in adulthood between ages 17 and 49. Results In analyses adjusting for demographic factors and parental psychiatric illness, low general cognitive ability (i.e. IQ<85 v. IQ>115) was associated with recurrent depressive episodes (odds ratio (OR) = 2.19, 95% CI 1.20–4.00), longer episode duration (rate ratio 4.21, 95% CI 2.24–7.94), admission to hospital for depression (OR = 3.65, 95% CI 1.34–9.93) and suicide ideation (OR = 3.79, 95% CI 1.79–8.02) and attempt (OR = 4.94, 95% CI 1.67–14.55). Conclusions Variation in cognitive abilities, predominantly within the normal range and established early in childhood, may confer long-term vulnerability for prolonged and severe depression. The mechanisms underlying this vulnerability need to be established to improve the prognosis of depression among individuals with lower cognitive abilities. PMID:26585100
McLennan, Skye N; Ihle, Andreas; Steudte-Schmiedgen, Susann; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Kliegel, Matthias
It has been hypothesized that prolonged exposure to high cortisol levels results in cognitive impairment. However, previous research into the relationship between cortisol and cognition has produced mixed results, most likely due to difficulties achieving valid estimates of long-term cortisol exposure based on salivary or plasma cortisol assessments at a single time point. Furthermore, there has been little research on the cognitive effects of long-term cortisol exposure in working-age adults. In the present study, hair samples were collected from 246 nurses (89.8% female) aged from 21 to 62 (M=42.0, SD=11.2). Hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) in the proximal 3-cm hair segment were analyzed providing an estimate of integrated cortisol secretion over the 3 month-period prior to hair sampling. Cognition was measured using a battery of 15 neuropsychological tests, measuring core dimensions of memory, inductive reasoning, processing speed, crystalized intelligence and major aspects of executive functioning. HCC was not significantly related to any of the cognitive abilities measured, either before or after controlling for potential moderators such as age, sex, education, health, well-being, work ability and burnout. Tests for nonlinear relationships also yielded non-significant results. Thus, despite the study being well powered, long term cortisol exposure did not appear to be related to cognitive performance in this sample of working-age adults, suggesting that long term cortisol exposure may be less relevant to cognition in younger and middle-aged adults than was previously thought.
Vance, David E; McNees, Patrick; Meneses, Karen
Many older adults experience cognitive difficulties and declines as a part of normal aging. Nurses and other health care professionals will require assistance in technologies that can help older patients maintain or improve cognition. Cognitive remediation represents a well-established laboratory approach that augments cognitive functioning in older adults. Emerging technologies allow such cognitive remediation to be self-administered through gaming software, making it convenient, fun, and inexpensive to deliver. As such, guiding older patients, as well as some facilities, in this direction may be a way to help. However, certain caveats and suggestions are warranted.
Deoni, Sean C L; O'Muircheartaigh, Jonathan; Elison, Jed T; Walker, Lindsay; Doernberg, Ellen; Waskiewicz, Nicole; Dirks, Holly; Piryatinsky, Irene; Dean, Doug C; Jumbe, N L
Infancy and early childhood are periods of rapid brain development, during which brain structure and function mature alongside evolving cognitive ability. An important neurodevelopmental process during this postnatal period is the maturation of the myelinated white matter, which facilitates rapid communication across neural systems and networks. Though prior brain imaging studies in children (4 years of age and above), adolescents, and adults have consistently linked white matter development with cognitive maturation and intelligence, few studies have examined how these processes are related throughout early development (birth to 4 years of age). Here, we show that the profile of white matter myelination across the first 5 years of life is strongly and specifically related to cognitive ability. Using a longitudinal design, coupled with advanced magnetic resonance imaging, we demonstrate that children with above-average ability show differential trajectories of myelin development compared to average and below average ability children, even when controlling for socioeconomic status, gestation, and birth weight. Specifically, higher ability children exhibit slower but more prolonged early development, resulting in overall increased myelin measures by ~3 years of age. These results provide new insight into the early neuroanatomical correlates of cognitive ability, and suggest an early period of prolonged maturation with associated protracted white matter plasticity may result in strengthened neural networks that can better support later development. Further, these results reinforce the necessity of a longitudinal perspective in investigating typical or suspected atypical cognitive maturation.
Rodger, Erin; Fodor-Wynne, Lucy; Hamburg, Sarah; Strydom, André
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability (ID). Abilities relating to executive function, memory and language are particularly affected in DS, although there is a large variability across individuals. People with DS also show an increased risk of developing dementia. While assessment batteries have been developed for adults with DS to assess cognitive abilities, these batteries may not be suitable for those with more severe IDs, dementia, or visual / hearing difficulties. Here we report the development of an informant rated questionnaire, the Cognitive Scale for Down Syndrome (CS-DS), which focuses on everyday abilities relating to executive function, memory and language, and is suitable for assessing these abilities in all adults with DS regardless of cognitive ability. Complete questionnaires were collected about 128 individuals with DS. After final question selection we found high internal consistency scores across the total questionnaire and within the executive function, memory and language domains. CS-DS scores showed a wide range, with minimal floor and ceiling effects. We found high interrater (n = 55) and test retest (n = 36) intraclass correlations. CS-DS scores were significantly lower in those aged 41+ with significant cognitive decline compared to those without decline. Across all adults without cognitive decline, CS-DS scores correlated significantly to measures of general abilities. Exploratory factor analysis suggested five factors within the scale, relating to memory, self-regulation / inhibition, self-direction / initiation, communication, and focussing attention. The CS-DS therefore shows good interrater and test retest reliability, and appears to be a valid and suitable informant rating tool for assessing everyday cognitive abilities in a wide range of individuals with DS. Such a questionnaire may be a useful outcome measure for intervention studies to assess improvements to cognition, in addition to
Thomas, Michael L.; Brown, Gregory G.; Gur, Ruben C.; Moore, Tyler M.; Patt, Virginie M.; Nock, Matthew K.; Naifeh, James A.; Heeringa, Steven; Ursano, Robert J.; Stein, Murray B.
Introduction We used cognitive and psychometric modeling techniques to evaluate the construct validity and measurement precision of latent cognitive abilities measured by a test of concept identification learning: the Penn Conditional Exclusion Test (PCET). Method Item response theory parameters were embedded within classic associative- and hypothesis-based Markov learning models and fitted to 35,553 Army soldiers' PCET data from the Army Study To Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS). Results Data were consistent with a hypothesis-testing model with multiple latent abilities— abstraction and set shifting. Latent abstraction ability was positively correlated with number of concepts learned, and latent set shifting ability was negatively correlated with number of perseverative errors, supporting the construct validity of the two parameters. Abstraction was most precisely assessed for participants with abilities ranging from one-and-a-half standard deviations below the mean to the mean itself. Measurement of set shifting was acceptably precise only for participants making a high number of perseverative errors. Conclusions The PCET precisely measures latent abstraction ability in the Army STARRS sample, especially within the range of mildly impaired to average ability. This precision pattern is ideal for a test developed to measure cognitive impairment as opposed to cognitive strength. The PCET also measures latent set shifting ability, but reliable assessment is limited to the impaired range of ability reflecting that perseverative errors are rare among cognitively healthy adults. Integrating cognitive and psychometric models can provide information about construct validity and measurement precision within a single analytical framework. PMID:26147832
Pazzaglia, Francesca; Moè, Angelica
In inspecting, learning and reproducing a map, a wide range of abilities is potentially involved. This study examined the role of mental rotation (MR) and verbal ability, together with that of cognitive styles in map learning. As regards cognitive styles, the traditional distinction between verbalizers and visualizers has been taken into account, together with a more recent distinction between two styles of visualization: spatial and object. One hundred and seven participants filled in two questionnaires on cognitive styles: the Verbalizer-Visualizer Questionnaire (Richardson in J Ment Imag 1:109-125, 1977) and the Object-Spatial Imagery Questionnaire (Blajenkova et al. in Appl Cogn Psych 20:239-263, 2006), performed MR and verbal tests, learned two maps, and were then tested for their recall. It was found that MR ability and cognitive styles played a role in predicting map learning, with some distinctions within cognitive styles: verbal style favoured learning of one of the two maps (the one rich in verbal labels), which in turn was disadvantaged by the adoption of spatial style. Conversely, spatial style predicted learning of the other map, rich in visual features. The discussion focuses on implications for cognitive psychology and everyday cognition.
Allen, John S; Bruss, Joel; Damasio, Hanna
Compared to other primates, humans live a long time and have large brains. Recent theories of the evolution of human life history stages (grandmother hypothesis, intergenerational transfer of information) lend credence to the notion that selection for increased life span and menopause has occurred in hominid evolution, despite the reduction in the force of natural selection operating on older, especially post-reproductive, individuals. Theories that posit the importance (in an inclusive fitness sense) of the survival of older individuals require them to maintain a reasonably high level of cognitive function (e.g., memory, communication). Patterns of brain aging and factors associated with healthy brain aging should be relevant to this issue. Recent neuroimaging research suggests that, in healthy aging, human brain volume (gray and white matter) is well-maintained until at least 60 years of age; cognitive function also shows only nonsignificant declines at this age. The maintenance of brain volume and cognitive performance is consistent with the idea of a significant post- or late-reproductive life history stage. A clinical model, "the cognitive reserve hypothesis," proposes that both increased brain volume and enhanced cognitive ability may contribute to healthy brain aging, reducing the likelihood of developing dementia. Selection for increased brain size and increased cognitive ability in hominid evolution may therefore have been important in selection for increased lifespan in the context of intergenerational social support networks.
Greenwood, Pamela M.; Parasuraman, Raja
What is the neurocognitive basis for the considerable individual differences observed in functioning of the adult mind and brain late in life? We review the evidence that in healthy old age the brain remains capable of both neuronal and cognitive plasticity, including in response to environmental and experiential factors. Neuronal plasticity (e.g., neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, cortical re-organization) refers to neuron-level changes that can be stimulated by experience. Cognitive plasticity (e.g., increased dependence on executive function) refers to adaptive changes in patterns of cognition related to brain activity. We hypothesize that successful cognitive aging requires interactions between these two forms of plasticity. Mechanisms of neural plasticity underpin cognitive plasticity and in turn, neural plasticity is stimulated by cognitive plasticity. We examine support for this hypothesis by considering evidence that neural plasticity is stimulated by learning and novelty and enhanced by both dietary manipulations (low-fat, dietary restriction) and aerobic exercise. We also examine evidence that cognitive plasticity is affected by education and training. This is a testable hypothesis which could be assessed in humans in randomized trials comparing separate and combined effects of cognitive training, exercise, and diet on measures of cognitive and brain integrity. Greater understanding of the factors influencing the course of cognitive aging and of the mechanisms underlying those factors could provide information on which people could base choices that improve their ability to age successfully. PMID:21151819
Greenwood, Pamela M; Parasuraman, Raja
What is the neurocognitive basis for the considerable individual differences observed in functioning of the adult mind and brain late in life? We review the evidence that in healthy old age the brain remains capable of both neuronal and cognitive plasticity, including in response to environmental and experiential factors. Neuronal plasticity (e.g., neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, cortical re-organization) refers to neuron-level changes that can be stimulated by experience. Cognitive plasticity (e.g., increased dependence on executive function) refers to adaptive changes in patterns of cognition related to brain activity. We hypothesize that successful cognitive aging requires interactions between these two forms of plasticity. Mechanisms of neural plasticity underpin cognitive plasticity and in turn, neural plasticity is stimulated by cognitive plasticity. We examine support for this hypothesis by considering evidence that neural plasticity is stimulated by learning and novelty and enhanced by both dietary manipulations (low-fat, dietary restriction) and aerobic exercise. We also examine evidence that cognitive plasticity is affected by education and training. This is a testable hypothesis which could be assessed in humans in randomized trials comparing separate and combined effects of cognitive training, exercise, and diet on measures of cognitive and brain integrity. Greater understanding of the factors influencing the course of cognitive aging and of the mechanisms underlying those factors could provide information on which people could base choices that improve their ability to age successfully.
Fowler, Patrick J; McGrath, Lauren M; Henry, David B; Schoeny, Michael; Chavira, Dina; Taylor, Jeremy J; Day, Orin
This study investigates the influence of housing instability on verbal and nonverbal cognitive development among at-risk children and adolescents involved in the child welfare system. Frequent residential changes threaten child mental health, especially among low-income families. Little is known regarding disruptions to cognitive growth, specifically the impact on verbal and nonverbal abilities. The study tests whether developmental timing of housing mobility affects cognitive development beyond individual and family risks. A nationally representative study of families (n=2,442) susceptible to housing and family instability tracked children and adolescents aged 4-14 years (M=8.95 years) over 36 months following investigation by the child welfare system. Youth completed standardized cognitive assessments while caregivers reported on behavior problems and family risk at three time points. Latent growth models examined change in cognitive abilities over time. Housing mobility in the 12 months prior to baseline predicts lower verbal cognitive abilities that improve marginally. Similar effects emerge for all age groups; however, frequent moves in infancy diminish the influence of subsequent housing mobility on verbal tasks. Housing instability threatened cognitive development beyond child maltreatment, family changes, poverty, and other risks. Findings inform emerging research on environmental influences on neurocognitive development, as well as identify targets for early intervention. Systematic assessment of family housing problems, including through the child welfare system, provides opportunities for coordinated responses to prevent instability and cognitive threats.
Fowler, Patrick J.; McGrath, Lauren M.; Henry, David B.; Schoeny, Michael; Chavira, Dina; Taylor, Jeremy J.; Day, Orin
This study investigates the influence of housing instability on verbal and nonverbal cognitive development among at-risk children and adolescents involved in the child welfare system. Frequent residential changes threaten child mental health, especially among low-income families. Little is known regarding disruptions to cognitive growth, specifically the impact on verbal and nonverbal abilities. The study tests whether developmental timing of housing mobility affects cognitive development beyond individual and family risks. A nationally representative study of families (n = 2,442) susceptible to housing and family instability tracked children and adolescents aged four to 14 years (M = 8.95 years) over 36 months following investigation by the child welfare system. Youth completed standardized cognitive assessments while caregivers reported on behavior problems and family risk at three time points. Latent growth models examined change in cognitive abilities over time. Housing mobility in the 12 months prior to baseline predicts lower verbal cognitive abilities that improve marginally. Similar effects emerge for all age groups; however, frequent moves in infancy diminish the influence of subsequent housing mobility on verbal tasks. Housing instability threatened cognitive development beyond child maltreatment, family changes, poverty, and other risks. Findings inform emerging research on environmental influences on neurocognitive development, as well as identify targets for early intervention. Systematic assessment of family housing problems, including through the child welfare system, provides opportunities for coordinated responses to prevent instability and cognitive threats. PMID:26184055
Ritchie, Stuart J; Bates, Timothy C; Corley, Janie; McNeill, Geraldine; Davies, Gail; Liewald, David C; Starr, John M; Deary, Ian J
Studies of the effect of alcohol consumption on cognitive ability are often confounded. One approach to avoid confounding is the Mendelian randomization design. Here, we used such a design to test the hypothesis that a genetic score for alcohol processing capacity moderates the association between alcohol consumption and lifetime change in cognitive ability. Members of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 completed the same test of intelligence at age 11 and 70 years. They were assessed for recent alcohol consumption in later life and genotyped for a set of four single-nucleotide polymorphisms in three alcohol dehydrogenase genes. These variants were unrelated to late-life cognition or to socioeconomic status. We found a significant gene × alcohol consumption interaction on lifetime cognitive change (p = 0.007). Individuals with higher genetic ability to process alcohol showed relative improvements in cognitive ability with more consumption, whereas those with low processing capacity showed a negative relationship between cognitive change and alcohol consumption with more consumption. The effect of alcohol consumption on cognitive change may thus depend on genetic differences in the ability to metabolize alcohol.
Ziegler, G; Dahnke, R; Winkler, A D; Gaser, C
Intelligent behavior is not a one-dimensional phenomenon. Individual differences in human cognitive abilities might be therefore described by a 'cognitive manifold' of intercorrelated tests from partially independent domains of general intelligence and executive functions. However, the relationship between these individual differences and brain morphology is not yet fully understood. Here we take a multivariate approach to analyzing covariations across individuals in two feature spaces: the low-dimensional space of cognitive ability subtests and the high-dimensional space of local gray matter volume obtained from voxel-based morphometry. By exploiting a partial least squares correlation framework in a large sample of 286 healthy children and adolescents, we identify directions of maximum covariance between both spaces in terms of latent variable modeling. We obtain an orthogonal set of latent variables representing commonalities in the brain-behavior system, which emphasize specific neuronal networks involved in cognitive ability differences. We further explore the early lifespan maturation of the covariance between cognitive abilities and local gray matter volume. The dominant latent variable revealed positive weights across widespread gray matter regions (in the brain domain) and the strongest weights for parents' ratings of children's executive function (in the cognitive domain). The obtained latent variables for brain and cognitive abilities exhibited moderate correlations of 0.46-0.6. Moreover, the multivariate modeling revealed indications for a heterochronic formation of the association as a process of brain maturation across different age groups.
Mohammed, Ali Mohammed Haidar
The present study aims to identify the level of cognitive skills and abilities of children who suffer from the Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the differences in the level of cognitive skills and abilities according to the age group and the level of academic achievement. To achieve the objective of the study, a…
Stanovich, Keith E; West, Richard F
In 7 different studies, the authors observed that a large number of thinking biases are uncorrelated with cognitive ability. These thinking biases include some of the most classic and well-studied biases in the heuristics and biases literature, including the conjunction effect, framing effects, anchoring effects, outcome bias, base-rate neglect, "less is more" effects, affect biases, omission bias, myside bias, sunk-cost effect, and certainty effects that violate the axioms of expected utility theory. In a further experiment, the authors nonetheless showed that cognitive ability does correlate with the tendency to avoid some rational thinking biases, specifically the tendency to display denominator neglect, probability matching rather than maximizing, belief bias, and matching bias on the 4-card selection task. The authors present a framework for predicting when cognitive ability will and will not correlate with a rational thinking tendency.
Devitt, Aleea L; Schacter, Daniel L
As we age we become increasingly susceptible to memory distortions and inaccuracies. Over the past decade numerous neuroimaging studies have attempted to illuminate the neural underpinnings of aging and false memory. Here we review these studies, and link their findings with those concerning the cognitive properties of age-related changes in memory accuracy. Collectively this evidence points towards a prominent role for age-related declines in medial temporal and prefrontal brain areas, and corresponding impairments in associative binding and strategic monitoring. A resulting cascade of cognitive changes contributes to the heightened vulnerability to false memories with age, including reduced recollective ability, a reliance on gist information and familiarity-based monitoring mechanisms, as well as a reduced ability to inhibit irrelevant information and erroneous binding of features between memory traces. We consider both theoretical and applied implications of research on aging and false memories, as well as questions remaining to be addressed in future research.
Larsson, Maria; Öberg, Christina; Bäckman, Lars
The purpose of this study was to determine correlates of odor identification in old age. One hundred and thirty-two men and women (60-91 years) were assessed in a number of tasks tapping sensory acuity (i.e., odor sensitivity, intensity discrimination, quality discrimination) and different cognitive abilities (i.e., perceptual speed, executive functioning, verbal fluency). Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that age, female sex, olfactory sensitivity, quality discrimination, cognitive speed, and verbal fluency were the most potent correlates of odor identification in general. In addition, the age-related variance in odor identification was eliminated when age-related deficits in odor sensitivity, quality discrimination, and perceptual speed were taken into account. This pattern of outcome suggests that age-related differences in these abilities underlie the well-established age impairment in odor identification.
Stranahan, Alexis M.; Mattson, Mark P.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represent points on a continuum of cognitive performance in aged populations. Cognition may be impaired or preserved in the context of brain aging. One theory to account for memory maintenance in the context of extensive pathology involves ‘cognitive reserve,’ or the ability to compensate for neuropathology through greater recruitment of remaining neurons. In this review, we propose a complementary hypothesis of ‘metabolic reserve’, where a brain with high metabolic reserve is characterized by the presence of neuronal circuits that respond adaptively to perturbations in cellular and somatic energy metabolism and thereby protects against declining cognition. Lifestyle determinants of metabolic reserve, such as exercise, reduced caloric intake, and intake of specific dietary components can promote neuroprotection, while pathological states arising from sedentary lifestyles and excessive caloric intake contribute to neuronal endangerment. This bidirectional relationship between metabolism and cognition may be mediated by alterations in central insulin and neurotrophic factor signaling and glucose metabolism, with downstream consequences for accumulation of amyloid beta and hyperphosphorylated tau. The metabolic reserve hypothesis is supported by epidemiological findings, and the spectrum of individual cognitive trajectories during aging, with additional data from animal models identifying potential mechanisms for this relationship. Identification of biomarkers for metabolic reserve could assist in generating a predictive model for the likelihood of cognitive decline with aging. PMID:22045480
Tye-Murray, Nancy; Sommers, Mitchell S; Spehar, Brent
Age-related declines for many sensory and cognitive abilities are greater for males than for females. The primary purpose of the present investigation was to consider whether age-related changes in lipreading abilities are similar for men and women by comparing the lipreading abilities of separate groups of younger and older adults. Older females, older males, younger females and younger males completed vision-only speech recognition tests of: (1) 13 consonants in a vocalic /i/-C-/i/ environment; (2) words in a carrier phrase; and (3) meaningful sentences. In addition to percent correct performance, consonant data were analyzed for performance within viseme categories. The results suggest that while older adults do not lipread as well as younger adults, the difference between older and younger participants was comparable across gender. We also found no differences in the lipreading abilities of males and females, regardless of stimulus type (i.e., consonants, words, sentences), a finding that differs from some reports by previous investigators (e.g., Dancer, Krain, Thompson, Davis, & Glenn, 1994).
Wright, Heather Harris; Capilouto, Gilson J.; Srinivasan, Cidambi; Fergadiotis, Gerasimos
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine the relationships among measures of comprehension and production for stories depicted in wordless pictures books and measures of memory and attention for 2 age groups. Method: Sixty cognitively healthy adults participated. They consisted of two groups--young adults (20-29 years of age) and older…
Murray, Catherine; Pattie, Alison; Starr, John M.; Deary, Ian J.
To test whether cognitive ability predicts survival from age 79 to 89 years data were collected from 543 (230 male) participants who entered the study at a mean age of 79.1 years. Most had taken the Moray House Test of general intelligence (MHT) when aged 11 and 79 years from which, in addition to intelligence measures at these two time points,…
Horwitz, Anna; Dyhr Thomsen, Mia; Wiegand, Iris; Horwitz, Henrik; Klemp, Marc; Nikolic, Miki; Rask, Lene; Lauritzen, Martin; Benedek, Krisztina
Neocortical gamma activity is crucial for sensory perception and cognition. This study examines the value of using non-task stimulation-induced EEG oscillations to predict cognitive status in a birth cohort of healthy Danish males (Metropolit) with varying cognitive ability. In particular, we examine the steady-state VEP power response (SSVEP-PR) in the alpha (8Hz) and gamma (36Hz) bands in 54 males (avg. age: 62.0 years) and compare these with 10 young healthy participants (avg. age 27.6 years). Furthermore, we correlate the individual alpha-to-gamma difference in relative visual-area power (ΔRV) with cognitive scores for the older adults. We find that ΔRV decrease with age by just over one standard deviation when comparing young with old participants (p<0.01). Furthermore, intelligence is significantly negatively correlated with ΔRV in the older adult cohort, even when processing speed, global cognition, executive function, memory, and education (p<0.05). In our preferred specification, an increase in ΔRV of one standard deviation is associated with a reduction in intelligence of 48% of a standard deviation (p<0.01). Finally, we conclude that the difference in cerebral rhythmic activity between the alpha and gamma bands is associated with age and cognitive status, and that ΔRV therefore provide a non-subjective clinical tool with which to examine cognitive status in old age.
Dyhr Thomsen, Mia; Wiegand, Iris; Horwitz, Henrik; Klemp, Marc; Nikolic, Miki; Rask, Lene; Lauritzen, Martin; Benedek, Krisztina
Neocortical gamma activity is crucial for sensory perception and cognition. This study examines the value of using non-task stimulation-induced EEG oscillations to predict cognitive status in a birth cohort of healthy Danish males (Metropolit) with varying cognitive ability. In particular, we examine the steady-state VEP power response (SSVEP-PR) in the alpha (8Hz) and gamma (36Hz) bands in 54 males (avg. age: 62.0 years) and compare these with 10 young healthy participants (avg. age 27.6 years). Furthermore, we correlate the individual alpha-to-gamma difference in relative visual-area power (ΔRV) with cognitive scores for the older adults. We find that ΔRV decrease with age by just over one standard deviation when comparing young with old participants (p<0.01). Furthermore, intelligence is significantly negatively correlated with ΔRV in the older adult cohort, even when processing speed, global cognition, executive function, memory, and education (p<0.05). In our preferred specification, an increase in ΔRV of one standard deviation is associated with a reduction in intelligence of 48% of a standard deviation (p<0.01). Finally, we conclude that the difference in cerebral rhythmic activity between the alpha and gamma bands is associated with age and cognitive status, and that ΔRV therefore provide a non-subjective clinical tool with which to examine cognitive status in old age. PMID:28245274
Boyle, Patricia A.; Yu, Lei; Barnes, Lisa L.; Schneider, Julie A.; Bennett, David A.
Objective: To test the hypothesis that cognitive activity across the life span is related to late-life cognitive decline not linked to common neuropathologic disorders. Methods: On enrollment, older participants in a longitudinal clinical-pathologic cohort study rated late-life (i.e., current) and early-life participation in cognitively stimulating activities. After a mean of 5.8 years of annual cognitive function testing, 294 individuals had died and undergone neuropathologic examination. Chronic gross infarcts, chronic microscopic infarcts, and neocortical Lewy bodies were identified, and measures of β-amyloid burden and tau-positive tangle density in multiple brain regions were derived. Results: In a mixed-effects model adjusted for age at death, sex, education, gross and microscopic infarction, neocortical Lewy bodies, amyloid burden, and tangle density, more frequent late-life cognitive activity (estimate = 0.028, standard error [SE] = 0.008, p < 0.001) and early-life cognitive activity (estimate = 0.034, SE = 0.013, p = 0.008) were each associated with slower cognitive decline. The 2 measures together accounted for 14% of the residual variability in cognitive decline not related to neuropathologic burden. The early-life–activity association was attributable to cognitive activity in childhood (estimate = 0.027, SE = 0.012, p = 0.026) and middle age (estimate = 0.029, SE = 0.013, p = 0.025) but not young adulthood (estimate = −0.020, SE = 0.014, p = 0.163). Conclusions: More frequent cognitive activity across the life span has an association with slower late-life cognitive decline that is independent of common neuropathologic conditions, consistent with the cognitive reserve hypothesis. PMID:23825173
Schoenemann, P. Thomas; Budinger, Thomas F.; Sarich, Vincent M.; Wang, William S.-Y.
Hominid brain size increased dramatically in the face of apparently severe associated evolutionary costs. This suggests that increasing brain size must have provided some sort of counterbalancing adaptive benefit. Several recent studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have indicated that a substantial correlation (mean r = ≈0.4) exists between brain size and general cognitive performance, consistent with the hypothesis that the payoff for increasing brain size was greater general cognitive ability. However, these studies confound between-family environmental influences with direct genetic/biological influences. To address this problem, within-family (WF) sibling differences for several neuroanatomical measures were correlated to WF scores on a diverse battery of cognitive tests in a sample of 36 sibling pairs. WF correlations between neuroanatomy and general cognitive ability were essentially zero, although moderate correlations were found between prefrontal volumes and the Stroop test (known to involve prefrontal cortex). These findings suggest that nongenetic influences play a role in brain volume/cognitive ability associations. Actual direct genetic/biological associations may be quite small, and yet still may be strong enough to account for hominid brain evolution. PMID:10781101
Hartanto, Andree; Toh, Wei Xing; Yang, Hwajin
Although prior research suggests that playing video games can improve cognitive abilities, recent empirical studies cast doubt on such findings (Unsworth et al., 2015). To reconcile these inconsistent findings, we focused on the link between video games and task switching. Furthermore, we conceptualized video-game expertise as the onset age of active video-game play rather than the frequency of recent gameplay, as it captures both how long a person has played video games and whether the individual began playing during periods of high cognitive plasticity. We found that the age of active onset better predicted switch and mixing costs than did frequency of recent gameplay; specifically, players who commenced playing video games at an earlier age reaped greater benefits in terms of task switching than did those who started at a later age. Moreover, improving switch costs required a more extensive period of video-game experience than did mixing costs; this finding suggests that certain cognitive abilities benefit from different amounts of video game experience.
Fabrigoule, Colette; Lafont, Sylviane
Older drivers are more numerous on the roads. They are expert drivers, but with increasing age certain physiological changes can interfere with driving, which is a complex activity of daily living. Older drivers are involved in fewer accidents than younger drivers, but they have a higher accident rate per kilometer driven. The elderly are heavily represented in the balance sheet of road deaths, being motorists or pedestrians. This high mortality is largely explained by their physical frailty. In the presence of deficits, self-regulation of driving habits, changes/reductions or stopping in driving activity occur in the elderly. But cognitive deficits are associated with an increased risk of accidents. Among drivers with Alzheimer's disease, there is a heterogeneity of driving ability, making difficult the advisory role of a physician for driving. A protocol for physicians was developed to assess cognitive impairments that may affect driving in an elderly patient. The car plays an important role in the autonomy of the elderly and patient advice on stopping driving should take into account the risk/benefit ratio.
Gonzalez, C.; Thomas, R.P.; Vanyukov, P.
This study investigated the relationships between cognitive ability (as assessed by the Raven Progressive Matrices Test [RPM] and the Visual-Span Test [VSPAN]) and individuals' performance in three dynamic decision making (DDM) tasks (i.e., regular Water Purification Plant [WPP], Team WPP, and Firechief). Participants interacted repeatedly with…
Zekveld, Adriana A.; George, Erwin L. J.; Houtgast, Tammo; Kramer, Sophia E.
Purpose: In this explorative study, the authors investigated the relationship between auditory and cognitive abilities and self-reported hearing disability. Method: Thirty-two adults with mild to moderate hearing loss completed the Amsterdam Inventory for Auditory Disability and Handicap (AIADH; Kramer, Kapteyn, Festen, & Tobi, 1996) and…
Carroll, John B.
This article reviews Raymond B. Cattell's important contributions to intelligence testing and the theory of intelligence. His theory of fluid and crystallized intelligences and other high-order factors of cognitive ability has offered the most well-founded and reasonable approach to an acceptable theory. (Author/BS)
Nisiforou, Efi; Parmaxi, Antigoni
Language researchers have identified a number of elements related to language performance. One of these factors is individual attributes of the language learners or their cognitive ability. In the fall semester 2015, 18 undergraduates of Greek for academic purposes language course of a public university in Cyprus participated in the study. This…
Aslam, Monazza; Bari, Faisal; Kingdon, Geeta
This study investigates the economic outcomes of education for wage earners in Pakistan. This is done by analysing the relationship between schooling, cognitive skills and ability, on the one hand, and economic activity, occupation, sectoral choice and earnings, on the other. In Pakistan, an important question remains largely unaddressed: what…
Ownby, Raymond L.; Czaja, Sara J.; Loewenstein, David; Rubert, Mark
Purpose: The purposes of this study were (a) to identify cognitive abilities and other factors related to successful completion of training for computer-based tasks that simulated real jobs and (b) to create a brief assessment battery useful in assessing older adults for these kinds of jobs. Design and Methods: Participants from three age groups…
Lonner, Walter J; And Others
Presents results of a study in rural Alaska to assess effects of commercial television, installed in 1977, on the Inupiat Eskimo group and the Tlingit and Haida Indians. Predictor variables included age, sex, culture area, and amount of television watched. Results indicated no major effects of television by itself on cognitive abilities. (SA)
Riedel, W J; Jolles, J
A review of recently published studies on the effect of cognition enhancers in non-demented human study participants is presented. The heterogeneity of the therapeutic target, age-associated cognitive decline, can be improved by separately treating groups in whom age-extrinsic factors may underlie cognitive pathology. Standardisation of cognitive assessments is necessary, since many different tests are applied to answer the same question. Modelling cognitive dysfunction, either by pharmacological or nonpharmacological means, in humans is highly recommended since it allows hypotheses to be tested in a clearly operationalised way. Predictive validity of the currently applied models for the clinical situation remains a problem, however. The scopolamine (hyoscine) model has, to a reasonable extent, predictive validity for the cholinergic agents. The results of 67 single-dose studies and 30 multiple-dose studies are summarised. All single-dose studies and 14 multiple-dose studies were carried out in young or elderly human volunteers. In 45 of 81 volunteer studies, models of cognitive dysfunction were employed. The scopolamine model was the most used (n = 21); the other studies induced cognitive dysfunction by means of benzodiazepines (8), hypoxia (7), alcohol (5) and sleep-deprivation (4). The remaining 16 multiple-dose studies were clinical trials of a duration varying between 2 weeks and 1 year (average duration was 14 weeks). In these trials, the effects of cognition enhancers were assessed in elderly people in whom impairment of memory, psychomotor performance or cognitive function was determined. These included age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) and age-associated cognitive decline (AACD). There were many studies in which the cognition enhancing properties of substances in humans were reliably demonstrated. The cognition enhancing properties of substances that are widely used, such as caffeine, nicotine and vitamins, may already be active against AACD. New
SHARIT, JOSEPH; HERNÁNDEZ, MARIO A.; CZAJA, SARA J.; PIROLLI, PETER
This study investigated the influences of knowledge, particularly Internet, Web browser, and search engine knowledge, as well as cognitive abilities on older adult information seeking on the Internet. The emphasis on aspects of cognition was informed by a modeling framework of search engine information-seeking behavior. Participants from two older age groups were recruited: twenty people in a younger-old group (ages 60–70) and twenty people in an older-old group (ages 71–85). Ten younger adults (ages 18–39) served as a comparison group. All participants had at least some Internet search experience. The experimental task consisted of six realistic search problems, all involving information related to health and well-being and which varied in degree of complexity. The results indicated that though necessary, Internet-related knowledge was not sufficient in explaining information-seeking performance, and suggested that a combination of both knowledge and key cognitive abilities is important for successful information seeking. In addition, the cognitive abilities that were found to be critical for task performance depended on the search problem’s complexity. Also, significant differences in task performance between the younger and the two older age groups were found on complex, but not on simple problems. Overall, the results from this study have implications for instructing older adults on Internet information seeking and for the design of Web sites. PMID:20011130
Ram, Nilam; Gerstorf, Denis; Lindenberger, Ulman; Smith, Jacqui
Repeated assessments obtained over years can be used to measure individuals' developmental change, whereas repeated assessments obtained over a few weeks can be used to measure individuals' dynamic characteristics. Using data from a burst of measurement embedded in the Berlin Aging Study (BASE; Baltes & Mayer, 1999), we illustrate and examine how long-term changes in cognitive ability are related to short-term changes in cognitive performance, cardiovascular function, and emotional experience. Our findings suggest that "better" cognitive aging over approximately 13 years was associated with greater cognitive plasticity, less cardiovascular lability, and less emotional diversity over approximately 2 weeks at age 90 years. The study highlights the potential benefits of multi-time scale longitudinal designs for the study of individual function and development.
Spann, Marisa N; Bansal, Ravi; Rosen, Tove S; Peterson, Bradley S
Knowledge of the role of brain maturation in the development of cognitive abilities derives primarily from studies of school-age children to adults. Little is known about the morphological features of the neonatal brain that support the subsequent development of abilities in early childhood, when maturation of the brain and these abilities are the most dynamic. The goal of our study was to determine whether brain morphology during the neonatal period supports early cognitive development through 2 years of age. We correlated morphological features of the cerebral surface assessed using deformation-based measures (surface distances) of high-resolution MRI scans for 33 healthy neonates, scanned between the first to sixth week of postmenstrual life, with subsequent measures of their motor, language, and cognitive abilities at ages 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. We found that morphological features of the cerebral surface of the frontal, mesial prefrontal, temporal, and occipital regions correlated with subsequent motor scores, posterior parietal regions correlated with subsequent language scores, and temporal and occipital regions correlated with subsequent cognitive scores. Measures of the anterior and middle portions of the cingulate gyrus correlated with scores across all three domains of ability. Most of the significant findings were inverse correlations located bilaterally in the brain. The inverse correlations may suggest either that a more protracted morphological maturation or smaller local volumes of neonatal brain tissue supports better performance on measures of subsequent motor, language, and cognitive abilities throughout the first 2 years of postnatal life. The correlations of morphological measures of the cingulate with measures of performance across all domains of ability suggest that the cingulate supports a broad range of skills in infancy and early childhood, similar to its functions in older children and adults.
Smith, Glenn E
Behavioral prevention strategies can help maintain high levels of cognition and functional integrity, and can reduce the social, medical, and economic burden associated with cognitive aging and age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. Interventions involving physical exercise and cognitive training have consistently shown positive effects on cognition in older adults. "Brain fitness" interventions have now been shown to have sustained effects lasting 10 years or more. A meta-analysis suggests these physical exercise and brain fitness exercises produce nearly identical impact on formal measures of cognitive function. Behavioral interventions developed and deployed by psychologists are key in supporting healthy cognitive aging. The National Institutes of Health should expand research on cognitive health and behavioral and social science to promote healthy aging and to develop and refine ways to prevent and treat dementia. Funding for adequately powered, large-scale trials is needed. Congress must maintain support for crucial dementia-related initiatives like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Brain Initiative and fund training programs to insure there is a work force with skills to provide high quality care for older adults. Insurers must provide better coverage for behavioral interventions. Better coverage is needed so there can be increased access to evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion services with the potential for reducing dementia risk. (PsycINFO Database Record
Benros, Michael Eriksen; Sørensen, Holger Jelling; Nielsen, Philip Rising; Nordentoft, Merete; Mortensen, Preben Bo; Petersen, Liselotte
Background Infections and activated immune responses can affect the brain through several pathways that might also affect cognition. However, no large-scale study has previously investigated the effect of infections on the general cognitive ability in the general population. Methods Danish nationwide registers were linked to establish a cohort of all 161,696 male conscripts during the years 2006–2012 who were tested for cognitive ability, which was based on logical, verbal, numerical and spatial reasoning at a mean age of 19.4 years. Test scores were converted to a mean of 100.00 and with a standard deviation (SD) of 15. Data were analyzed as a cohort study with severe infections requiring hospitalization as exposure using linear regression. Results Adjusted effect sizes were calculated with non-exposure to severe infections as reference, ranging from 0.12 SD to 0.63 SD on general cognitive ability. A prior infection was associated with significantly lower cognitive ability by a mean of 1.76 (95%CI: -1.92 to -1.61; corresponding to 0.12 SD). The cognitive ability was affected the most by the temporal proximity of the last infection (P<0.001) and by the severity of infection measured by days of admission (P<0.001). The number of infections were associated with decreased cognitive ability in a dose-response relationship, and highest mean differences were found for ≥10 hospital contacts for infections (Mean: -5.54; 95%CI: -7.20 to -3.89; corresponding to 0.37 SD), and for ≥5 different types of infections (Mean: -9.44; 95%CI: -13.2 to -5.69; corresponding to 0.63 SD). Hospital contacts with infections had occurred in 35% of the individuals prior to conscription. Conclusions Independent of a wide range of possible confounders, significant associations between infections and cognitive ability were observed. Infections or related immune responses might directly affect the cognitive ability; however, associated heritable and environmental factors might also account
Li, Shu-Chen; Lindenberger, Ulman; Hommel, Bernhard; Aschersleben, Gisa; Prinz, Wolfgang; Baltes, Paul B
Two-component theories of intellectual development over the life span postulate that fluid abilities develop earlier during child development and decline earlier during aging than crystallized abilities do, and that fluid abilities support or constrain the acquisition and expression of crystallized abilities. Thus, maturation and senescence compress the structure of intelligence by imposing age-specific constraints upon its constituent processes. Hence, the couplings among different intellectual abilities and cognitive processes are expected to be strong in childhood and old age. Findings from a population-based study of 291 individuals aged 6 to 89 years support these predictions. Furthermore, processing robustness, a frequently overlooked aspect of processing, predicted fluid intelligence beyond processing speed in old age but not in childhood, suggesting that the causes of more compressed functional organization of intelligence differ between maturation and senescence. Research on developmental changes in functional brain circuitry may profit from explicitly recognizing transformations in the organization of intellectual abilities and their underlying cognitive processes across the life span.
Finkel, Deborah; Reynolds, Chandra A.; McArdle, John J.; Hamagami, Fumiaki; Pedersen, Nancy L.
Previous analyses have identified a genetic contribution to the correlation between declines with age in processing speed and higher cognitive abilities. The goal of the current analysis was to apply the biometric dual change score model to consider the possibility of temporal dynamics underlying the genetic covariance between aging trajectories…
Objective To investigate the relationship between cognitive perceptual abilities of elderly drivers based on the Cognitive Perceptual Assessment for Driving (CPAD) test and their accident and penalty histories. Methods A total of 168 elderly drivers (aged ≥65 years) participated in the study. Participant data included CPAD scores and incidents of traffic accidents and penalties, attained from the Korea Road Traffic Authority and Korea National Police Agency, respectively. Results Drivers' mean age was 70.25±4.1 years and the mean CPAD score was 52.75±4.72. Elderly drivers' age was negatively related to the CPAD score (p<0.001). The accident history group had marginally lower CPAD scores, as compared to the non-accident group (p=0.051). However, incidence rates for traffic fines did not differ significantly between the two groups. Additionally, the group that passed the CPAD test had experienced fewer traffic accidents (3.6%), as compared to the group that failed (10.6%). The older age group (12.0%) had also experienced more traffic accidents, as compared to the younger group (2.4%). Conclusion Overall, elderly drivers who experienced driving accidents had lower CPAD scores than those who did not, without statistical significance. Thus, driving-related cognitive abilities of elderly drivers with insufficient cognitive ability need to be further evaluated to prevent traffic accidents. PMID:28119840
Wilson, Robert S; Capuano, Ana W; Sytsma, Joel; Bennett, David A; Barnes, Lisa L
During a mean of 5.2 years of annual follow-up, older Black (n = 647) and White (n = 647) persons of equivalent age and education completed a battery of 17 cognitive tests from which composite measures of 5 abilities were derived. Baseline level of each ability was lower in the Black subgroup. Decline in episodic and working memory was not related to race. Decline in semantic memory, perceptual speed, and visuospatial ability was slower in Black persons than White persons, and in semantic memory and perceptual speed this effect was stronger in older than younger participants. Racial differences persisted after adjustment for retest effects. The results suggest subtle cognitive aging differences between Black persons and White persons.
Rose, Susan A; Feldman, Judith F; Jankowski, Jeffery J
Recent work suggests that executive functions, the cornerstone of higher-level cognitive operations, are driven by basic information processing abilities. Using structural equation modeling, with latent variables, the present study provides the first evidence that this driving force begins in infancy, such that abilities in infancy predict executive functions at age 11. Information processing abilities in three domains (attention, processing speed, and memory) were assessed when participants were infants (7 and 12 months) and toddlers (24 and 36 months) and were used to predict three executive functions (working memory, inhibition, and shifting) when participants were 11 years old. A model relating infant abilities to age-11 executive functions fit well, and accounted for 9% to 19% of the variance in the executive functions. Paths from both speed and memory in infancy to age-11 working memory were significant, as was the path from Speed in infancy to age-11 Shifting. A model using abilities in toddlerhood as predictors fit similarly. These findings implicate early basic cognitive abilities in the development of executive functions.
Trzaskowski, Maciej; Davis, Oliver S P; DeFries, John C; Yang, Jian; Visscher, Peter M; Plomin, Robert
Very different neurocognitive processes appear to be involved in cognitive abilities such as verbal and non-verbal ability as compared to learning abilities taught in schools such as reading and mathematics. However, twin studies that compare similarity for monozygotic and dizygotic twins suggest that the same genes are largely responsible for genetic influence on these diverse aspects of cognitive function. It is now possible to test this evidence for strong pleiotropy using DNA alone from samples of unrelated individuals. Here we used this new method with 1.7 million DNA markers for a sample of 2,500 unrelated children at age 12 to investigate for the first time the extent of pleiotropy between general cognitive ability (aka intelligence) and learning abilities (reading, mathematics and language skills). We also compared these DNA results to results from twin analyses using the same sample and measures. The DNA-based method revealed strong genome-wide pleiotropy: Genetic correlations were greater than 0.70 between general cognitive ability and language, reading, and mathematics, results that were highly similar to twin study estimates of genetic correlations. These results indicate that genes related to diverse neurocognitive processes have general rather than specific effects.
Jorgensen, Lindsey E; Messersmith, Jessica J
Many factors go into appropriate recommendation and use of hearing assistive technology (HAT). The aging auditory system presents with its own complications and intricacies; there are many types of age-related hearing loss, and it is possible that the underlying cause of hearing loss can significantly impact the recommendations and performance with HATs. The audiologist should take into consideration peripheral and central auditory function when selecting HATs for the aging adult population as well as when selecting appropriate types of technology including personal sound amplification products, hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive technology. The cognitive ability of the patient plays a central role in the recommendations of HAT. It is possible that the use of HATs could mitigate some of the effects of cognitive decline and thus should be considered as early as possible. Assessment of ability and appropriate recommendations are crucial to consistent use of HAT devices.
Kumar, Naganandini Samapth; Eshwar, Shruthi; Deolia, Shravani
Introduction Levels of oral health and economic status are unequally distributed throughout the population. Inequality has multiple causes and that the effect of Socio Economic Status (SES) and demographic factors, on oral health is mediated through several factors. Association between cognitive ability and oral health had been demonstrated in older age groups but adolescents and younger adults have received relatively little attention in this field. Aim To establish the role of cognitive ability as a determinant of SES and oral health status among adolescent college students of Benagluru, Karnataka, India. Materials and Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1000 adolescents aged 17-19 years. Six government and six private first grade colleges were selected by multi-stage random sampling. Cognitive ability was assessed using digit symbol substitution test and digit span test. Dental caries and periodontal status were recorded by extent of bleeding, presence of calculus, periodontal pockets, loss of attachments using Community Periodontal Index, decayed, missing and filled teeth surfaces using Decayed, Missing, Filled Teeth and Surfaces Index. SES status was assessed using Kuppuswamy scale. Chi-square test was used to check the association of cognitive ability with oral health indicators and SES status. Regression analysis was performed to assess the effect of cognitive ability on oral health indicators after adjusting for SES and effect of SES status on oral health indicators after adjusting for indicators of cognitive ability. Results Significant association and negative correlation between cognitive ability and indicators for oral health was seen in the regression models. Cognitive ability attributed for nearly 30% changes in the indicators for oral health after adjusting for SES and SES attributed for nearly 25% variance in indicators for oral health after adjusting for cognitive ability. Conclusion There is a potential role of cognitive ability in
Fernández-Ballesteros, Rocío; Botella, Juan; Zamarrón, María Dolores; Molina, María Ángeles; Cabras, Emilia; Schettini, Rocío; Tárraga, Lluis
The main goal of the present study is to examine to what extent age and cognitive impairment contribute to learning performance (cognitive plasticity, cognitive modifiability, or learning potential). To address this question, participants coming from four studies (Longitudinal Study of Active Aging, age range, 55–75 years, N = 458; Longitudinal Study in the very old [90+], age range, 90–102, N = 188, and Cognitive Plasticity within the Course of Cognitive Impairment, 97 “Normal”, 57 mild cognitive impairment [MCI], and 98 Alzheimer’s disease [AD] patients) were examined through a measure of verbal learning (developed from Rey). The results show that all age, MCI, and AD groups learned across the five learning trials of that test, but significant differences were found due to age, pathology, and education. The effects of pathology (MCI and AD) can be expressed in a metric of “years of normal decline by age”; specifically, being MCI means suffering an impairment in performance that is equivalent to the decline of a normal individual during 15 years, whereas the impact of AD is equivalent to 22.7 years. Likewise, the improvement associated with about 5 years of education is equivalent to about 1 year less of normal aging. Also, the two pathological groups significantly differed from “normal” groups in the delayed trial of the test. The most dramatic difference is that between the “normal” group and the AD patients, which shows relatively poorer performance for the AD group in the delayed trial than in the first learning trial. The potential role of this unique effect for quick detection purposes of AD is assessed (in the 75–89 years age range, sensitivity and specificity equal 0.813 and 0.917, respectively). PMID:22291469
Garayzábal Heinze, Elena; Lens Villaverde, María; Moruno López, Esther; Conde Magro, Tatiana; Moura, Luis Felipe; Fernández, Montserrat; Sampaio, Adriana
This study is a neuropsycholinguistic research of a rare genetic syndrome with microdeletion that co-occurs with intellectual disabilities and relatively good language abilities, the Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS). Nevertheless, there are no cognitive and psycholinguistic profile analyses performed with Spanish population. In this sense, we characterized the cognitive and psycholinguistic profile of a sample with 9 participants with SMS (7 to 11 years of age). The cognitive and psychological profile was assessed with diverse standardized tests: Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - IV version, Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities and Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. Results suggest a specific cognitive and psychological profile characterized by a low IQ and relative good abilities in integrating information, whereas attention problems and hyperactive behaviors were displayed when interacting with the child during the assessment. This work is the first evidence of the cognitive and psycholinguistic profile characterization in patients with SMS in Spain, and will help to guide a more accurate diagnosis and differential intervention in rare genetic diseases with similar cognitive and psycholinguistic profiles.
Lacreuse, Agnès; Russell, Jamie L; Hopkins, William D; Herndon, James G
We present the first longitudinal data on cognitive and motor aging in the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Thirty-eight adult female chimpanzees (10-54 years old) were studied. The apes were tested longitudinally for 3 years in a modified Primate Cognition Test Battery, which comprised 12 tests of physical and social cognition. The chimpanzees were also administered a fine motor task requiring them to remove a steel nut from rods of various complexity. There was little evidence for an age-related decline in tasks of Physical Cognition: for most tasks, performance was either stable or improved with repeated testing across age groups. An exception was Spatial Memory, for which 4 individuals more than 50 years old experienced a significant performance decline across the 3 years of testing. Poorer performance with age was found in 2 tasks of Social Cognition, an attention-getting task and a gaze-following task. A slight motor impairment was also observed, with old chimpanzees improving less than younger animals with repeated testing on the simplest rod. Hormonal status effects were restricted to spatial memory, with non-cycling females outperforming cycling females independently of age. Unexpectedly, older chimpanzees were better than younger individuals in understanding causality relationships based on sound.
Daffner, Kirk R.
Promoting successful cognitive aging is a topic of major importance to individuals and the field of public health. This review presents a coherent framework not only for evaluating factors, protective activities, and enhancing agents that have already been proposed, but also ones that will be put forward in the future. The promotion of successful cognitive aging involves the dual goals of preventing loss of information processing capacity and cognitive reserve, and enhancing brain capacity and cognitive reserve. Four major lines of evidence are available for evaluating whether a proposed factor promotes successful cognitive aging: 1) epidemiologic/cohort studies; 2) animal/basic science studies; 3) human “proof-of-concept” studies; and 4) human intervention studies. Each line of evidence has advantages and limitations that will be discussed. Through illustrative examples, we trace the ways in which each method informs us about the potential value of several proposed factors. Currently, lines of converging evidence allow the strongest case to be made for physical and cognitively stimulating activities. Although epidemiological data seem to favor the use of statins to lower the risk of dementia, more definitive recommendations await further randomized controlled studies. There is presently no clear evidence that antioxidants or Ginkgo biloba promote successful cognitive aging. The impact of resveratrol, fish oil, and a long list of other proposed agents needs to be determined. Clinicians remain well-positioned to identify and aggressively treat vascular risk factors, diabetes, sleep disorders, and other conditions that may reduce brain capacity, and to encourage activities that can build cognitive reserve. PMID:20308777
Stenling, Andreas; Hassmén, Peter; Holmström, Stefan
People's implicit beliefs of ability have been suggested as an antecedent of achievement goal adoption, which has in turn been associated with behavioural, cognitive and affective outcomes. This study examined a conditional process model with team sport athletes' approach-avoidance achievement goals as mediators between their implicit beliefs of sport ability and sport-related cognitive anxiety. We expected gender to moderate the paths from implicit beliefs of ability to approach-avoidance goals and from approach-avoidance goals to cognitive anxiety. Team sport athletes with a mean age of 20 years (163 females and 152 males) responded to questionnaires about their implicit beliefs of sport ability, approach-avoidance goals and sport-related cognitive anxiety. Incremental beliefs, gender and the interaction between them predicted mastery-approach goals. Gender also predicted mastery-avoidance goals, with females reporting higher levels than males. Mastery-avoidance goals, gender and the interaction between them predicted cognitive anxiety, with females reporting higher levels of anxiety than males. Entity beliefs positively predicted performance-avoidance goals and the interaction between performance-approach and gender predicted anxiety. The indirect effects also showed gender differences in relation to performance-approach goals. Taken together, our results suggest that coaches trying to create a facilitating climate for their male and female athletes may be wise to consider their athletes' anxiety and achievement goal patterns as these may affect both the athletes' well-being and performance.
Harlaar, Nicole; Butcher, Lee M.; Meaburn, Emma; Sham, Pak; Craig, Ian W.; Plomin, Robert
Background: Five DNA markers (single-nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs) have recently been found to be associated with general cognitive ability "g") in a sample of 7414 7-year-old twins. These children have also been studied at 2, 3, 4, and 7 years of age on measures of cognitive and language development and behaviour problems; family environment…
Shanahan, Richard; Bradley-Johnson, Sharon
Examined concurrent validity of Nonvocal Cognitive Quotient (NVCQ) of Cognitive Abilities Scale (CAS) and Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition (Binet IV) for two and three year olds. Found adequate concurrent validity for CAS NVCQ and Binet IV Verbal Comprehension at both age levels as well as for Nonverbal Reasoning/Visualization…
Lindenberger, U; Baltes, P B
This study reports data on intellectual functioning in old and very old age from the Berlin Aging Study (N = 516; age range = 70-103 years; mean age = 85 years). A psychometric battery of 14 tests was used to assess five cognitive abilities: reasoning, memory, and perceptual speed from the broad fluid-mechanical as well as knowledge and fluency from the broad crystallized-pragmatic domains. Cognitive abilities had a negative linear relationship with age, with more pronounced age-based reductions in fluid-mechanical than crystallized-pragmatic abilities. At the same time, ability intercorrelations formed a highly positive manifold, and did not follow the fluid-crystallized distinction. Interindividual variability was of about equal magnitude across the entire age range studied. There was, however, no evidence for substantial sex differences. As to origins of individual differences, indicators of sensory and sensorimotor functioning were more powerful predictors of intellectual functioning than cultural-biographical variables, and the two sets of predictors were, consistent with theoretical expectations, differentially related to measures of fluid-mechanical (perceptual speed) and crystallized pragmatic (knowledge) functioning. Results, in general indicative of sizeable and general losses with age, are consistent with the view that aging-induced biological influences are a prominent source of individual differences in intellectual functioning in old and very old age. Longitudinal follow-ups are underway to examine the role of cohort effects, selective mortality, and interindividual differences in change trajectories.
With aging, most cognitive functions decline, especially processes concerning memorizing, attention, concentration, organizing, planning and problem solving. Neuropsychology can make an important contribution in early and differential diagnostics. The borderline between normal and pathological cognitive aging is especially important in this respect. The neuropsychologist gains insight in medical, biological, psychological and social factors of the aging person. Has the profile of complaints and deficits a normal background or is a pathological process taking place? It is important to people who are unnecessarily worried about possible dementia. Neuropsychological assessment also provides information about a patient's disturbed and undisturbed cognitive functions, their personality and their way of coping with problems in every day's life. This is of major importance, because it provides information and possibilities for biological or psychological interventions. Because of the complexity of problems that may occur, it is necessary that the neuropsychologist is experienced and works in a multidisciplinary team in which neurological and psychiatric expertise is present.
Jak, Amy J
With the aging of the population, there is continued emphasis on finding interventions that prevent or delay onset of cognitive disorders of aging. Pharmacological interventions have proven less effective than hoped in this capacity and a greater emphasis has therefore been placed on understanding behavioral interventions that will positively impact dementia risk. Building on a robust animal literature, a substantial volume of research has emerged, particularly over the last 5 years, to suggest that modifiable behaviors impact brain plasticity in both humans and animals. This chapter aims to provide a critical summary of this ever growing body of research, focusing specifically on participation in physical and cognitive activities among older adults and their impact on cognition, the brain, and cognitive aging outcomes. The animal literature on activity and cognition provides a series of hypotheses as to how exercise exerts its cognitive and brain benefits. Research in animals is briefly reviewed in the context of these hypotheses as it provides the groundwork for investigations in humans. The literature on physical and cognitive activity benefits to brain and cognition in humans is reviewed in more detail. The largely positive impact of physical and cognitive activities on cognition and brain health documented in epidemiological, cross sectional, and prospective randomized controlled studies are summarized. While most studies have targeted older adults in general, the implications of exercise and cognitive interventions in individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are also described as is the evidence supporting the ability for physical activity to modify genetic risk. The connection between activity levels and brain volume, white matter integrity, and improved functionality is reviewed. Practical recommendations regarding the nature, duration, intensity and age of onset of physical or mental activity necessary to reap cognitive
Healy, S D; Bacon, I E; Haggis, O; Harris, A P; Kelley, L A
Sara Shettleworth has played a defining role in the development of animal cognition and its integration into other parts of biology, especially behavioural ecology. Here we chart some of that progress in understanding the causes and importance of variation in cognitive ability and highlight how Tinbergen's levels of explanation provide a useful framework for this field. We also review how experimental design is crucial in investigating cognition and stress the need for naturalistic experiments and field studies. We focus particularly on the example of the relationship among food hoarding, spatial cognition and hippocampal structure, and review the conflicting evidence for sex differences in spatial cognition. We finish with speculation that a combination of Tinbergen and Shettleworth-style approaches would be the way to grapple with the as-yet unanswered questions of why birds mimic heterospecifics.
Cole, Ella F; Morand-Ferron, Julie; Hinks, Amy E; Quinn, John L
Cognition has been studied intensively for several decades, but the evolutionary processes that shape individual variation in cognitive traits remain elusive [1-3]. For instance, the strength of selection on a cognitive trait has never been estimated in a natural population, and the possibility that positive links with life history variation [1-5] are mitigated by costs  or confounded by ecological factors remains unexplored in the wild. We assessed novel problem-solving performance in 468 wild great tits Parus major temporarily taken into captivity and subsequently followed up their reproductive performance in the wild. Problem-solver females produced larger clutches than nonsolvers. This benefit did not arise because solvers timed their breeding better, occupied better habitats, or compromised offspring quality or their own survival. Instead, foraging range size and day length were relatively small and short, respectively, for solvers, suggesting that they were more efficient at exploiting their environment. In contrast to the positive effect on clutch size, problem solvers deserted their nests more often, leading to little or no overall selection on problem-solving performance. Our results are consistent with the idea that variation in cognitive ability is shaped by contrasting effects on different life history traits directly linked to fitness [1, 3].
Forstmeier, Simon; Maercker, Andreas; Maier, Wolfgang; van den Bussche, Hendrik; Riedel-Heller, Steffi; Kaduszkiewicz, Hanna; Pentzek, Michael; Weyerer, Siegfried; Bickel, Horst; Tebarth, Franziska; Luppa, Melanie; Wollny, Anja; Wiese, Birgitt; Wagner, Michael
Midlife motivational abilities, that is, skills to initiate and persevere in the implementation of goals, have been related to mental and physical health, but their association with risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) has not yet been directly investigated. This relation was examined with data from the German Study on Ageing, Cognition, and Dementia in Primary Care Patients (AgeCoDe). A total of 3,327 nondemented participants (50.3% of a randomly selected sample) aged 75-89 years were recruited in primary care and followed up twice (after 1.5 and 3 years). Motivation-related occupational abilities were estimated on the basis of the main occupation (assessed at follow-up II) using the Occupational Information Network (O* NET) database, which provides detailed information on worker characteristics and abilities. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate the relative risk of developing MCI and AD in relation to motivation-related occupational abilities, adjusting for various covariates. Over the 3 years of follow-up, 15.2% participants developed MCI and 3.0% developed AD. In a fully adjusted model, motivation-related occupational abilities were found to be associated with a reduced risk of MCI (HR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.64-0.92). Motivation-related occupational abilities were associated with reduced risk of AD in ApoE ε4 carriers (HR: 0.48; CI: 0.25-0.91), but not in noncarriers (HR: 0.99; CI: 0.65-1.53). These results suggest that midlife motivational abilities are associated with reduced risk of MCI in general and with reduced risk of AD in ApoE ε4 carriers. Revealing the mechanisms underlying this association may inform novel prevention strategies for decelerating cognitive decline in old age.
Opitz, Philipp C.; Lee, Ihno A.; Gross, James J.; Urry, Heather L.
The Selection, Optimization, and Compensation with Emotion Regulation (SOC-ER) framework suggests that (1) emotion regulation (ER) strategies require resources and that (2) higher levels of relevant resources may increase ER success. In the current experiment, we tested the specific hypothesis that individual differences in one internal class of resources, namely cognitive ability, would contribute to greater success using cognitive reappraisal (CR), a form of ER in which one reinterprets the meaning of emotion-eliciting situations. To test this hypothesis, 60 participants (30 younger and 30 older adults) completed standardized neuropsychological tests that assess fluid and crystallized cognitive ability, as well as a CR task in which participants reinterpreted the meaning of sad pictures in order to alter (increase or decrease) their emotions. In a control condition, they viewed the pictures without trying to change how they felt. Throughout the task, we indexed subjective emotional experience (self-reported ratings of emotional intensity), expressive behavior (corrugator muscle activity), and autonomic physiology (heart rate and electrodermal activity) as measures of emotional responding. Multilevel models were constructed to explain within-subjects variation in emotional responding as a function of ER contrasts comparing increase or decrease conditions with the view control condition and between-subjects variation as a function of cognitive ability and/or age group (older, younger). As predicted, higher fluid cognitive ability—indexed by perceptual reasoning, processing speed, and working memory—was associated with greater success using reappraisal to alter emotional responding. Reappraisal success did not vary as a function of crystallized cognitive ability or age group. Collectively, our results provide support for a key tenet of the SOC-ER framework that higher levels of relevant resources may confer greater success at emotion regulation. PMID:24987387
Aging-related changes occur for multiple domains of cognitive functioning. An accumulating body of research indicates that, rather than representing statistically independent phenomena, aging-related cognitive changes are moderately to strongly correlated across domains. However, previous studies have typically been conducted in age-heterogeneous samples over longitudinal time lags of 6 or more years, and have failed to consider whether results are robust to a comprehensive set of controls. Capitalizing on 3-year longitudinal data from the Lothian Birth Cohort of 1936, we took a longitudinal narrow age cohort approach to examine cross-domain cognitive change interrelations from ages 70 to 73 years. We fit multivariate latent difference score models to factors representing visuospatial ability, processing speed, memory, and crystallized ability. Changes were moderately interrelated, with a general factor of change accounting for 47% of the variance in changes across domains. Change interrelations persisted at close to full strength after controlling for a comprehensive set of demographic, physical, and medical factors including educational attainment, childhood intelligence, physical function, APOE genotype, smoking status, diagnosis of hypertension, diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, and diagnosis of diabetes. Thus, the positive manifold of aging-related cognitive changes is highly robust in that it can be detected in a narrow age cohort followed over a relatively brief longitudinal period, and persists even after controlling for many potential confounders. PMID:24955992
Individual differences in cognitive decline during normal aging need further delineation. The purpose of this study was to find the score dispersions in the WAIS-III subtests at different ages. Norms presented in the Administration and Scoring Manual [Wechsler, D. (1997). WAIS-III: Administration and scoring manual. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation] were used. The WAIS-III was standardized and normalized using 2450 American adults divided into 13 age ranges and 4 education groups. Means and standard deviations for the different WAIS-III subtests were deduced and the ratio Percentage of the mean="(standard deviation/mean)x100" was calculated. It was hypothesized that during normal aging, whereas mean scores decrease, score dispersions increase, pointing to an increased heterogeneity in intellectual abilities in older individuals. In all subtests, except Digit Span, it was found that score dispersions indeed increased during aging. However, in some subtests, increase in dispersion was less than 20% (Block Design, Object Assembly, and Information), whereas in others, increase in dispersion was over 200% (Matrix Reasoning, L-N Sequencing, Digit-Symbol, Picture Completion, and Picture Arrangement). It was proposed that cognitive heterogeneity during normal aging is related to those abilities measured with these latter subtests, basically, executive functions, attention, and selected non-verbal abilities. In other abilities (e.g., visuoconstructive abilities and fund of general information), normal aging is associated with a more homogenous pattern of decline.
Fortier, Jonathan; Besnard, Jérémy; Allain, Philippe
The concept of social cognition refers to a set of skills and to emotional and social experiences regulating relationships between individuals. This concept is appropriate in order to help us to explain individual human behaviours and behaviours in groups. Social cognition involves social knowledge, perception and processing of social cues, and the representation of mental states. The concept of social cognition thus refers to a multitude of skills. This paper stops on several of them, namely theory of mind, empathy, moral reasoning, emotional processing and emotional regulation. We propose a conceptual approach to each of these skills also stopping on their cerebral underpinnings. We also make an inventory of knowledge about the effects of age and neurodegenerative diseases on social cognition.
Dahlgren Sandberg, Annika
Development of literacy skills was studied in six children (one male, five females) with severe speech impairments and cerebral palsy (CP). These skills were related to intellectual development, phonological abilities, and short-term memory. Three of the children were diagnosed with dystonia, and three with diplegia. They had no, or severely restricted, independent mobility (Gross Motor Function Classification System Level IV for four children and Level V for two), and severe fine motor problems, including difficulty with pointing. As they had no intelligible speech, the Bliss system was the primary communication mode. Assessments were made at approximately 6, 9, and 12 years of age. The results revealed that the children had difficulties acquiring literacy skills, although intellectual level and phonological ability predicted otherwise. Positive development during the first 3 years was followed by an arrest. A conspicuous decrease in IQ points was also found. Thus, phonological ability does not seem to have the same predictive power for literacy development in children with severe speech impairments and CP as in typically developing children. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of phonological abilities, working memory, and strategies used in literacy acquisition in these children. Such studies might also clarify the importance of articulatory abilities in early literacy acquisition.
Anderson, Rindy C; Searcy, William A; Peters, Susan; Hughes, Melissa; DuBois, Adrienne L; Nowicki, Stephen
Learned aspects of song have been hypothesized to signal cognitive ability in songbirds. We tested this hypothesis in hand-reared song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) that were tutored with playback of adult songs during the critical period for song learning. The songs developed by the 19 male subjects were compared to the model songs to produce two measures of song learning: the proportion of notes copied from models and the average spectrogram cross-correlation between copied notes and model notes. Song repertoire size, which reflects song complexity, was also measured. At 1 year of age, subjects were given a battery of five cognitive tests that measured speed of learning in the context of a novel foraging task, color association, color reversal, detour-reaching, and spatial learning. Bivariate correlations between the three song measures and the five cognitive measures revealed no significant associations. As in other studies of avian cognition, different cognitive measures were for the most part not correlated with each other, and this result remained true when 22 hand-reared female song sparrows were added to the analysis. General linear mixed models controlling for effects of neophobia and nest of origin indicated that all three song measures were associated with better performance on color reversal and spatial learning but were associated with worse performance on novel foraging and detour-reaching. Overall, the results do not support the hypothesis that learned aspects of song signal cognitive ability.
Gevins, A; Smith, M E
The capacity to deliberately control attention in order to hold and manipulate information in working memory is critical to higher cognitive functions. This suggests that between-subject differences in general cognitive ability might be related to observable differences in the activity of brain systems that support working memory and attention control. To test this notion, electroencephalograms were recorded from 80 healthy young adults during spatial working memory tasks. Measures of task-related neurophysiological and behavioral variables were derived from these data and compared to scores on a test battery commonly used to assess general cognitive ability (the WAIS-R). Subjects who scored high on the psychometric test also tended to respond faster in the experimental tasks without any loss of accuracy. The amplitude of the late positive component of the event-related potential was larger in high-ability subjects, and the frontal midline theta component of the EEG signal was also selectively enhanced in this group under conditions of sustained performance and high working memory load. These results suggest that subjects who scored high on the WAIS-R were better able to focus and sustain attention to task performance. Changes in the EEG alpha rhythm in response to manipulations of task practice and load were also examined and compared between frontal and parietal regions. The results indicated that high-ability subjects developed strategies that made relatively greater use of parietal regions, whereas low-ability subjects relied more exclusively on frontal regions. Other analyses indicated that hemispheric asymmetries in alpha band measures distinguish between individuals with relatively high verbal aptitude and those with relatively high nonverbal aptitude. In particular, subjects with a verbal cognitive style tended to make greater use of the left parietal region during task performance, and subjects with a nonverbal style tended to make greater use of the right
El Haj, Mohamad; Raffard, Stéphane; Gély-Nargeot, Marie-Christine
Destination memory is the ability to remember the destination to which a piece of information has been addressed (e.g., "Did I tell you about the promotion?"). This ability is found to be impaired in normal ageing. Our work aimed to link this deterioration to the decline in theory of mind. Forty younger adults (M age = 23.13 years, SD = 4.00) and 36 older adults (M age = 69.53 years, SD = 8.93) performed a destination memory task. They also performed the False-belief test addressing cognitive theory of mind and the Reading the mind in the eyes test addressing affective theory of mind. Results showed significant deterioration in destination memory, cognitive theory of mind and affective theory of mind in the older adults. The older adults' performance on destination memory was significantly correlated with and predicted by their performance on cognitive theory of mind. Difficulties in the ability to interpret and predict others' mental states are related to destination memory decline in older adults.
La Rue, Asenath
Current knowledge about the roles of cognitively stimulating lifestyles and cognitive training interventions in preserving cognitive function in later life is reviewed. Potential mechanisms for beneficial effects of cognitive stimulation and training are discussed, and key gaps in research identified. Suggestions are provided for advising patients about brain-healthy lifestyles, acknowledging that much remains to be learned in this area of research. More randomized controlled trials, using challenging regimes of training and stimulation and long-term follow-up, are needed, measuring cognitive trajectories in normal aging and relative risk of Alzheimer disease as outcomes.
Huijbregts, S. C. J.; Seguin, J. R.; Zelazo, P. D.; Parent, S.; Japel, C.; Tremblay, R. E.
Maternal prenatal smoking, birth weight and sociodemographic factors were investigated in relation to cognitive abilities of 1544 children (aged 3.5 years) participating in the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Children's Development. The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) was used to assess verbal ability, the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale…
Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J.
People sometimes fail to notice salient unexpected objects when their attention is otherwise occupied, a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness. To explore individual differences in inattentional blindness, we employed both static and dynamic tasks that either presented the unexpected object away from the focus of attention (spatial) or near the focus of attention (central). We hypothesized that noticing in central tasks might be driven by the availability of cognitive resources like working memory, and that noticing in spatial tasks might be driven by the limits on spatial attention like attention breadth. However, none of the cognitive measures predicted noticing in the dynamic central task or in either the static or dynamic spatial task. Only in the central static task did working memory capacity predict noticing, and that relationship was fairly weak. Furthermore, whether or not participants noticed an unexpected object in a static task was only weakly associated with their odds of noticing an unexpected object in a dynamic task. Taken together, our results are largely consistent with the notion that noticing unexpected objects is driven more by stochastic processes common to all people than by stable individual differences in cognitive abilities. PMID:26258545
At present there is a rapid growth of aging population groups worldwide, which brings about serious economic and social problems. Thus, there is considerable effort to prolong the active life of these older people and keep them independent. The purpose of this mini review is to explore available clinical studies implementing computer-based cognitive training programs as intervention tools in the prevention and delay of cognitive decline in aging, with a special focus on their effectiveness. This was done by conducting a literature search in the databases Web of Science, Scopus, MEDLINE and Springer, and consequently by evaluating the findings of the relevant studies. The findings show that computerized cognitive training can lead to the improvement of cognitive functions such as working memory and reasoning skills in particular. However, this training should be performed over a longer time span since a short-term cognitive training mainly has an impact on short-term memory with temporary effects. In addition, the training must be intense to become effective. Furthermore, the results indicate that it is important to pay close attention to the methodological standards in future clinical studies. PMID:28066236
Although gender differences in cognitive abilities are frequently reported, the magnitude of these differences and whether they hold practical significance in the educational outcomes of boys and girls is highly debated. Furthermore, when gender gaps in reading, mathematics and science literacy are reported they are often attributed to innate, biological differences rather than social and cultural factors. Cross-cultural evidence may contribute to this debate, and this study reports national gender differences in reading, mathematics and science literacy from 65 nations participating in the 2009 round of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Consistently across all nations, girls outperform boys in reading literacy, d = -.44. Boys outperform girls in mathematics in the USA, d = .22 and across OECD nations, d = .13. For science literacy, while the USA showed the largest gender difference across all OECD nations, d = .14, gender differences across OECD nations were non-significant, and a small female advantage was found for non-OECD nations, d = -.09. Across all three domains, these differences were more pronounced at both tails of the distribution for low- and high-achievers. Considerable cross-cultural variability was also observed, and national gender differences were correlated with gender equity measures, economic prosperity, and Hofstede's cultural dimension of power distance. Educational and societal implications of such gender gaps are addressed, as well as the mechanisms by which gender differences in cognitive abilities are culturally mediated.
Although gender differences in cognitive abilities are frequently reported, the magnitude of these differences and whether they hold practical significance in the educational outcomes of boys and girls is highly debated. Furthermore, when gender gaps in reading, mathematics and science literacy are reported they are often attributed to innate, biological differences rather than social and cultural factors. Cross-cultural evidence may contribute to this debate, and this study reports national gender differences in reading, mathematics and science literacy from 65 nations participating in the 2009 round of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Consistently across all nations, girls outperform boys in reading literacy, d = −.44. Boys outperform girls in mathematics in the USA, d = .22 and across OECD nations, d = .13. For science literacy, while the USA showed the largest gender difference across all OECD nations, d = .14, gender differences across OECD nations were non-significant, and a small female advantage was found for non-OECD nations, d = −.09. Across all three domains, these differences were more pronounced at both tails of the distribution for low- and high-achievers. Considerable cross-cultural variability was also observed, and national gender differences were correlated with gender equity measures, economic prosperity, and Hofstede’s cultural dimension of power distance. Educational and societal implications of such gender gaps are addressed, as well as the mechanisms by which gender differences in cognitive abilities are culturally mediated. PMID:22808072
Wilder-Willis, Kelly E; Shear, Paula K; Steffen, John J; Borkin, Joyce
Cognitive dysfunction is a core feature of schizophrenia [Psychiatr. Clin. North Am., 16 (1993) 295; Psychopharmacology: The fourth generation of progress, Raven Press, New York (1995) 1171; Clinical Neuropsychology, Oxford University Press, New York (1993) 449] and is related to psychosocial functioning in this population [Am. J. Psychiatry, 153 (1996) 321]. It is unclear whether cognitive dysfunction is related to specific areas of functioning in schizophrenia, such as coping abilities. Individuals with schizophrenia have deficient coping skills, which may contribute to their difficulties dealing with stressors [Am. J. Orthopsychiatry, 62 (1992) 117; J. Abnorm. Psychol., 82 (1986) 189]. The current study examined the relationship between coping abilities and cognitive dysfunction in a community sample of individuals with schizophrenia. It was hypothesized that executive dysfunction and mnemonic impairments would be positively related to deficiencies in active coping efforts involving problem solving and self-initiation (e.g. advocating for oneself and others with mental illness and becoming involved in meaningful activities, such as work), independent of the contributions of the general intellectual deficits associated with the disorder and psychiatric symptoms. The results indicated that both executive dysfunction and mnemonic impairments were related to decreased usage of active coping mechanisms after controlling for general intellectual deficits. Further, recognition memory made independent contributions to the prediction of coping involving action and help seeking after controlling for the effects of negative symptoms. These findings suggest that individuals with schizophrenia may be less flexible in their use of coping strategies, which may in turn contribute to their difficulties in coping with mental illness and its consequences.
Cabello, Rosario; Navarro Bravo, Beatriz; Latorre, José Miguel; Fernández-Berrocal, Pablo
Numerous studies have suggested that educational history, as a proxy measure of active cognitive reserve, protects against age-related cognitive decline and risk of dementia. Whether educational history also protects against age-related decline in emotional intelligence (EI) is unclear. The present study examined ability EI in 310 healthy adults ranging in age from 18 to 76 years using the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). We found that older people had lower scores than younger people for total EI and for the EI branches of perceiving, facilitating, and understanding emotions, whereas age was not associated with the EI branch of managing emotions. We also found that educational history protects against this age-related EI decline by mediating the relationship between age and EI. In particular, the EI scores of older adults with a university education were higher than those of older adults with primary or secondary education, and similar to those of younger adults of any education level. These findings suggest that the cognitive reserve hypothesis, which states that individual differences in cognitive processes as a function of lifetime intellectual activities explain differential susceptibility to functional impairment in the presence of age-related changes and brain pathology, applies also to EI, and that education can help preserve cognitive-emotional structures during aging.
Beaty, Roger E; Silvia, Paul J
Figurative language is one of the most common expressions of creative behavior in everyday life. However, the cognitive mechanisms behind figures of speech such as metaphors remain largely unexplained. Recent evidence suggests that fluid and executive abilities are important to the generation of conventional and creative metaphors. The present study investigated whether several factors of the Cattell-Horn-Carroll model of intelligence contribute to generating these different types of metaphors. Specifically, the roles of fluid intelligence (Gf), crystallized intelligence (Gc), and broad retrieval ability (Gr) were explored. Participants completed a series of intelligence tests and were asked to produce conventional and creative metaphors. Structural equation modeling was used to assess the contribution of the different factors of intelligence to metaphor production. For creative metaphor, there were large effects of Gf (β = .45) and Gr (β = .52); for conventional metaphor, there was a moderate effect of Gc (β = .30). Creative and conventional metaphors thus appear to be anchored in different patterns of abilities: Creative metaphors rely more on executive processes, whereas conventional metaphors primarily draw from acquired vocabulary knowledge.
Al-Hashel, Jasem Y.; Ahmed, Samar Farouk; Al-Mutairi, Hanouf; Hassan, Shahd; Al-Awadhi, Nora; Al-Saraji, Mariam
Background. Many studies have explored the cognitive variation between left- and right-handed individuals; however, the differences remain poorly understood. Aim of the Work. To assess the association between brain lateralization indicated by handedness and cognitive abilities. Material and Methods. A total of 217 students aged between 7 and 10 years of both genders were identified for the study. Males and females were equally distributed. All left-handed students were chosen. An equal group with right-handed students was randomly selected. Handedness was assessed using traditional writing hand approach as well as the WatHand Cabient Test and the Grooved Pegboard Test. Cognition was measured using Cambridge University's CANTAB eclipse cognitive battery. Pearson Correlation Coefficient Test “r” was calculated to measure the strength of association between quantitative data. Results. Right-handed children had superior visuospatial abilities (p = 0.011, r = 0.253), visual memory (p = 0.034, r = 0.205), and better scores in reaction time tests which incorporated elements of visual memory (p = 0.004, r = −0.271). Left-handed children proved to have better simple reaction times (p = 0.036, r = 0.201). Conclusion. Right-handed children had superior visuospatial abilities and left-handed children have better simple reaction times. PMID:27314004
Feinkohl, Insa; Flemming, Danny; Cress, Ulrike; Kimmerle, Joachim
Scientific research findings are frequently picked up by the mainstream media, but it is largely unclear which factors have an impact on laypeople's processing of the presented scientific information. In this study, we investigated the influence of cognitive and metacognitive inter-individual differences on recall and on critical evaluation of new scientific information that was presented in a journalistic article. Sixty-three participants (80 % female; mean age 24.1 ± 3.3 years) read a newspaper article reporting research findings on a recently developed and yet unproven treatment for depression. We found that more sophisticated, domain-specific epistemological beliefs and a higher cognitive ability were independently associated with better recall of content from the article. Additionally, participants with more sophisticated epistemological beliefs displayed a more critical evaluation of the article. Cognitive ability was unrelated to critical evaluation and to epistemological beliefs. There were also no interaction effects of cognitive ability and epistemological beliefs on recall or on critical evaluation. Based on our preliminary findings and previous evidence of epistemological beliefs as a modifiable feature, we discuss this inter-individual characteristic as a potential target for the promotion of better understanding of scientific topics by the general public.
Beaujean, A. Alexander; Parker, Sonia; Qiu, Xiao
Purpose There is literature indicating cognitive ability and depression are related, but few studies have examined the direction of the relationship. This study examined the relationship between depression levels and cognitive abilities from adolescence to early adulthood. Methods Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, (n=14,322), this study used path modeling to investigate the relationship between depression and cognitive ability at baseline and again 8 years later. Results After controlling for initial levels of depression, cognitive ability, and other covariates, depressive symptoms in adolescence are related to cognitive ability in early adulthood, but adolescent cognitive ability is not related to adult depression levels. Moreover, after controlling for adolescent levels of depression and cognitive ability, the cognitive ability-depression relationship disappears in adulthood. Conclusions The cognitive ability-depression relationship appears early in life, and it is likely that the presence of depressive symptoms leads to lower cognitive ability. Thus, intervening at early signs of depression not only can help alleviate depression, but will likely have an effect of cognitive ability as well. PMID:23474611
Ardila, A; Ostrosky-Solis, F; Rosselli, M; Gómez, C
The purpose of this study was to further analyze the effects of education on cognitive decline during normal aging. An 806-subject sample was taken from five different Mexican regions. Participants ranged in age from 16 to 85 years. Subjects were grouped into four educational levels: illiterate, 1-4, 5-9, and 10 or more years of education, and four age ranges: 16-30, 31-50, 51-65, and 66-85 years. A brief neuropsychological test battery (NEUROPSI), standardized and normalized in Spanish, was administered. The NEUROPSI test battery includes assessment of orientation, attention, memory, language, visuoperceptual abilities, motor skills, and executive functions. In general, test scores were strongly associated with level of educational, and differences among age groups were smaller than differences among education groups. However, there was an interaction between age and education such as that among illiterate individuals scores of participants 31-50 years old were higher than scores of participants 16-30 years old for over 50% of the tests. Different patterns of interaction among educational groups were distinguished. It was concluded that: (a) The course of life-span changes in cognition are affected by education. Among individuals with a low level of education, best neuropsychological test performance is observed at an older age than among higher-educated subjects; and (b) there is not a single relationship between age-related cognitive decline and education, but different patterns may be found, depending upon the specific cognitive domain.
Flouri, Eirini; Panourgia, Constantina
The aim of this study was to test whether negative cognitive errors (overgeneralizing, catastrophizing, selective abstraction, and personalizing) mediate the moderator effect of non-verbal cognitive ability on the association between adverse life events (life stress) and emotional and behavioral problems in adolescence. The sample consisted of 430 children (aged 11-15 years) from three state secondary schools in disadvantaged areas in one county in the South East of England. Total difficulties (i.e., emotional symptoms, peer problems, hyperactivity, and conduct problems) were assessed with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Adjustment was made for gender, age, ethnicity, special educational needs, exclusion history, family structure, and family socio-economic disadvantage. Adverse life events were measured with Tiet et al.'s (Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 37, 1191-1200, 1998) Adverse Life Events Scale. Non-verbal cognitive ability was measured with Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices Plus. Non-verbal cognitive ability moderated the effect of adverse life events both on total difficulties and on emotional symptoms. Overgeneralizing mediated the moderator effect of non-verbal cognitive ability on the association between adverse life events and total difficulties. Adverse life events were related to a tendency to overgeneralize which was associated with emotional and behavioral problems, but particularly among those adolescents with lower non-verbal cognitive ability.
Gold, Brian T; Kim, Chobok; Johnson, Nathan F; Kryscio, Richard J; Smith, Charles D
Recent behavioral data have shown that lifelong bilingualism can maintain youthful cognitive control abilities in aging. Here, we provide the first direct evidence of a neural basis for the bilingual cognitive control boost in aging. Two experiments were conducted, using a perceptual task-switching paradigm, including a total of 110 participants. In Experiment 1, older adult bilinguals showed better perceptual switching performance than their monolingual peers. In Experiment 2, younger and older adult monolinguals and bilinguals completed the same perceptual task-switching experiment while functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed. Typical age-related performance reductions and fMRI activation increases were observed. However, like younger adults, bilingual older adults outperformed their monolingual peers while displaying decreased activation in left lateral frontal cortex and cingulate cortex. Critically, this attenuation of age-related over-recruitment associated with bilingualism was directly correlated with better task-switching performance. In addition, the lower blood oxygenation level-dependent response in frontal regions accounted for 82% of the variance in the bilingual task-switching reaction time advantage. These results suggest that lifelong bilingualism offsets age-related declines in the neural efficiency for cognitive control processes.
Gold, Brian T.; Kim, Chobok; Johnson, Nathan F.; Kryscio, Richard J.; Smith, Charles D.
Recent behavioral data have shown that lifelong bilingualism can maintain youthful cognitive control abilities in aging. Here, we provide the first direct evidence of a neural basis for the bilingual cognitive control boost in aging. Two experiments were conducted, using a perceptual task switching paradigm, and including a total of 110 participants. In Experiment 1, older adult bilinguals showed better perceptual switching performance than their monolingual peers. In Experiment 2, younger and older adult monolinguals and bilinguals completed the same perceptual task switching experiment while fMRI was performed. Typical age-related performance reductions and fMRI activation increases were observed. However, like younger adults, bilingual older adults outperformed their monolingual peers while displaying decreased activation in left lateral frontal cortex and cingulate cortex. Critically, this attenuation of age-related over-recruitment associated with bilingualism was directly correlated with better task switching performance. In addition, the lower BOLD response in frontal regions accounted for 82% of the variance in the bilingual task switching reaction time advantage. These results suggest that lifelong bilingualism offsets age-related declines in the neural efficiency for cognitive control processes. PMID:23303919
Özcan, Berkay; Myrskylä, Mikko
Low birth weight predicts compromised cognitive ability. We used data from the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS), the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS), and the 2000–2002 Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) to analyze how this association has changed over time. Birth weight was divided into two categories, <2,500 g (low) and 2,500–4,500 g (normal) and verbal cognitive ability was measured at the age of 10 or 11 y. A range of maternal and family characteristics collected at or soon after the time of birth were considered. Linear regression was used to analyze the association between birth weight and cognitive ability in a baseline model and in a model that adjusted for family characteristics. The standardized difference (SD) in cognitive scores between low-birth-weight and normal-birth-weight children was large in the NCDS [−0.37 SD, 95% confidence interval (CI): −0.46, −0.27] and in the BCS (−0.34, 95% CI: −0.43, −0.25) cohorts, and it was more than halved for children born in the MCS cohort (−0.14, 95% CI: −0.22, −0.06). The adjustment for family characteristics did not explain the cross-cohort differences. The results show that the association between low birth weight and decreased cognitive ability has declined between the 1950s and 1970s birth cohorts and the 2000--2002 birth cohort, despite a higher proportion of the low-birth-weight babies having a very low birth weight (<1,500 g) in the more recent birth cohort. Advancements in obstetric and neonatal care may have attenuated the negative consequences associated with being born small. PMID:27994141
Cox, Simon R; MacPherson, Sarah E; Ferguson, Karen J; Royle, Natalie A; Maniega, Susana Muñoz; Hernández, Maria Del C Valdés; Bastin, Mark E; MacLullich, Alasdair M J; Wardlaw, Joanna M; Deary, Ian J
Elevated glucocorticoid (GC) levels putatively damage specific brain regions, which in turn may accelerate cognitive ageing. However, many studies are cross-sectional or have relatively short follow-up periods, making it difficult to relate GCs directly to changes in cognitive ability with increasing age. Moreover, studies combining endocrine, MRI and cognitive variables are scarce, measurement methods vary considerably, and formal tests of the underlying causal hypothesis (cortisol→brain→cognition) are absent. In this study, 90 men, aged 73 years, provided measures of fluid intelligence, processing speed and memory, diurnal and reactive salivary cortisol and two measures of white matter (WM) structure (WM hyperintensity volume from structural MRI and mean diffusivity averaged across 12 major tracts from diffusion tensor MRI), hippocampal volume, and also cognitive ability at age 11. We tested whether negative relationships between cognitive ageing differences (over more than 60 years) and salivary cortisol were significantly mediated by WM and hippocampal volume. Significant associations between reactive cortisol at 73 and cognitive ageing differences between 11 and 73 (r=-.28 to -.36, p<.05) were partially mediated by both WM structural measures, but not hippocampal volume. Cortisol-WM relationships were modest, as was the degree to which WM structure attenuated cortisol-cognition associations (<15%). These data support the hypothesis that GCs contribute to cognitive ageing differences from childhood to the early 70s, partly via brain WM structure.
Deary, Ian J.; Der, Geoff; Shenkin, Susan D.
There is a significant association between birth weight and cognitive test scores in childhood, even among individuals born at term and with normal birth weight. The association is not explained by the child's social background. Here we examine whether mother's cognitive ability accounts for the birth weight-cognitive ability association. We…
Luchsinger, José A.; Cabral, Rafi; Eimicke, Joseph P.; Manly, Jennifer J.; Teresi, Jeanne
Objective To examine the association of glycemia and diabetes status with cognition among 600 Hispanics aged 55 to 64 years from Northern Manhattan. Methods Diabetes was ascertained by history or Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Normal glucose tolerance (NGT) and pre-diabetes were ascertained with HbA1c. Memory was assessed with the Selective Reminding Test (SRT). Executive abilities were assessed using the Color trails 1 and 2, and verbal fluency test. The cross-sectional association of glycemia and diabetes status with cognitive performance was examined using linear regression. Results Participants were a mean age of 59.2 ± 2.9 years old, 76.7% were women, and more than 65% had pre-diabetes or diabetes. HbA1C (β = − 0.97; p <0.001) and diabetes (β = − 2.06; p = 0.001) were related with lower SRT total recall after adjustment for demographics, education, and vascular risk factors. Pre-diabetes was associated with worse performance in color trails 2 (β = − 6.45 p = 0.022) after full adjustment. Conclusions Higher glycemia and diabetes are related to worse memory and executive abilities in late middle age, while pre-diabetes is related only to worse executive abilities. Longitudinal follow-up is needed to understand the order and progression of these deficits. PMID:26163818
Benice, Ted S.; Raber, Jacob
Compared with age-matched male mice, female mice experience a more severe age-related cognitive decline (ACD). Since androgens are less abundant in aged female mice compared with aged male mice, androgen supplementation may enhance cognition in aged female mice. To test this, we assessed behavioral performance on a variety of tasks in 22- to…
Doblhammer, Gabriele; van den Berg, Gerard J.; Fritze, Thomas
With ageing populations, it becomes increasingly important to understand the determinants of cognitive ability among the elderly. We apply survey data of 17,070 respondents from ten countries to examine several domains of cognitive functioning at ages 60+, and we link them to the macro-economic deviations in the year of birth. We find that economic conditions at birth significantly influence cognitive functioning late in life in various domains. Recessions negatively influence numeracy, verbal fluency, recall abilities, as well as the score on the omnibus cognitive indicator. The results are robust; controlling for current characteristics does not change effect sizes and significance. We discuss possible causal social and biological pathways. PMID:24040361
Isaacs, E; Oates, J
Although studying the effects of diet on cognitive function in children is of great interest to nutritionists, many have not received the formal training in the principles and practice of assessment necessary to properly evaluate research studies or to design and conduct research themselves. This paper is aimed at such an audience and assumes little prior knowledge of the field. A short description of neural development in childhood is followed by a discussion of important principles of assessment. A level of assessment approach is used to present a selection of widely used cognitive tests organized by cognitive domain and age group. Practical information about the tests is presented in tabular form and a list of useful websites is included.
Taub, Gordon E.; McGrew, Kevin S.
The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability Third Edition is developed using the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) measurement-theory test design as the instrument's theoretical blueprint. The instrument provides users with cognitive scores based on the Cognitive Performance Model (CPM); however, the CPM is not a part of CHC theory. Within the…
Pudas, Sara; Persson, Jonas; Nilsson, Lars-Göran; Nyberg, Lars
Cross-sectional neuroimaging studies suggest that hippocampal and prefrontal cortex functions underlie individual differences in memory ability in older individuals, but it is unclear how individual differences in cognitive ability in youth contribute to cognitive and neuroimaging measures in older age. Here, we investigated the relative influences of midlife memory ability and age-related memory change on memory-related BOLD-signal variability at one time point, using a sample from a longitudinal population-based aging study (N = 203, aged 55-80 years). Hierarchical regression analyses showed that midlife memory ability, assessed 15-20 years earlier, explained at least as much variance as memory change in clusters in the left inferior prefrontal cortex and the bilateral hippocampus, during memory encoding. Furthermore, memory change estimates demonstrated higher sensitivity than current memory levels in identifying distinct frontal regions where activity was selectively related to age-related memory change, as opposed to midlife memory. These findings highlight challenges in interpreting individual differences in neurocognitive measures as age-related changes in the absence of longitudinal data and also demonstrate the improved sensitivity of longitudinal measures.
Pattie, Alison; Deary, Ian J.
Objectives: To examine potential sensitive periods for activity participation across adulthood to reduce cognitive decline and to determine whether associations persist after accounting for the lifetime stability of cognitive ability. Method: The Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 is a longitudinal study of cognitive aging. Participants were born in 1921 and most completed a mental ability test at the age of 11 years. Cognitive assessments were completed at mean ages 79 (N = 550), 83 (N = 321), 87 (N = 235), and 90 years (N = 129). Participants provided retrospective details of their activity participation for young (20–35 years), mid (40–55 years), and later adulthood (60–75 years), and contemporaneously at age 79. Results: Associations between activity and the level of, and change in, cognitive ability in old age were examined with latent growth curve models. Accounting for demographics and childhood cognitive ability, engagement in leisure activities in midlife was positively associated with cognitive ability level (path coefficient = .32), whereas higher physical activity in later adulthood was associated with less cognitive decline (.27). Discussion: The findings support a lifecourse approach in identifying determinants of cognitive aging; leisure and physical activity during different periods of adulthood may enhance cognitive abilities or reduce decline. PMID:27974473
Jordan, Nancy C.; And Others
This study examined the arithmetic calculation abilities of kindergarten and first-grade children (n=108) with different patterns of cognitive functioning: low language, low spatial ability, general delays, and nonimpaired. Nonverbal, story, and number fact problems were differentially sensitive to variation in cognitive ability. (Author/JDD)
Thames, April D; Kim, Michelle S; Becker, Brian W; Foley, Jessica M; Hines, Lindsay J; Singer, Elyse J; Heaton, Robert K; Castellon, Steven A; Hinkin, Charles H
This study examined the effects of aging and cognitive impairment on medication and finance management in an HIV sample. We observed main effects of age (older < younger) and neuropsychological impairment on functional task performance. Interactions between age and cognition demonstrated that older impaired individuals performed significantly more poorly than all other comparison groups. There were no relationships between laboratory performance and self-reported medication and finance management. The interaction of advancing age and cognitive impairment may confer significant functional limitations for HIV individuals that may be better detected by performance-based measures of functional abilities rather than patient self-report.
Ruffing, Stephanie; Wach, F-Sophie; Spinath, Frank M; Brünken, Roland; Karbach, Julia
Recent research has revealed that learning behavior is associated with academic achievement at the college level, but the impact of specific learning strategies on academic success as well as gender differences therein are still not clear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate gender differences in the incremental contribution of learning strategies over general cognitive ability in the prediction of academic achievement. The relationship between these variables was examined by correlation analyses. A set of t-tests was used to test for gender differences in learning strategies, whereas structural equation modeling as well as multi-group analyses were applied to investigate the incremental contribution of learning strategies for male and female students' academic performance. The sample consisted of 461 students (mean age = 21.2 years, SD = 3.2). Correlation analyses revealed that general cognitive ability as well as the learning strategies effort, attention, and learning environment were positively correlated with academic achievement. Gender differences were found in the reported application of many learning strategies. Importantly, the prediction of achievement in structural equation modeling revealed that only effort explained incremental variance (10%) over general cognitive ability. Results of multi-group analyses showed no gender differences in this prediction model. This finding provides further knowledge regarding gender differences in learning research and the specific role of learning strategies for academic achievement. The incremental assessment of learning strategy use as well as gender-differences in their predictive value contributes to the understanding and improvement of successful academic development.
Kaare, Pille-Riin; Mõttus, René; Konstabel, Kenn
Due to changes in gambling accessibility during the last decade gambling has become more widespread in Estonia and the prevalence of pathological gambling has sharply increased. The present study attempts to identify psychological characteristics of Estonian pathological gamblers. It has been shown that a wide range of social, economic, and individual factors (e.g. personality traits and emotional states) predict the likelihood of becoming a pathological gambler. In the present study, pathological gamblers' (N = 33) personality traits, self-esteem, self-reported emotional states and cognitive ability were compared to the respective characteristics in a non-gambling control group (N = 42) matched for age, gender and educational level. It was found that compared to controls, pathological gamblers had higher scores on Neuroticism (especially on its immoderation facet) and lower scores on Conscientiousness (especially on its dutifulness and cautiousness facets) and on self-esteem scale. They reported more negative emotional states during the previous month (especially depression and anxiety). Finally, pathological gamblers had lower general cognitive ability. In a logistic regression model, the likelihood of being a pathological gambler was best predicted by high immoderation score and low cognitive ability.
Fuchs, Lynn S; Geary, David C; Compton, Donald L; Fuchs, Douglas; Hamlett, Carol L; Seethaler, Pamela M; Bryant, Joan D; Schatschneider, Christopher
The purpose of this study was to examine the interplay between basic numerical cognition and domain-general abilities (such as working memory) in explaining school mathematics learning. First graders (N = 280; mean age = 5.77 years) were assessed on 2 types of basic numerical cognition, 8 domain-general abilities, procedural calculations, and word problems in fall and then reassessed on procedural calculations and word problems in spring. Development was indexed by latent change scores, and the interplay between numerical and domain-general abilities was analyzed by multiple regression. Results suggest that the development of different types of formal school mathematics depends on different constellations of numerical versus general cognitive abilities. When controlling for 8 domain-general abilities, both aspects of basic numerical cognition were uniquely predictive of procedural calculations and word problems development. Yet, for procedural calculations development, the additional amount of variance explained by the set of domain-general abilities was not significant, and only counting span was uniquely predictive. By contrast, for word problems development, the set of domain-general abilities did provide additional explanatory value, accounting for about the same amount of variance as the basic numerical cognition variables. Language, attentive behavior, nonverbal problem solving, and listening span were uniquely predictive.
Liebermann, Devorah A.; And Others
Reports a study comparing the nonverbal decoding ability (under auditory, visual, and audio-visual conditions) of college age females with elderly females, in order to identify preliminary nonverbal differences which may be related to aging. Finds that the elderly were significantly less skilled in decoding nonverbal behaviors across all…
Herrmann, Esther; Hernández-Lloreda, Maria Victoria; Call, Josep; Hare, Brian; Tomasello, Michael
Most studies of animal cognition focus on group performance and neglect individual differences and the correlational structure of cognitive abilities. Moreover, no previous studies have compared the correlational structure of cognitive abilities in nonhuman animals and humans. We compared the structure of individual differences of 106 chimpanzees and 105 two-year-old human children using 15 cognitive tasks that posed problems about the physical or social world. We found a similar factor of spatial cognition for the two species. But whereas the chimpanzees had only a single factor in addition to spatial cognition, the children had two distinct additional factors: one for physical cognition and one for social cognition. These findings, in combination with previous research, support the proposal that humans share many cognitive skills with nonhuman apes, especially for dealing with the physical world, but in addition have evolved some specialized skills of social cognition.
Padula, Rosimeire Simprini; da Silva Valente, Luciana do Socorro; de Moraes, Mônica Vasconcelos; Chiavegato, Luciana Dias; Cabral, Cristina Maria Nunes
Work capacity is related to physical, environmental and psychosocial factors and is influenced by individual characteristics and occupations. The aim of this study was to evaluated the relationship between work capacity, gender and age. 360 people employed at an institution of higher education of both genders and similar age were asked to participate in this study. The ability to work was analyzed using Work Ability Index (WAI). Descriptive statistical, Pearson correlations and ANOVA test was applied. Of these, 197 workers who participated in the study completed and returned the questionnaire. The results show there weren't any significant differences between work ability in relation to gender and age, but we observed an increase variability of responses for WAI score in older workers. No significant differences in the perception of the ability of work between men and women..
Marzano, Robert J.
A recent study analyzing 6,942 items from the Stanford achievement batteries determined that few general cognitive operations were included in the items analyzed. The general cognitive operations that were found had little to do with the items' difficulty. Students are not being taught certain necessary, but untested, cognitive skills. Includes 23…
Mortby, Moyra Elizabeth; Maercker, Andreas; Forstmeier, Simon
Apathy and depression are the most common neuropsychiatric symptoms in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer disease (AD). This study was the first to explore midlife motivational abilities as a predictor of the progression of apathy and depression in MCI and AD. It used a subsample of the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study (N = 137). Participants, aged over 70, were categorized according to baseline clinical diagnosis (normal cognition, MCI, or AD). Assessments were conducted at an 18-month interval. Neuropsychiatric symptoms were assessed using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Midlife motivational abilities were estimated on the basis of the main occupation using the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database, which provides detailed information on worker abilities. Repeated measures analysis of covariance was used. Apathy and depression were found to be particularly high in participants with AD and high motivational abilities. Apathy, but not depression, increased over time in those with AD and high motivational abilities. It would appear that holding on to unattainable goals with strong motivational efforts when faced with severe cognitive loss might lead to unproductive persistence, depressive reaction, and more apathetic behavior.
Trouillet, Raphaël; Doan-Van-Hay, Loane-Martine; Launay, Michel; Martin, Sophie
To explore the predictive value of cognitive and coping resources for problem- and emotion-focused coping with age, we collected data from community-dwelling adults between 20 and 90 years old. We hypothesized that age, perceived stress, self-efficacy, working-memory capacity, and mental flexibility were predictors of coping. We collected data using French versions of the Perceived Stress Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, and Way of Coping Checklist. Cognitive assessments comprised the WAIS III digit-span subtest and the Trail Making Test parts A and B. In multivariate analyses, neither working-memory nor mental-flexibility deficit predicted problem-focused coping. Age was found to predict only problem-focused coping. Self-efficacy predicted problem-focused coping, and perceived stress predicted emotion-focused coping. Our results confirmed that use of an emotion-focused coping style would not significantly change with age. Problem-focused coping increases with age and depends primarily on participants' confidence in their ability to successfully solve problems (i.e., self-efficacy).
Hart, Sara A; Petrill, Stephen A; Thompson, Lee A; Plomin, Robert
The goal of this first major report from the Western Reserve Reading Project Math component is to explore the etiology of the relationship among tester-administered measures of mathematics ability, reading ability, and general cognitive ability. Data are available on 314 pairs of monozygotic and same-sex dizygotic twins analyzed across 5 waves of assessment. Univariate analyses provide a range of estimates of genetic (h(2) = .00 -.63) and shared (c(2) = .15-.52) environmental influences across math calculation, fluency, and problem solving measures. Multivariate analyses indicate genetic overlap between math problem solving with general cognitive ability and reading decoding, whereas math fluency shares significant genetic overlap with reading fluency and general cognitive ability. Further, math fluency has unique genetic influences. In general, math ability has shared environmental overlap with general cognitive ability and decoding. These results indicate that aspects of math that include problem solving have different genetic and environmental influences than math calculation. Moreover, math fluency, a timed measure of calculation, is the only measured math ability with unique genetic influences.
Floyd, Randy G.; McGrew, Kevin S.; Evans, Jeffrey J.
This study examined the relative contributions of measures of Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) cognitive abilities in explaining writing achievement. Drawing from samples that covered the age range of 7 to 18 years, simultaneous multiple regression was used to regress scores from the Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ III; Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001) that…
Loat, C S; Craig, G; Plomin, R; Craig, I W
The FMR1 gene contains a trinucleotide repeat tract which can expand from a normal size of around 30 repeats to over 200 repeats, causing mental retardation (Fragile X Syndrome). Evidence suggests that premutation males (55-200 repeats) are susceptible to a late-onset tremor/ataxia syndrome and females to premature ovarian failure, and that intermediate alleles ( approximately 41-55 repeats) and premutations may be in excess in samples with special educational needs. We explored the relationship between FMR1 allele length and cognitive ability in 621 low ability and control children assessed at 4 and 7 years, as well as 122 students with high IQ. The low and high ability and control samples showed no between-group differences in incidence of longer alleles. In males there was a significant negative correlation between allele length and non-verbal ability at 4 years (p = 0.048), academic achievement in maths (p = 0.003) and English (p = 0.011) at 7 years, and IQ in the high ability group (p = 0.018). There was a significant negative correlation between allele length and a standardised score for IQ and general cognitive ability at age 7 in the entire male sample (p = 0.002). This suggests that, within the normal spectrum of allele length, increased repeat numbers may have a limiting influence on cognitive performance.
Background Research on cognitive control suggests an age-related decline in proactive control abilities whereas reactive control seems to remain intact. However, the reason of the differential age effect on cognitive control efficiency is still unclear. This study investigated the potential influence of fluid intelligence and processing speed on the selective age-related decline in proactive control. Eighty young and 80 healthy older adults were included in this study. The participants were submitted to a working memory recognition paradigm, assessing proactive and reactive cognitive control by manipulating the interference level across items. Results Repeated measures ANOVAs and hierarchical linear regressions indicated that the ability to appropriately use cognitive control processes during aging seems to be at least partially affected by the amount of available cognitive resources (assessed by fluid intelligence and processing speed abilities). Conclusions This study highlights the potential role of cognitive resources on the selective age-related decline in proactive control, suggesting the importance of a more exhaustive approach considering the confounding variables during cognitive control assessment. PMID:24401034
Liu, Xu; Shi, Yuanyu; Niu, Binbin; Shi, Zhangyan; Li, Junlin; Ma, Zhe; Wang, Jian; Gong, Pingyuan; Zheng, Anyun; Zhang, Fuchang; Gao, Xiaocai; Zhang, Kejin
The choline O-acetyltransferase (CHAT) gene has been associated with various human disorders that involve cognitive impairment or deficiency. However, the influence of disease-associated variants of CHAT on normal individuals remains dubious. Here we demonstrated the impact of CHAT sequence variants (G-120A) on general human cognitive ability in a cohort of 750 Chinese undergraduate students. A multiple choice questionnaire was used to obtain basic demographic information, such as parents' occupations and education levels. We also administered and scored the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (RSPM). A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Kruskal-Wallis test (K-W) revealed a significant association between sequence polymorphisms of G-120A and individuals' Raven score (p=0.031 for ANOVA and p=0.026 for K-W tests). Moreover, further hierarchical analysis showed a similar trend in the association between G-120A variants and Raven scores only in the female subjects (p=0.008 for ANOVA and p=0.024 for K-W tests) but not in the male subjects. The results of a multiple linear regression confirmed that after we controlled gender, age, birthplace and other non-genetic factors, CHAT G-120A polymorphisms still significantly influenced individual Raven scores (B=-0.70, SE=0.28, t=-2.50, p=0.013). Our results demonstrated that sequence variants of CHAT were associated with human cognitive ability in not only patients with psychiatric disorders but also normal healthy individuals. However, some issues remained indeterminable, such as gender differences and the extent of the influence on individuals' general cognitive abilities; thus, the further research using an independent random sample was required.
The US National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measures cognitive competences in reading and mathematics of US students (last 2012 survey N = 50,000). The long-term development based on results from 1971 to 2012 allows a prediction of future cognitive trends. For predicting US averages also demographic trends have to be considered. The largest groups’ (White) average of 1978/80 was set at M = 100 and SD = 15 and was used as a benchmark. Based on two past NAEP development periods for 17-year-old students, 1978/80 to 2012 (more optimistic) and 1992 to 2012 (more pessimistic), and demographic projections from the US Census Bureau, cognitive trends until 2060 for the entire age cohort and ethnic groups were estimated. Estimated population averages for 2060 are 103 (optimistic) or 102 (pessimistic). The average rise per decade is dec = 0.76 or 0.45 IQ points. White-Black and White-Hispanic gaps are declining by half, Asian-White gaps treble. The catch-up of minorities (their faster ability growth) contributes around 2 IQ to the general rise of 3 IQ; however, their larger demographic increase reduces the general rise at about the similar amount (-1.4 IQ). Because minorities with faster ability growth also rise in their population proportion the interactive term is positive (around 1 IQ). Consequences for economic and societal development are discussed. PMID:26460731
Chew, Cindy S; Forte, Jason D; Reeve, Robert A
Early math abilities are claimed to be linked to magnitude representation ability. Some claim that nonsymbolic magnitude abilities scaffold the acquisition of symbolic (Arabic number) magnitude abilities and influence math ability. Others claim that symbolic magnitude abilities, and ipso facto math abilities, are independent of nonsymbolic abilities and instead depend on the ability to process number symbols (e.g., 2, 7). Currently, the issue of whether symbolic abilities are or are not related to nonsymbolic abilities, and the cognitive factors associated with nonsymbolic-symbolic relationships, remains unresolved. We suggest that different nonsymbolic-symbolic relationships reside within the general magnitude ability distribution and that different cognitive abilities are likely associated with these different relationships. We further suggest that the different nonsymbolic-symbolic relationships and cognitive abilities in combination differentially predict math abilities. To test these claims, we used latent profile analysis to identify nonsymbolic-symbolic judgment patterns of 124, 5- to 7-year-olds. We also assessed four cognitive factors (visuospatial working memory [VSWM], naming numbers, nonverbal IQ, and basic reaction time [RT]) and two math abilities (number transcoding and single-digit addition abilities). Four nonsymbolic-symbolic ability profiles were identified. Naming numbers, VSWM, and basic RT abilities were differentially associated with the different ability profiles and in combination differentially predicted math abilities. Findings show that different patterns of nonsymbolic-symbolic magnitude abilities can be identified and suggest that an adequate account of math development should specify the inter-relationship between cognitive factors and nonsymbolic-symbolic ability patterns.
Cabinio, Monia; Rossetto, Federica; Blasi, Valeria; Savazzi, Federica; Castelli, Ilaria; Massaro, Davide; Valle, Annalisa; Nemni, Raffaello; Clerici, Mario; Marchetti, Antonella; Baglio, Francesca
The Mind-Reading ability through the eyes is an important component of the affective Theory of Mind (ToM), which allows people to infer the other’s mental state from the eye gaze. The aim of the present study was to investigate to which extent age-associated structural brain changes impact this ability and to determine if this association is related to executive functions in elderly subjects. For this purpose, Magnetic Resonance Imaging was used to determine both gray matter and white matter (WM) areas associated with aging. The resulting areas have been included in a subsequent correlation analysis to detect the brain regions whose structure was associated with the Mind-Reading ability through the eyes, assessed with the Italian version of the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” (RME) test, in a sample of 36 healthy subjects ranging from 24 to 79 years of age. The analysis resulted in three important findings: (1) the performance to the RME test is relatively stable across the decades 20–70 (despite a slight decrease of this ability with aging) and independent from executive functions; (2) structural brain imaging demonstrated the involvement of a great number of cortical ToM areas for the execution of the RME test: the bilateral precentral gyrus, the bilateral posterior insula, the left superior temporal gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus, which also showed a significant volume decrease with age; (3) an age and task-related decline in WM connectivity on left fronto-temporal portion of the brain. Our results confirm the age-related structural modifications of the brain and show that these changes have an influence on the Mind-Reading ability through the eyes. PMID:26635702
Cabinio, Monia; Rossetto, Federica; Blasi, Valeria; Savazzi, Federica; Castelli, Ilaria; Massaro, Davide; Valle, Annalisa; Nemni, Raffaello; Clerici, Mario; Marchetti, Antonella; Baglio, Francesca
The Mind-Reading ability through the eyes is an important component of the affective Theory of Mind (ToM), which allows people to infer the other's mental state from the eye gaze. The aim of the present study was to investigate to which extent age-associated structural brain changes impact this ability and to determine if this association is related to executive functions in elderly subjects. For this purpose, Magnetic Resonance Imaging was used to determine both gray matter and white matter (WM) areas associated with aging. The resulting areas have been included in a subsequent correlation analysis to detect the brain regions whose structure was associated with the Mind-Reading ability through the eyes, assessed with the Italian version of the "Reading the Mind in the Eyes" (RME) test, in a sample of 36 healthy subjects ranging from 24 to 79 years of age. The analysis resulted in three important findings: (1) the performance to the RME test is relatively stable across the decades 20-70 (despite a slight decrease of this ability with aging) and independent from executive functions; (2) structural brain imaging demonstrated the involvement of a great number of cortical ToM areas for the execution of the RME test: the bilateral precentral gyrus, the bilateral posterior insula, the left superior temporal gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus, which also showed a significant volume decrease with age; (3) an age and task-related decline in WM connectivity on left fronto-temporal portion of the brain. Our results confirm the age-related structural modifications of the brain and show that these changes have an influence on the Mind-Reading ability through the eyes.
Shemesh, Michal; Lazarowitz, Reuven
This study investigated: (1) whether boys and girls master formal reasoning tasks to the same degree at the same age; (2) if the variance of boys' and girls' performance in formal tasks could be predicted by the same cognitive learning abilities; and (3) what are the main and interactional effects of age, sex, and school type on the variance of…
Beidas, Hanin; Khateb, Asaid; Breznitz, Zvia
The question of which cognitive impairments are primarily associated with dyslexia has been a source of continuous debate. This study examined the cognitive profile of Hebrew-speaking compensated adult dyslexics and investigated whether their cognitive abilities accounted for a unique variance in their reading performance. Sixty-nine young adults…
Ritchie, Stuart J.; Bates, Timothy C.; Deary, Ian J.
Previous research has indicated that education influences cognitive development, but it is unclear what, precisely, is being improved. Here, we tested whether education is associated with cognitive test score improvements via domain-general effects on general cognitive ability ("g"), or via domain-specific effects on particular cognitive…
Goldstein, Gerald; Haas, Gretchen L.; Pakrashi, Manish; Novero, Ada M.; Luther, James F.
In this study we investigated the putative role of cognitive dysfunction, diagnosis (schizoaffective versus schizophrenia disorder), and alcoholism as risk factors for suicidal behavior among individuals with DSM-IV schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders. Subjects received cognitive tests and medical records were reviewed for evidence of a…
Bigelow, Robin T; Agrawal, Yuri
A growing body of literature suggests the inner ear vestibular system has a substantial impact on cognitive function. The strongest evidence exists in connecting vestibular function to the cognitive domain of visuospatial ability, which includes spatial memory, navigation, mental rotation, and mental representation of three-dimensional space. Substantial evidence also exists suggesting the vestibular system has an impact on attention and cognitive processing ability. The cognitive domains of memory and executive function are also implicated in a number of studies. We will review the current literature, discuss possible causal links between vestibular dysfunction and cognitive performance, and suggest areas of future research.
Crepeau-Hobson, Franci; Vujeva, Hana
The assessment of cognitive ability in students with the most severe disabilities presents a challenge to the clinicians who are charged with this task. This article is the second of a two-part series that summarizes what is currently known about effective assessment of the cognitive ability of students with significant impairments in order to…
The purpose of this study was to examine if any relationship exists between "Parenting Stress Index" factors and child's cognitive abilities (Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory of general intelligence). The participant population consisted of 16 mothers and 16 children. The cognitive abilities were measured by using one of the following measures: (1)…
Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Cargnelutti, Elisa; Pastore, Massimiliano
Background: Math learning is a complex process that entails a wide range of cognitive abilities to be fulfilled. There is sufficient evidence that both general and specific cognitive skills assume a fundamental role, despite the absence of shared consensus about the relative extent of their involvement. Moreover, regarding general abilities, there…
Bonaccio, Silvia; Reeve, Charlie L.
This paper investigates the differentiation of cognitive abilities as a function of neuroticism. Specifically, we examine Eysenck and White's [Eysenck, H. J., and White, P. O. (1964). Personality and the measurement of intelligence. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 24, 197-201.] hypothesis that cognitive abilities are less differentiated…
Hames, E.; Baker, M.
Learning preferences have been indirectly linked to student success in engineering programmes, without a significant body of research to connect learning preferences with cognitive abilities. A better understanding of the relationship between learning styles and cognitive abilities will allow educators to optimise the classroom experience for…
Aro, Tuija; Poikkeus, Anna-Maija; Laakso, Marja-Leena; Tolvanen, Asko; Ahonen, Timo
We examined the associations between 5-year-old children's private speech, behavioural self-regulation, and cognitive abilities. Behavioural self-regulation was assessed using parental and preschool teacher questionnaires. Cognitive abilities (i.e., language, inhibition, planning and fluency, and memory) were assessed with neurocognitive tests,…
Werner, Rebecca Stetson; Cassidy, Kimberly Wright; Juliano, Mariel
This study investigated the relationship between preschool children's social-cognitive abilities (theory of mind and social information processing; SIP) and their observed physical and relational aggressive behaviour. Children with more advanced social-cognitive abilities engaged in fewer acts of physical aggression; however, much of the ability…
Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Horton, John; Alloway, Ross G.; Dawson, Clare
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impact of social networking sites (SNS) on cognitive abilities and reported levels of social connectedness in adolescents. In order to provide a reliable measure of cognitive skills, standardized tests of verbal ability, working memory, and academic attainment were administered. Students also…
This article reviews research on the effects of music instruction on general cognitive abilities. The review of more than 75 reports shows (1) the consistency in results pertaining to the short-term effects of music instruction on cognitive abilities and the lack of clear evidence on the long-term effects on intelligence; (2) the complex nature of…
Wanous, Donna S.
The organization of nine selected cognitive abilities from Guilford's structure-of-intellect model (SI) was explored in a sample of Spanish-English bilingual students. One hundred and ninety-four seventh and eighth graders were assigned to take a battery of nine cognitive ability tests in Spanish or English. The nine tests measured convergent…
Rodríguez, Manuel; Kohen, Raquel; Delval, Juan
Pollution phenomena are complex systems in which different parts are integrated by means of causal and temporal relationships. To understand pollution, children must develop some cognitive abilities related to system thinking and temporal and causal inferential reasoning. These cognitive abilities constrain and guide how children understand…
This guide deals with the use of computer technology with students who have moderate cognitive abilities. It defines moderate mental retardation and notes the decreasing incidence of mental retardation. It describes characteristics of students with moderate cognitive abilities and examines the role of technology in the educational program of these…
Salthouse, Timothy A.
There are many reports of relations between age and cognitive variables and of relations between age and variables representing different aspects of brain structure and a few reports of relations between brain structure variables and cognitive variables. These findings have sometimes led to inferences that the age-related brain changes cause the…
Steves, Claire J.; Mehta, Mitul M.; Jackson, Stephen H.D.; Spector, Tim D.
Background Many observational studies have shown a protective effect of physical activity on cognitive ageing, but interventional studies have been less convincing. This may be due to short time scales of interventions, suboptimal interventional regimes or lack of lasting effect. Confounding through common genetic and developmental causes is also possible. Objectives We aimed to test whether muscle fitness (measured by leg power) could predict cognitive change in a healthy older population over a 10-year time interval, how this performed alongside other predictors of cognitive ageing, and whether this effect was confounded by factors shared by twins. In addition, we investigated whether differences in leg power were predictive of differences in brain structure and function after 12 years of follow-up in identical twin pairs. Methods A total of 324 healthy female twins (average age at baseline 55, range 43-73) performed the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) at two time points 10 years apart. Linear regression modelling was used to assess the relationships between baseline leg power, physical activity and subsequent cognitive change, adjusting comprehensively for baseline covariates (including heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, lipids, diet, body habitus, smoking and alcohol habits, reading IQ, socioeconomic status and birthweight). A discordant twin approach was used to adjust for factors shared by twins. A subset of monozygotic pairs then underwent magnetic resonance imaging. The relationship between muscle fitness and brain structure and function was assessed using linear regression modelling and paired t tests. Results A striking protective relationship was found between muscle fitness (leg power) and both 10-year cognitive change [fully adjusted model standardised β-coefficient (Stdβ) = 0.174, p = 0.002] and subsequent total grey matter (Stdβ = 0.362, p = 0.005). These effects were robust in discordant
Shapiro, Alla Rachel; Levy-Gigi, Einat
Previous studies have shown that contextual cues improve memory performance and reduce interference in younger adults. However, it is not clear whether middle-aged and older adults can also benefit from contextual cues, or if this ability diminishes with ageing and cognitive decline. In order to test this question, we tested 69 middle-aged adults (aged 30-50 years) and 65 older adults (aged 65-85). Participants completed a retroactive interference paradigm with or without contextual cues. Cognitive functioning of older adults was assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which is a sensitive and highly validated tool to detect cognitive decline in older age. The results showed that while middle-aged adults were able to benefit from context to improve recognition and reduce interference, older adults were not able to benefit from it. However, when we compared older adults with lower (<26) and higher (≥26) scores on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, we found that older adults with high cognitive functioning could benefit from context advantage at retrieval to improve recognition compared to those with lower cognitive functioning. Yet, similar to older adults with lower cognitive functioning, they could not benefit from context advantage at encoding and hence were still susceptible to interference.
Sudarshan, Navaneetham J; Bowden, Stephen C; Saklofske, Donald H; Weiss, Lawrence G
Assessment of measurement invariance across populations is essential for meaningful comparison of test scores, and is especially relevant where repeated measurements are required for educational assessment or clinical diagnosis. Establishing measurement invariance legitimizes the assumption that test scores reflect the same psychological trait in different populations or across different occasions. Examination of Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) U.S. standardization samples revealed that a first-order 5-factor measurement model was best fitting across 9 age groups from 16 years to 69 years. Strong metric invariance was found for 3 of 5 factors and partial intercept invariance for the remaining 2. Pairwise comparisons of adjacent age groups supported the inference that cognitive-trait group differences are manifested by group differences in the test scores. In educational and clinical settings these findings provide theoretical and empirical support to interpret changes in the index or subtest scores as reflecting changes in the corresponding cognitive abilities. Further, where clinically relevant, the subtest score composites can be used to compare changes in respective cognitive abilities. The model was supported in the Canadian standardization data with pooled age groups but the sample sizes were not adequate for detailed examination of separate age groups in the Canadian sample. (PsycINFO Database Record
Davis, Oliver S. P.; Band, Gavin; Pirinen, Matti; Haworth, Claire M. A.; Meaburn, Emma L.; Kovas, Yulia; Harlaar, Nicole; Docherty, Sophia J.; Hanscombe, Ken B.; Trzaskowski, Maciej; Curtis, Charles J. C.; Strange, Amy; Freeman, Colin; Bellenguez, Céline; Su, Zhan; Pearson, Richard; Vukcevic, Damjan; Langford, Cordelia; Deloukas, Panos; Hunt, Sarah; Gray, Emma; Dronov, Serge; Potter, Simon C.; Tashakkori-Ghanbaria, Avazeh; Edkins, Sarah; Bumpstead, Suzannah J.; Blackwell, Jenefer M.; Bramon, Elvira; Brown, Matthew A.; Casas, Juan P.; Corvin, Aiden; Duncanson, Audrey; Jankowski, Janusz A. Z.; Markus, Hugh S.; Mathew, Christopher G.; Palmer, Colin N. A.; Rautanen, Anna; Sawcer, Stephen J.; Trembath, Richard C.; Viswanathan, Ananth C.; Wood, Nicholas W.; Barroso, Ines; Peltonen, Leena; Dale, Philip S.; Petrill, Stephen A.; Schalkwyk, Leonard S.; Craig, Ian W.; Lewis, Cathryn M.; Price, Thomas S.; Donnelly, Peter; Plomin, Robert; Spencer, Chris C. A.
Dissecting how genetic and environmental influences impact on learning is helpful for maximizing numeracy and literacy. Here we show, using twin and genome-wide analysis, that there is a substantial genetic component to children’s ability in reading and mathematics, and estimate that around one half of the observed correlation in these traits is due to shared genetic effects (so-called Generalist Genes). Thus, our results highlight the potential role of the learning environment in contributing to differences in a child’s cognitive abilities at age twelve. PMID:25003214
Davis, Oliver S P; Band, Gavin; Pirinen, Matti; Haworth, Claire M A; Meaburn, Emma L; Kovas, Yulia; Harlaar, Nicole; Docherty, Sophia J; Hanscombe, Ken B; Trzaskowski, Maciej; Curtis, Charles J C; Strange, Amy; Freeman, Colin; Bellenguez, Céline; Su, Zhan; Pearson, Richard; Vukcevic, Damjan; Langford, Cordelia; Deloukas, Panos; Hunt, Sarah; Gray, Emma; Dronov, Serge; Potter, Simon C; Tashakkori-Ghanbaria, Avazeh; Edkins, Sarah; Bumpstead, Suzannah J; Blackwell, Jenefer M; Bramon, Elvira; Brown, Matthew A; Casas, Juan P; Corvin, Aiden; Duncanson, Audrey; Jankowski, Janusz A Z; Markus, Hugh S; Mathew, Christopher G; Palmer, Colin N A; Rautanen, Anna; Sawcer, Stephen J; Trembath, Richard C; Viswanathan, Ananth C; Wood, Nicholas W; Barroso, Ines; Peltonen, Leena; Dale, Philip S; Petrill, Stephen A; Schalkwyk, Leonard S; Craig, Ian W; Lewis, Cathryn M; Price, Thomas S; Donnelly, Peter; Plomin, Robert; Spencer, Chris C A
Dissecting how genetic and environmental influences impact on learning is helpful for maximizing numeracy and literacy. Here we show, using twin and genome-wide analysis, that there is a substantial genetic component to children's ability in reading and mathematics, and estimate that around one half of the observed correlation in these traits is due to shared genetic effects (so-called Generalist Genes). Thus, our results highlight the potential role of the learning environment in contributing to differences in a child's cognitive abilities at age twelve.
Schneider, Christine; Helmstaedter, Christoph; Luders, Eileen; Thompson, Paul M; Toga, Arthur W; Elger, Christian; Weber, Bernd
The main objective of this paper is to analyze the influence of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) on the morphology of the corpus callosum (CC) and its relation to cognitive abilities. More specifically, we investigated correlations between intellectual abilities and callosal morphology, while additionally exploring the modulating impact of (a) side of seizure onset (b) age of disease onset. For this reason a large representative sample of patients with hippocampal sclerosis (n = 79; 35 males; 44 females; age: 18-63 years) with disease onset ranging from 0 to 50 years of age, and consisting of 46 left and 33 right mTLE-patients was recruited. Intelligence was measured using the Wechsler-Adult Intelligence Scale Revised. To get localizations of correlations with high anatomic precision, callosal morphology was examined using computational mesh-based modeling methods, applied to anatomical brain MRI scans. Intellectual performance was positively associated with callosal thickness in anterior and midcallosal callosal regions, with anterior parts being slightly more affected by age of disease onset and side of seizure onset than posterior parts. Earlier age at onset of epilepsy was associated with lower thickness in anterior and midcallosal regions. In addition, laterality of seizure onset had a significant influence on anterior CC morphology, with left hemispheric origin having stronger effects. We found that in mTLE, anterior and midcallosal CC morphology are related to cognitive performance. The findings support recent findings of detrimental effects of early onset mTLE on anterior brain regions and of a distinct effect particularly of left mTLE on frontal lobe functioning and structure. The causal nature of the relationship remains an open question, i.e., whether CC morphology impacts IQ development or whether IQ development impacts CC morphology, or both.
Troy, Allison S; Wilhelm, Frank H; Shallcross, Amanda J; Mauss, Iris B
Individuals differ in their adjustment to stressful life events, with some exhibiting impaired functioning, including depression, while others exhibit impressive resilience. The present study examined the hypothesis that the ability to deploy a particularly adaptive type of emotion regulation-cognitive reappraisal-may be a protective factor. It expands upon existing research in three ways. First, participants' ability to use reappraisal (cognitive reappraisal ability: CRA) was measured by using a behavioral challenge that assessed changes in experiential and physiological domains, rather than questionnaires. Second, all participants had been exposed to one or more recent stressful life events, a context in which emotion regulation may be particularly important. Third, a community sample of 78 women aged 20 to 60 was recruited, as opposed to undergraduates. Results indicate that, at low levels of stress, participants' CRA was not associated with depressive symptoms. However, at high levels of stress, women with high CRA exhibited less depressive symptoms than those with low CRA, suggesting that CRA may be an important moderator of the link between stress and depressive symptoms.
Bozoki, Andrea; Radovanovic, Mirjana; Winn, Brian; Heeter, Carrie; Anthony, James C
We developed a 'senior friendly' suite of online 'games for learning' with interactive calibration for increasing difficulty, and evaluated the feasibility of a randomized clinical trial to test the hypothesis that seniors aged 60-80 can improve key aspects of cognitive ability with the aid of such games. Sixty community-dwelling senior volunteers were randomized to either an online game suite designed to train multiple cognitive abilities, or to a control arm with online activities that simulated the look and feel of the games but with low level interactivity and no calibration of difficulty. Study assessment included measures of recruitment, retention and play-time. Cognitive change was measured with a computerized assessment battery administered just before and within two weeks after completion of the six-week intervention. Impediments to feasibility included: limited access to in-home high-speed internet, large variations in the amount of time devoted to game play, and a reluctance to pursue more challenging levels. Overall analysis was negative for assessed performance (transference effects) even though subjects improved on the games themselves. Post hoc analyses suggest that some types of games may have more value than others, but these effects would need to be replicated in a study designed for that purpose. We conclude that a six-week, moderate-intensity computer game-based cognitive intervention can be implemented with high-functioning seniors, but the effect size is relatively small. Our findings are consistent with Owen et al. (2010), but there are open questions about whether more structured, longer duration or more intensive 'games for learning' interventions might yield more substantial cognitive improvement in seniors.
Racz, Sarah Jensen; Putnick, Diane L; Suwalsky, Joan T D; Hendricks, Charlene; Bornstein, Marc H
Children's and adolescents' cognitive abilities, social adaptation, and externalizing behaviors are broadly associated with each other at the bivariate level; however, the direction, ordering, and uniqueness of these associations have yet to be identified. Developmental cascade models are particularly well-suited to (1) discern unique pathways among psychological domains and (2) model stability in and covariation among constructs, allowing for conservative tests of longitudinal associations. The current study aimed to identify specific cascade effects among children's cognitive abilities, social adaptation, and externalizing behaviors, beginning in preschool and extending through adolescence. Children (46.2 % female) and mothers (N = 351 families) provided data when children were 4, 10, and 14 years old. Cascade effects highlighted significant stability in these domains. Unique longitudinal associations were identified between (1) age-10 cognitive abilities and age-14 social adaptation, (2) age-4 social adaptation and age-10 externalizing behavior, and (3) age-10 externalizing behavior and age-14 social adaptation. These findings suggest that children's social adaptation in preschool and externalizing behavior in middle childhood may be ideal intervention targets to enhance adolescent well-being.
Hubbs-Tait, Laura; Culp, Anne McDonald; Culp, Rex E.; Miller, Carrie E.
Examined effect, after 1 year, of parental cognitive stimulation, emotional support, and intrusiveness on verbal and nonverbal abilities of low-income children in Head Start programs. Found that children of parents who provide the highest cognitive stimulation and emotional support coupled with no intrusive behavior fared best in later perceptual…
Skagerlund, Kenny; Träff, Ulf
The current study investigated whether processing of number, space, and time contributes to mathematical abilities beyond previously known domain-general cognitive abilities in a sample of 8- to 10-year-old children (N=133). Multiple regression analyses revealed that executive functions and general intelligence predicted all aspects of mathematics and overall mathematical ability. Working memory capacity did not contribute significantly to our models, whereas spatial ability was a strong predictor of achievement. The study replicates earlier research showing that non-symbolic number processing seems to lose predictive power of mathematical abilities once the symbolic system is acquired. Novel findings include the fact that time discrimination ability was tied to calculation ability. Therefore, a conclusion is that magnitude processing in general contributes to mathematical achievement.
Michaud, Kathy; Forget, Helene; Cohen, Henri
Cumulative exposure to glucocorticoid hormones (GC) over the lifespan has been associated with cognitive impairment and may contribute to physical and cognitive degeneration in aging. The objective of the present study was to examine whether the pattern of cognitive deficits in patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS), a disorder characterized by…
Clark, Rachel; Freedberg, Michael; Hazeltine, Eliot; Voss, Michelle W
Age is often associated with a decline in cognitive abilities that are important for maintaining functional independence, such as learning new skills. Many forms of motor learning appear to be relatively well preserved with age, while learning tasks that involve associative binding tend to be negatively affected. The current study aimed to determine whether age differences exist on a configural response learning task, which includes aspects of motor learning and associative binding. Young (M = 24 years) and older adults (M = 66.5 years) completed a modified version of a configural learning task. Given the requirement of associative binding in the configural relationships between responses, we predicted older adults would show significantly less learning than young adults. Older adults demonstrated lower performance (slower reaction time and lower accuracy). However, contrary to our prediction, older adults showed similar rates of learning as indexed by a configural learning score compared to young adults. These results suggest that the ability to acquire knowledge incidentally about configural response relationships is largely unaffected by cognitive aging. The configural response learning task provides insight into the task demands that constrain learning abilities in older adults.
Robey, Alison; Buckingham-Howes, Stacy; Salmeron, Betty Jo; Black, Maureen M.; Riggins, Tracy
This investigation examined how prospective memory (PM) relates to cognitive abilities (i.e., executive function, attention, working memory, and retrospective memory), and brain structure in adolescents who vary in prenatal drug exposure (PDE). The sample included 105 (55 female, 50 male) urban, primarily African American adolescents (mean age 15.5 years) from low socioeconomic status (SES) families; 56% (n=59) were prenatally exposed to drugs (heroin and/or cocaine) and 44% (n=46) were not prenatally exposed, but similar in age, gender, race, and SES. Executive functioning, attentional control, working memory, retrospective memory, and overall cognitive ability were assessed by validated performance measures. Executive functioning was also measured by caregiver report. A subset of 52 adolescents completed MRI scans, which provided measures of subcortical gray matter volumes and thickness of prefrontal, parietal and temporal cortices. Results revealed no differences in PM performance by PDE status, even after adjusting for age and IQ. Executive function, retrospective memory, cortical thickness in frontal and parietal regions, and volume of subcortical regions (i.e., putamen and hippocampus) were related to PM performance in the sample overall, even after adjusting for age, IQ, and total gray matter volume. Findings suggest that variations in PM ability during adolescence are robustly related to individual differences in cognitive abilities, in particular executive function and retrospective memory, and brain structure, but do not vary by PDE status. PMID:24630759
Rindermann, Heiner; Stiegmaier, Eva-Maria; Meisenberg, Gerhard
Cognitive abilities of children in Costa Rica and Austria were compared using three age groups (N = 385/366). Cognitive ability tests (mental speed, culture reduced/fluid intelligence, literacy/crystallized intelligence) were applied that differed in the extent to which they refer to school-related knowledge. Preschool children (kindergarten, 5-6 years old, N(CR) = 80, N(Au) = 51) were assessed with the Coloured Progressive Matrices (CPM), primary school children (4th grade, 9-11 years old, N(CR) = 71, N(Au) = 71) with ZVT (a trail-making test), Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) and items from PIRLS-Reading and TIMSS-Mathematics, and secondary school students (15-16 years old, N(CR) = 48, N(Au) = 48) with ZVT, Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) and items from PISA-Reading and PISA-Mathematics. Additionally, parents and pupils were given questionnaires covering family characteristics and instruction. Average cognitive abilities were higher in Austria (Greenwich-IQ M(CR) = 87 and M(Au) = 99, d(IQ) = 12 points) and differences were smaller in preschool than in secondary school (d(IQ) = 7 vs 20 points). Differences in crystallized intelligence were larger than in fluid intelligence (mental speed: d(IQ) = 12, Raven: d(IQ) = 10, student achievement tests: d(IQ) = 17 IQ points). Differences were larger in comparisons at the level of g-factors. Austrian children were also taller (6.80 cm, d = 1.07 SD), but had lower body mass index (BMI(CR) = 19.35 vs BMI(Au) = 17.59, d = -0.89 SD). Different causal hypotheses explaining these differences are compared.
Palmeri, Rosanna; Lo Buono, Viviana; Corallo, Francesco; Foti, Maria; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Bramanti, Placido; Marino, Silvia
Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor and nonmotor symptoms. Nonmotor symptoms include cognitive deficits and impairment in emotions recognition ability associated with loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and with alteration in frontostriatal circuits. In this review, we analyzed the studies on social cognition ability in patients with PD. We searched on PubMed and Web of Science databases and screening references of included studied and review articles for additional citations. From initial 260 articles, only 18 met search criteria. A total of 496 patients were compared with 514 health controls, through 16 different tests that assessed some subcomponents of social cognition, such as theory of mind, decision-making, and emotional face recognition. Studies on cognitive function in patients with PD have focused on executive function. Patients with PD showed impairment in social cognition from the earliest stages of disease. This ability seems to not be significantly associated with other cognitive functions.
Boot, Walter R; Champion, Michael; Blakely, Daniel P; Wright, Timothy; Souders, Dustin J; Charness, Neil
Recent research has demonstrated broad benefits of video game play to perceptual and cognitive abilities. These broad improvements suggest that video game-based cognitive interventions may be ideal to combat the many perceptual and cognitive declines associated with advancing age. Furthermore, game interventions have the potential to induce higher rates of intervention compliance compared to other cognitive interventions as they are assumed to be inherently enjoyable and motivating. We explored these issues in an intervention that tested the ability of an action game and a "brain fitness" game to improve a variety of abilities. Cognitive abilities did not significantly improve, suggesting caution when recommending video game interventions as a means to reduce the effects of cognitive aging. However, the game expected to produce the largest benefit based on previous literature (an action game) induced the lowest intervention compliance. We explain this low compliance by participants' ratings of the action game as less enjoyable and by their prediction that training would have few meaningful benefits. Despite null cognitive results, data provide valuable insights into the types of video games older adults are willing to play and why.
Stawski, Robert S.; Sliwinski, Martin J.; Smyth, Joshua M.; University, Syracuse
Both subjective distress and cognitive interference have been proposed as mechanisms underlying the negative effects of stress on cognition. Studies of aging have shown that distress is associated with lower cognitive performance, but none have examined the effects of cognitive interference. One hundred eleven older adults (Mage = 80) completed measures of working memory, processing speed, and episodic memory as well as self-report measures of subjective distress and cognitive interference. Cognitive interference was strongly associated with poorer performance on all 3 cognitive constructs, whereas distress was only modestly associated with lower working memory. The results suggest that cognitive process related to stress is an important predictor of cognitive function in advanced age. PMID:16953715
Alexander, Gene E.; Ryan, Lee; Bowers, Dawn; Foster, Thomas C.; Bizon, Jennifer L.; Geldmacher, David S.; Glisky, Elizabeth L.
With the population of older adults expected to grow rapidly over the next two decades, it has become increasingly important to advance research efforts to elucidate the mechanisms associated with cognitive aging, with the ultimate goal of developing effective interventions and prevention therapies. Although there has been a vast research literature on the use of cognitive tests to evaluate the effects of aging and age-related neurodegenerative disease, the need for a set of standardized measures to characterize the cognitive profiles specific to healthy aging has been widely recognized. Here we present a review of selected methods and approaches that have been applied in human research studies to evaluate the effects of aging on cognition, including executive function, memory, processing speed, language, and visuospatial function. The effects of healthy aging on each of these cognitive domains are discussed with examples from cognitive/experimental and clinical/neuropsychological approaches. Further, we consider those measures that have clear conceptual and methodological links to tasks currently in use for non-human animal studies of aging, as well as those that have the potential for translation to animal aging research. Having a complementary set of measures to assess the cognitive profiles of healthy aging across species provides a unique opportunity to enhance research efforts for cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention studies of cognitive aging. Taking a cross-species, translational approach will help to advance cognitive aging research, leading to a greater understanding of associated neurobiological mechanisms with the potential for developing effective interventions and prevention therapies for age-related cognitive decline. PMID:22988439
Ferreira, Leandro; Ferreira Santos-Galduróz, Ruth; Ferri, Cleusa Pinheiro; Fernandes Galduróz, José Carlos
Some studies have shown differences in specific cognitive ability domains between the sexes at 60 years-of-age. However is important to analyze whether the rate of cognitive decline is also similar between the sexes after this age. The present study examined previously published literature to investigate whether cognitive decline is distinct between men and women after the age of 60 years. A systematic review was carried out with the PubMed, LILACS and PsycINFO databases (2001-2011) using the following search terms: aging, aged, cognitive function, mild cognitive impairment, mental health and cognition. We analyzed longitudinal research that used neuropsychological tests for evaluating cognitive function, showed results separated by sex and that excluded participants with dementia. Elderly women showed better performance in tests of episodic memory, whereas elderly men had a better visuospatial ability. Only one study detected distinct rates of cognitive decline in specific tests between the sexes. Despite differences observed in some domains, most of the studies showed that this rate is similar between the sexes until the age of 80 years. It is unclear whether sex influences the rate of cognitive decline after the age of 80 years. The present review observed that sex does not determine the rate of cognitive decline between 60 and 80 years-of-age. The contextual and cultural factors that involve men and women might determine a distinct decline between them, rather than sex alone.
Skirbekk, Vegard; Loichinger, Elke; Weber, Daniela
Comparing the burden of aging across countries hinges on the availability of valid and comparable indicators. The Old Age Dependency Ratio allows only a limited assessment of the challenges of aging, because it does not include information on any individual characteristics except age itself. Existing alternative indicators based on health or economic activity suffer from measurement and comparability problems. We propose an indicator based on age variation in cognitive functioning. We use newly released data from standardized tests of seniors' cognitive abilities for countries from different world regions. In the wake of long-term advances in countries' industrial composition, and technological advances, the ability to handle new job procedures is now of high and growing importance, which increases the importance of cognition for work performance over time. In several countries with older populations, we find better cognitive performance on the part of populations aged 50+ than in countries with chronologically younger populations. This variation in cognitive functioning levels may be explained by the fact that seniors in some regions of the world experienced better conditions during childhood and adult life, including nutrition, duration and quality of schooling, lower exposure to disease, and physical and social activity patterns. Because of the slow process of cohort replacement, those countries whose seniors already have higher cognitive levels today are likely to continue to be at an advantage for several decades to come.
The goal of the current project was to examine whether engaging in social activity may moderate or mediate the relation between age and cognitive functioning. A large age range sample of adults performed a variety of cognitive tests and completed a social activities questionnaire. Results did not support the moderator hypothesis, as age…
This article investigates whether computer use for leisure could mediate or moderate the relations between age and cognitive functioning. Findings supported smaller age differences in measures of cognitive functioning for people who reported spending more hours using a computer. Because of the cross-sectional design of the study, two alternative…
Huijbregts, S. C. J.; Séguin, J. R.; Zelazo, P. D.; Parent, S.; Japel, C.; Tremblay, R. E.
Maternal prenatal smoking, birth weight and sociodemographic factors were investigated in relation to cognitive abilities of 1544 children (aged 3.5 years) participating in the Québec Longitudinal Study of Children’s Development. The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) was used to assess verbal ability, the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised (WPPSI-R) block design test to assess visuospatial ability, and the Visually Cued Recall (VCR) task to assess short-term memory. Prenatal smoking was related to performance on the WPPSI-R, the PPVT, and the VCR, although it did not independently predict any cognitive ability after maternal education was taken into account. Birth weight was a more robust predictor of all outcome measures and independently predicted VCR-performance. Birth weight interacted significantly with family income and maternal education in predicting visuospatial ability, indicating a greater influence of birth weight under relatively poor socio-economic conditions. Parenting and family functioning mediated associations between maternal education/family income and cognitive task performance under different birth weight conditions, although there were indications for stronger effects under relatively low birth weight. We conclude that investigations of moderating and mediating effects can provide insights into which children are most at risk of cognitive impairment and might benefit most from interventions.
Johnson, Wendy; Jung, Rex E.; Colom, Roberto; Haier, Richard J.
There is increasing evidence relating psychometric measures of general intelligence and reasoning to regional brain structure and function assessed with a variety of neuroimaging techniques. Cognitive dimensions independent of general intelligence can also be identified psychometrically and studied for any neuroanatomical correlates. Here we…
Sams, Kathryn; Collins, Suzanne; Reynolds, Shirley
Background: There is a need to develop and adapt therapies for use with people with learning disabilities who have mental health problems. Aims: To examine the performance of people with learning disabilities on two cognitive therapy tasks (emotion recognition and discrimination among thoughts, feelings and behaviours). We hypothesized that…
Webbink, Dinand; Posthuma, Danielle; Boomsma, Dorret I.; de Geus, Eco J. C.; Visscher, Peter M.
Previous studies based on population cohorts born at least 35 years ago, have reported appreciable childhood cognitive deficits for twins. We compared longitudinal IQ scores from approximately 188,000 singletons and some 6000 twins who went to primary school in the Netherlands from 1994 to 2003. In addition, we used a family-based design in which…
Haciomeroglu, Erhan Selcuk
The present study investigated the object-spatial visualization and verbal cognitive styles among high school students and related differences in spatial ability, verbal-logical reasoning ability, and mathematical performance of those students. Data were collected from 348 students enrolled in Advanced Placement calculus courses at six high…
Webbink, Dinand; Hay, David; Visscher, Peter M
This article analyzes the effect of classroom separation of twins on their cognitive abilities, measured at different ages in Dutch primary education. We use a large longitudinal school-based sample of twins and their classmates. The analysis tries to reduce the bias by unobserved factors due to the nonrandom assignment of twins by taking into account differences in school environment, previous test scores and variation in class assignment between years. We find that classroom separation matters for language in Grade 2. Nonseparated twins score higher on language, and the difference is larger for same-sex pairs. This finding is robust for various methods that take unobserved effects into account. In addition, there is some evidence for higher scores in arithmetic in Grade 2. For the higher grades we find no effect of classroom separation on cognitive ability. In the analysis of the effect of a separation of at least 3 years we find that separation increases language performance between Grade 6 and 8 for opposite-sex pairs.
Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Elsworth, Miquela
The purpose of this study was to investigate the cognitive and behavioral profiles of high ability students. Performance on measures of verbal and visuo-spatial working memory and general ability (vocabulary and block design) was compared across the following groups: high, average, and low ability students. The behavioral profile of high ability…
Kinshuk, Taiyu Lin; McNab, Paul
Researchers have regarded inductive reasoning as one of the seven primary mental abilities that account for human intelligent behaviours. Researchers have also shown that inductive reasoning ability is one of the best predictors for academic performance. Modelling of inductive reasoning is therefore an important issue for providing adaptivity in…
Meyer, Judith M. W.
A hierarchial sequence for map skills instruction is proposed and related to existing programs. Emphasis in this sequential structure is placed on gradual development of the student's ability to use grid reference systems and orient himself satisfactorily on maps, as well as the gradual acquisition of certain measurement abilities. (SM)
Groenier, M.; Schraagen, J. M. C.; Miedema, H. A. T.; Broeders, I. A. J. M.
Learning minimally invasive surgery (MIS) differs substantially from learning open surgery and trainees differ in their ability to learn MIS. Previous studies mainly focused on the role of visuo-spatial ability (VSA) on the learning curve for MIS. In the current study, the relationship between spatial memory, perceptual speed, and general…
Campbell, Colin; Landry, Oriane; Russo, Natalie; Flores, Heidi; Jacques, Sophie; Burack, Jacob A.
The influences of verbal mental age (VMA) and performance mental age (PMA) on cognitive flexibility were examined among a group of participants with Down syndrome (DS), in order to disentangle the relative contributions of each. The impaired cognitive flexibility typically observed among individuals with DS in combination with uneven VMA and PMA…
Moreno, Martha Beatriz; Concha, Luis; González-Santos, Leopoldo; Ortiz, Juan Jose; Barrios, Fernando Alejandro
We assessed the relationship between structural characteristics (area) and microstructure (apparent diffusion coefficient; ADC) of the corpus callosum (CC) in 57 healthy children aged 7.0 to 9.1 years, with diverse cognitive and academic abilities as well as executive functions evaluated with a neuropsychological battery for children. The CC was manually delineated and sub-segmented into six regions, and their ADC and area were measured. There were no significant differences between genders in the callosal region area or in ADC. The CC area and ADC, mainly of anterior regions, correlated with different cognitive abilities for each gender. Our results suggest that the relationship between cognitive abilities and CC characteristics is different between girls and boys and between the anterior and posterior regions of the CC. Furthermore, these findings strenghten the idea that regardless of the different interhemispheric connectivity schemes per gender, the results of cognitive tasks are very similar for girls and boys throughout childhood. PMID:25170897
Johnston, Joanne S; Begum Ali, Jannath; Hill, Elisabeth L; Bremner, Andrew J
When localizing touches to the hands, typically developing children and adults show a "crossed hands effect" whereby identifying which hand received a tactile stimulus is less accurate when the hands are crossed than uncrossed. This demonstrates the use of an external frame of reference for locating touches to one's own body. Given that studies indicate that developmental vision plays a role in the emergence of external representations of touch, and reliance on vision for representing the body during action is atypical in developmental coordination disorder (DCD), we investigated external spatial representations of touch in children with DCD using the "crossed hands effect". Nineteen children with DCD aged 7-11years completed a tactile localization task in which posture (uncrossed, crossed) and view (hands seen, unseen) were varied systematically. Their performance was compared to that of 35 typically developing controls (19 of a similar age and cognitive ability, and 16 of a younger age but similar fine motor ability). Like controls, the DCD group exhibited a crossed hands effect, whilst their overall tactile localization performance was weaker than their peers of similar age and cognitive ability, but in line with younger controls of similar motor ability. For children with movement difficulties, these findings indicate tactile localization impairments in relation to age expectations, but apparently typical use of an external reference frame for localizing touch.
Grant, Angela; Dennis, Nancy A.; Li, Ping
In recent years bilingualism has been linked to both advantages in executive control and positive impacts on aging. Such positive cognitive effects of bilingualism have been attributed to the increased need for language control during bilingual processing and increased cognitive reserve, respectively. However, a mechanistic explanation of how bilingual experience contributes to cognitive reserve is still lacking. The current paper proposes a new focus on bilingual memory as an avenue to explore the relationship between executive control and cognitive reserve. We argue that this focus will enhance our understanding of the functional and structural neural mechanisms underlying bilingualism-induced cognitive effects. With this perspective we discuss and integrate recent cognitive and neuroimaging work on bilingual advantage, and suggest an account that links cognitive control, cognitive reserve, and brain reserve in bilingual aging and memory. PMID:25520695
de Frias, Cindy M; Nilsson, Lars-Göran; Herlitz, Agneta
Sex differences in declarative memory and visuospatial ability are robust in cross-sectional studies. The present longitudinal study examined whether sex differences in cognition were present over a 10-year period, and whether age modified the magnitude of sex differences. Tests assessing episodic and semantic memory, and visuospatial ability were administered to 625 nondemented adults (initially aged 35-80 years), participating in the population-based Betula study at two follow-up occasions. There was stability of sex differences across five age groups and over a 10-year period. Women performed at a higher level than men on episodic recall, face and verbal recognition, and semantic fluency, whereas men performed better than women on a task-assessing, visuospatial ability. Sex differences in cognitive functions are stable over a 10-year period and from 35 to 90 years of age.
Laitman, Benjamin M; John, Gareth R
Alterations in the structure and organization of the aging central nervous system (CNS), and associated functional deficits, result in cognitive decline and increase susceptibility to neurodegeneration. Age-related changes to the neurovascular unit (NVU), and their consequences for cerebrovascular function, are implicated as driving cognitive impairment during aging as well as in neurodegenerative disease. The molecular events underlying these effects are incompletely characterized. Similarly, the mechanisms underlying effects of factors that reduce the impact of aging on the brain, such as physical exercise, are also opaque. A study in this issue of PLOS Biology links the NVU to cognitive decline in the aging brain and suggests a potential underlying molecular mechanism. Notably, the study further links the protective effects of chronic exercise on cognition to neurovascular integrity during aging.
Reeve, Ronald E.; And Others
The study compared the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery Tests of Cognitive Ability and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children--Revised for a sample of 51 learning disabled children (7-11 years old). (Author/SBH)
West, Richard F.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Stanovich, Keith E.
In this article, the authors argue that there are a range of effects usually studied within cognitive psychology that are legitimately thought of as aspects of critical thinking: the cognitive biases studied in the heuristics and biases literature. In a study of 793 student participants, the authors found that the ability to avoid these biases was…
Ferrer, Emilio; McArdle, John J.
This study examined the dynamics of cognitive abilities and academic achievement from childhood to early adulthood. Predictions about time-dependent "coupling" relations between cognition and achievement based on R. B. Cattell's (1971, 1987) investment hypothesis were evaluated using linear dynamic models applied to longitudinal data (N=672).…
Cassimatis, Nicholas L.; Bello, Paul; Langley, Pat
Computational models will play an important role in our understanding of human higher-order cognition. How can a model's contribution to this goal be evaluated? This article argues that three important aspects of a model of higher-order cognition to evaluate are (a) its ability to reason, solve problems, converse, and learn as well as people do;…
Kikkert, Lisette H J; Vuillerme, Nicolas; van Campen, Jos P; Hortobágyi, Tibor; Lamoth, Claudine J
Early identification of individuals at risk for cognitive decline may facilitate the selection of those who benefit most from interventions. Current models predicting cognitive decline include neuropsychological and/or biological markers. Additional markers based on walking ability might improve accuracy and specificity of these models because motor and cognitive functions share neuroanatomical structures and psychological processes. We reviewed the relationship between walking ability at one point of (mid) life and cognitive decline at follow-up. A systematic literature search identified 20 longitudinal studies. The average follow-up time was 4.5 years. Gait speed quantified walking ability in most studies (n=18). Additional gait measures (n=4) were step frequency, variability and step-length. Despite methodological weaknesses, results revealed that gait slowing (0.68-1.1 m/sec) preceded cognitive decline and the presence of dementia syndromes (maximal odds and hazard ratios of 10.4 and 11.1, respectively). The results indicate that measures of walking ability could serve as additional markers to predict cognitive decline. However, gait speed alone might lack specificity. We recommend gait analysis, including dynamic gait parameters, in clinical evaluations of patients with suspected cognitive decline. Future studies should focus on examining the specificity and accuracy of various gait characteristics to predict future cognitive decline.
of Cognitive Ability and Personality Traits to Pilot Training Performance 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 62202F 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d...predictive validity of cognitive ability and personality traits was examined in large samples of US Air Force pilot trainees. Criterion data were collected...between 1995 and 2008 from four training bases across three training tracks. Analyses also examined consistency in pilot aptitude and training
McGue, Matt; Christensen, Kaare
To investigate heritable influences on overall level and rate-of-change in cognitive ability, biometric growth models were fit to cognitive data from nearly 1000 Danish twins age 70 years and older. Twins are participants in the ongoing Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins, a cohort-sequential study of twins assessed every 2 years for up to four waves. Cognitive ability was assessed by five brief cognitive tasks: a fluency measure, forward and backward digit span, and immediate and delayed list recall. Model-fitting results indicated that although the overall level of cognitive functioning was highly heritable (h(2) = .76, 95% confidence interval of .68 to .82), the rate of linear change was not (h(2) = .06, 95% confidence interval of .00 to .57). These findings suggest that the search for specific genes might reasonably focus on average level of cognitive performance, whereas specific environmental influences might account for cognitive change.
Manard, Marine; Bahri, Mohamed Ali; Salmon, Eric; Collette, Fabienne
This cross-sectional study was designed to investigate grey matter changes that occur in healthy aging and the relationship between grey matter characteristics and executive functioning. Thirty-six young adults (18-30 years old) and 43 seniors (60-75 years old) were included. A general executive score was derived from a large battery of neuropsychological tests assessing three major aspects of executive functioning (inhibition, updating and shifting). Age-related grey matter changes were investigated by comparing young and older adults using voxel-based morphometry and voxel-based cortical thickness methods. A widespread difference in grey matter volume was found across many brain regions, whereas cortical thinning was mainly restricted to central areas. Multivariate analyses showed age-related changes in relatively similar brain regions to the respective univariate analyses but appeared more limited. Finally, in the older adult sample, a significant relationship between global executive performance and decreased grey matter volume in anterior (i.e. frontal, insular and cingulate cortex) but also some posterior brain areas (i.e. temporal and parietal cortices) as well as subcortical structures was observed. Results of this study highlight the distribution of age-related effects on grey matter volume and show that cortical atrophy does not appear primarily in "frontal" brain regions. From a cognitive viewpoint, age-related executive functioning seems to be related to grey matter volume but not to cortical thickness. Therefore, our results also highlight the influence of methodological aspects (from preprocessing to statistical analysis) on the pattern of results, which could explain the lack of consensus in literature.
Hommel, Bernhard; Kibele, Armin
Cognitive and neurocognitive approaches to human healthy aging attribute age-related decline to the biologically caused loss of cognitive-control functions. However, an embodied-cognition approach to aging implies a more interactive view according to which cognitive control emerges from, and relies on a person's active encounters with his or her physical and social environment. We argue that the availability of cognitive-control resources does not only rely on biological processes but also on the degree of active maintenance, that is, on the systematic use of the available control resources. Unfortunately, there is evidence that the degree of actual use might systematically underestimate resource availability, which implies that elderly individuals do not fully exploit their cognitive potential. We discuss evidence for this possibility from three aging-related issues: the reduction of dopaminergic supply, loneliness, and the loss of body strength. All three phenomena point to a downward spiral, in which losses of cognitive-control resources do not only directly impair performance but also more indirectly discourage individuals from making use of them, which in turn suggests underuse and a lack of maintenance-leading to further loss. On the positive side, the possibility of underuse points to not yet fully exploited reservoirs of cognitive control, which calls for more systematic theorizing and experimentation on how cognitive control can be enhanced, as well as for reconsiderations of societal practices that are likely to undermine the active maintenance of control resources-such as retirement laws.
Uno, Akira; Wydell, Taeko N.; Haruhara, Noriko; Kaneko, Masato; Shinya, Naoko
Four hundred and ninety-five Japanese primary-school children aged from 8 (Grade-2) to 12 (Grade-6) were tested for their abilities to read/write in Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji, for their size of vocabulary and for other cognitive abilities including arithmetic, visuo-spatial and phonological processing. Percentages of the children whose…
Reynolds, Matthew R.; Niileksela, Christopher R.
"The Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Cognitive Abilities" (WJ IV COG) is an individually administered measure of psychometric intellectual abilities designed for ages 2 to 90+. The measure was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt-Riverside in 2014. Frederick Shrank, Kevin McGrew, and Nancy Mather are the authors. Richard Woodcock, the…
Kim, Anita; Berry, Christopher M
This study investigates the personality processes involved in the debate surrounding the use of cognitive ability tests in college admissions. In Study 1, 108 undergraduates (Mage = 18.88 years, 60 women, 80 Whites) completed measures of social dominance orientation (SDO), testing self-efficacy, and attitudes regarding the use of cognitive ability tests in college admissions; SAT/ACT scores were collected from the registrar. Sixty-seven undergraduates (Mage = 19.06 years, 39 women, 49 Whites) completed the same measures in Study 2, along with measures of endorsement of commonly presented arguments about test use. In Study 3, 321 American adults (Mage = 35.58 years, 180 women, 251 Whites) completed the same measures used in Study 2; half were provided with facts about race and validity issues surrounding cognitive ability tests. Individual differences in SDO significantly predicted support for the use of cognitive ability tests in all samples, after controlling for SAT/ACT scores and test self-efficacy and also among participants who read facts about cognitive ability tests. Moreover, arguments for and against test use mediated this effect. The present study sheds new light on an old debate by demonstrating that individual differences in beliefs about hierarchy play a key role in attitudes toward cognitive ability test use.
Michel, George F.; Campbell, Julie M.; Marcinowski, Emily C.; Nelson, Eliza L.; Babik, Iryna
Hand preference develops in the first two postnatal years with nearly half of infants exhibiting a consistent early preference for acquiring objects. Others exhibit a more variable developmental trajectory but by the end of their second postnatal year, most exhibit a consistent hand preference for role-differentiated bimanual manipulation. According to some forms of embodiment theory, these differences in hand use patterns should influence the way children interact with their environments, which, in turn, should affect the structure and function of brain development. Such early differences in brain development should result in different trajectories of psychological development. We present evidence that children with consistent early hand preferences exhibit advanced patterns of cognitive development as compared to children who develop a hand preference later. Differences in the developmental trajectory of hand preference are predictive of developmental differences in language, object management skills, and tool-use skills. As predicted by Casasanto’s body-specificity hypothesis, infants with different hand preferences proceed along different developmental pathways of cognitive functioning. PMID:27047431
Ritchie, Stuart J; Tucker-Drob, Elliot M; Starr, John M; Deary, Ian J
The present study concerns the relation of mental and bodily characteristics to one another during ageing. The 'common cause' theory of ageing proposes that declines are shared across multiple, seemingly-disparate functions, including both physical and intellectual abilities. The concept of 'reserve' suggests that healthier cognitive (and perhaps bodily) functions from early in life are protective against the effects of senescence across multiple domains. In three waves of physical and cognitive testing data from the longitudinal Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (n = 1,091 at age 70 years; n = 866 at 73; n = 697 at 76), we used multivariate growth curve modeling to test the 'common cause' and 'reserve' hypotheses. Support for both concepts was mixed: although levels of physical functions and cognitive functions were correlated with one another, physical functions did not decline together, and there was little evidence for shared declines in physical and mental functions. Early-life intelligence, a potential marker of system integrity, made a significant prediction of the levels, but not the slopes, of later life physical functions. These data suggest that common causes, which are likely present within cognitive functions, are not as far-reaching beyond the cognitive arena as has previously been suggested. They also imply that bodily reserve may be similar to cognitive reserve in that it affects the level, but not the slope, of ageing-related declines.
Downey, Jennifer; And Others
Comparison of 23 Turner syndrome (TUS) women with 23 women with constitutional short stature (CSS) found significant group differences for Performance and Full Scale IQ, largely due to TUS women's deficits in spatial and mathematical ability. TUS individuals had significantly lower educational and occupational attainment than CSS controls but did…
Notenboom, Kim; Vromans, Herman; Schipper, Maarten; Leufkens, Hubert G. M.; Bouvy, Marcel L.
Background: Practical problems with the use of medicines, such as difficulties with breaking tablets, are an often overlooked cause for non-adherence. Tablets frequently break in uneven parts and loss of product can occur due to crumbling and powdering. Health characteristics, such as the presence of peripheral neuropathy, decreased grip strength and manual dexterity, can affect a patient's ability to break tablets. As these impairments are associated with aging and age-related diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and arthritis, difficulties with breaking tablets could be more prevalent among older adults. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between age and the ability to break scored tablets. Methods: A comparative study design was chosen. Thirty-six older adults and 36 young adults were systematically observed with breaking scored tablets. Twelve different tablets were included. All participants were asked to break each tablet by three techniques: in between the fingers with the use of nails, in between the fingers without the use of nails and pushing the tablet downward with one finger on a solid surface. It was established whether a tablet was broken or not, and if broken, whether the tablet was broken accurately or not. Results: The older adults experienced more difficulties to break tablets compared to the young adults. On average, the older persons broke 38.1% of the tablets, of which 71.0% was broken accurately. The young adults broke 78.2% of the tablets, of which 77.4% was broken accurately. Further analysis by mixed effects logistic regression revealed that age was associated with the ability to break tablets, but not with the accuracy of breaking. Conclusions: Breaking scored tablets by hand is less successful in an elderly population compared to a group of young adults. Health care providers should be aware that tablet breaking is not appropriate for all patients and for all drugs. In case tablet breaking is unavoidable, a
Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L; Payne, Brennan R; Roberts, Brent W; Kramer, Arthur F; Morrow, Daniel G; Payne, Laura; Hill, Patrick L; Jackson, Joshua J; Gao, Xuefei; Noh, Soo Rim; Janke, Megan C; Parisi, Jeanine M
While a training model of cognitive intervention targets the improvement of particular skills through instruction and practice, an engagement model is based on the idea that being embedded in an intellectually and socially complex environment can impact cognition, perhaps even broadly, without explicit instruction. We contrasted these 2 models of cognitive enrichment by randomly assigning healthy older adults to a home-based inductive reasoning training program, a team-based competitive program in creative problem solving, or a wait-list control. As predicted, those in the training condition showed selective improvement in inductive reasoning. Those in the engagement condition, on the other hand, showed selective improvement in divergent thinking, a key ability exercised in creative problem solving. On average, then, both groups appeared to show ability-specific effects. However, moderators of change differed somewhat for those in the engagement and training interventions. Generally, those who started either intervention with a more positive cognitive profile showed more cognitive growth, suggesting that cognitive resources enabled individuals to take advantage of environmental enrichment. Only in the engagement condition did initial levels of openness and social network size moderate intervention effects on cognition, suggesting that comfort with novelty and an ability to manage social resources may be additional factors contributing to the capacity to take advantage of the environmental complexity associated with engagement. Collectively, these findings suggest that training and engagement models may offer alternative routes to cognitive resilience in late life.
Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A. L.; Payne, Brennan R.; Roberts, Brent W.; Kramer, Arthur F.; Morrow, Daniel G.; Payne, Laura; Hill, Patrick L.; Jackson, Joshua J.; Gao, Xuefei; Noh, Soo Rim; Janke, Megan C.; Parisi, Jeanine M.
While a training model of cognitive intervention targets the improvement of particular skills through instruction and practice, an engagement model is based on the idea that being embedded in an intellectually and socially complex environment can impact cognition, perhaps even broadly, without explicit instruction. We contrasted these two models of cognitive enrichment by randomly assigning healthy older adults to a home-based inductive reasoning training program, a team-based competitive program in creative problem solving, or to a wait-list control. As predicted, those in the training condition showed selective improvement in inductive reasoning. Those in the engagement condition, on the other hand, showed selective improvement in divergent thinking, a key ability exercised in creative problem solving. On average, then, both groups appeared to show ability-specific effects. However, moderators of change differed somewhat for those in the engagement and training interventions. Generally, those who started either intervention with a more positive cognitive profile showed more cognitive growth, suggesting that cognitive resources enabled individuals to take advantage of environmental enrichment. Only in the engagement condition did initial levels of openness and social network size moderate intervention effects on cognition, suggesting that comfort with novelty and an ability to manage social resources may be additional factors contributing to the capacity to take advantage of the environmental complexity associated with engagement. Collectively, these findings suggest that training and engagement models may offer alternative routes to cognitive resilience in late life. PMID:25402337
Ritchie, Stuart J; Dickie, David Alexander; Cox, Simon R; Valdes Hernandez, Maria Del C; Corley, Janie; Royle, Natalie A; Pattie, Alison; Aribisala, Benjamin S; Redmond, Paul; Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Taylor, Adele M; Sibbett, Ruth; Gow, Alan J; Starr, John M; Bastin, Mark E; Wardlaw, Joanna M; Deary, Ian J
Later-life changes in brain tissue volumes--decreases in the volume of healthy grey and white matter and increases in the volume of white matter hyperintensities (WMH)--are strong candidates to explain some of the variation in ageing-related cognitive decline. We assessed fluid intelligence, memory, processing speed, and brain volumes (from structural MRI) at mean age 73 years, and at mean age 76 in a narrow-age sample of older individuals (n = 657 with brain volumetric data at the initial wave, n = 465 at follow-up). We used latent variable modeling to extract error-free cognitive levels and slopes. Initial levels of cognitive ability were predictive of subsequent brain tissue volume changes. Initial brain volumes were not predictive of subsequent cognitive changes. Brain volume changes, especially increases in WMH, were associated with declines in each of the cognitive abilities. All statistically significant results were modest in size (absolute r-values ranged from 0.114 to 0.334). These results build a comprehensive picture of macrostructural brain volume changes and declines in important cognitive faculties during the eighth decade of life.
Rindermann, Heiner; Thompson, James
Traditional economic theories stress the relevance of political, institutional, geographic, and historical factors for economic growth. In contrast, human-capital theories suggest that peoples' competences, mediated by technological progress, are the deciding factor in a nation's wealth. Using three large-scale assessments, we calculated cognitive-competence sums for the mean and for upper- and lower-level groups for 90 countries and compared the influence of each group's intellectual ability on gross domestic product. In our cross-national analyses, we applied different statistical methods (path analyses, bootstrapping) and measures developed by different research groups to various country samples and historical periods. Our results underscore the decisive relevance of cognitive ability--particularly of an intellectual class with high cognitive ability and accomplishments in science, technology, engineering, and math--for national wealth. Furthermore, this group's cognitive ability predicts the quality of economic and political institutions, which further determines the economic affluence of the nation. Cognitive resources enable the evolution of capitalism and the rise of wealth.
Coley, Nicola; Vaurs, Charlotte; Andrieu, Sandrine
Numerous longitudinal observational studies have suggested that nutrients, such as antioxidants, B vitamins, and ω-3 fatty acids, may prevent cognitive decline or dementia. There is very little evidence from well-sized randomized controlled trials that nutritional interventions can benefit cognition in later life. Nutritional interventions may be more effective in individuals with poorer nutritional status or as part of multidomain interventions simultaneously targeting multiple lifestyle factors. Further evidence, notably from randomized controlled trials, is required to prove or refute these hypotheses.
DeCarlo, Correne A.; Tuokko, Holly A.; Williams, Dorothy; Dixon, Roger A.; MacDonald, Stuart W.S.
The search for reliable early indicators of age-related cognitive decline represents a critical avenue for progress in aging research. Chronological age is a commonly used developmental index; however, it offers little insight into the mechanisms underlying cognitive decline. In contrast, biological age (BioAge), reflecting the vitality of essential biological systems, represents a promising operationalization of developmental time. Current BioAge models have successfully predicted age-related cognitive deficits. Research on aging-related cognitive function indicates that the interaction of multiple risk and protective factors across the human lifespan confers individual risk for late-life cognitive decline, implicating a multi-causal explanation. In this review, we explore current BioAge models, describe three broad yet pathologically relevant biological processes linked to cognitive decline, and propose a novel operationalization of BioAge accounting for both moderating and causal mechanisms of cognitive decline and dementia. We argue that a multivariate and mechanistic BioAge approach will lead to a greater understanding of disease pathology as well as more accurate prediction and early identification of late-life cognitive decline. PMID:25278166
to carry on abstract thinking ( Terman ) the ability to learn (Buckingham) the capacity to acquire capacity (Woodrow). 1For the remainder of this report...predictive validity (the test score predicts the progress of school children, especially for those with low intelligence) (Matarazzo, 1972). In 1916, Lewis ... Terman , working at Stanford University in California, translated and revised the Binet-Simon scale into English. The new version was called the
BACKGROUND: Healthy aging is associated with functional declines in mobility and cognition among both humans and non-human animals. OBJECTIVE: This study combines human measures of mobility and cognition to develop a test battery for evaluating the effects of dietary supplements among older adults....
La Corte, Valentina; Sperduti, Marco; Malherbe, Caroline; Vialatte, François; Lion, Stéphanie; Gallarda, Thierry; Oppenheim, Catherine; Piolino, Pascale
Normal aging is related to a decline in specific cognitive processes, in particular in executive functions and memory. In recent years a growing number of studies have focused on changes in brain functional connectivity related to cognitive aging. A common finding is the decreased connectivity within multiple resting state networks, including the default mode network (DMN) and the salience network. In this study, we measured resting state activity using fMRI and explored whether cognitive decline is related to altered functional connectivity. To this end we used a machine learning approach to classify young and old participants from functional connectivity data. The originality of the approach consists in the prediction of the performance and age of the subjects based on functional connectivity by using a machine learning approach. Our findings showed that the connectivity profile between specific networks predicts both the age of the subjects and their cognitive abilities. In particular, we report that the connectivity profiles between the salience and visual networks, and the salience and the anterior part of the DMN, were the features that best predicted the age. Moreover, independently of the age of the subject, connectivity between the salience network and various specific networks (i.e., visual, frontal) predicted episodic memory skills either based on a standard assessment or on an autobiographical memory task, and short-term memory binding. Finally, the connectivity between the salience and the frontal networks predicted inhibition and updating performance, but this link was no longer significant after removing the effect of age. Our findings confirm the crucial role of episodic memory and executive functions in cognitive aging and suggest a pivotal role of the salience network in neural reorganization in aging. PMID:27616991
La Corte, Valentina; Sperduti, Marco; Malherbe, Caroline; Vialatte, François; Lion, Stéphanie; Gallarda, Thierry; Oppenheim, Catherine; Piolino, Pascale
Normal aging is related to a decline in specific cognitive processes, in particular in executive functions and memory. In recent years a growing number of studies have focused on changes in brain functional connectivity related to cognitive aging. A common finding is the decreased connectivity within multiple resting state networks, including the default mode network (DMN) and the salience network. In this study, we measured resting state activity using fMRI and explored whether cognitive decline is related to altered functional connectivity. To this end we used a machine learning approach to classify young and old participants from functional connectivity data. The originality of the approach consists in the prediction of the performance and age of the subjects based on functional connectivity by using a machine learning approach. Our findings showed that the connectivity profile between specific networks predicts both the age of the subjects and their cognitive abilities. In particular, we report that the connectivity profiles between the salience and visual networks, and the salience and the anterior part of the DMN, were the features that best predicted the age. Moreover, independently of the age of the subject, connectivity between the salience network and various specific networks (i.e., visual, frontal) predicted episodic memory skills either based on a standard assessment or on an autobiographical memory task, and short-term memory binding. Finally, the connectivity between the salience and the frontal networks predicted inhibition and updating performance, but this link was no longer significant after removing the effect of age. Our findings confirm the crucial role of episodic memory and executive functions in cognitive aging and suggest a pivotal role of the salience network in neural reorganization in aging.
Dolins, Francine L; Klimowicz, Christopher; Kelley, John; Menzel, Charles R
The purpose of the present study was to determine the efficacy of investigating spatial cognitive abilities across two primate species using virtual reality. In this study, we presented four captive adult chimpanzees and 16 humans (12 children and 4 adults) with simulated environments of increasing complexity and size to compare species' attention to visuo-spatial features during navigation. The specific task required participants to attend to landmarks in navigating along routes in order to localize the goal site. Both species were found to discriminate effectively between positive and negative landmarks. Assessing path efficiency revealed that both species and all age groups used relatively efficient, distance reducing routes during navigation. Compared to the chimpanzees and adult humans however, younger children's performance decreased as maze complexity and size increased. Surprisingly, in the most complex maze category the humans' performance was less accurate compared to one female chimpanzee. These results suggest that the method of using virtual reality to test captive primates, and in particular, chimpanzees, affords significant cross-species investigations of spatial cognitive and developmental comparisons.
Kropotov, Juri; Ponomarev, Valery; Tereshchenko, Ekaterina P.; Müller, Andreas; Jäncke, Lutz
As people age, their performance on tasks requiring cognitive control often declines. Such a decline is frequently explained as either a general or specific decline in cognitive functioning with age. In the context of hypotheses suggesting a general decline, it is often proposed that processing speed generally declines with age. A further hypothesis is that an age-related compensation mechanism is associated with a specific cognitive decline. One prominent theory is the compensation hypothesis, which proposes that deteriorated functions are compensated for by higher performing functions. In this study, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) in the context of a GO/NOGO task to examine the age-related changes observed during cognitive control in a large group of healthy subjects aged between 18 and 84 years. The main question we attempted to answer was whether we could find neurophysiological support for either a general decline in processing speed or a compensation strategy. The subjects performed a relatively demanding cued GO/NOGO task with similar omissions and reaction times across the five age groups. The ERP waves of cognitive control, such as N2, P3cue and CNV, were decomposed into latent components by means of a blind source separation method. Based on this decomposition, it was possible to more precisely delineate the different neurophysiological and psychological processes involved in cognitive control. These data support the processing speed hypothesis because the latencies of all cognitive control ERP components increased with age, by 8 ms per decade for the early components (<200 ms) and by 20 ms per decade for the late components. At the same time, the compensatory hypothesis of aging was also supported, as the amplitudes of the components localized in posterior brain areas decreased with age, while those localized in the prefrontal cortical areas increased with age in order to maintain performance on this simple task at a relatively stable level
Bennett, David S.; Bendersky, Margaret; Lewis, Michael
This study examined the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure, environmental risk, and maternal verbal intelligence on children's cognitive ability. Gender and age were examined as moderators of potential cocaine exposure effects. The Stanford-Binet IV intelligence test was administered to 231 children (91 cocaine exposed, 140 unexposed) at ages 4,…
Choi, Catherine H.; Schoenfeld, Brian P.; Liebelt, David A.; Ferreiro, David; Ferrick, Neal J.; Hinchey, Paul; Kollaros, Maria; Rudominer, Rebecca L.; Terlizzi, Allison M.; Koenigsberg, Eric; Wang, Yan; Sumida, Ai; Nguyen, Hanh T.; Bell, Aaron J.; McDonald, Thomas V.
Fragile X syndrome afflicts 1 in 2,500 individuals and is the leading heritable cause of mental retardation worldwide. The overriding clinical manifestation of this disease is mild to severe cognitive impairment. Age-dependent cognitive decline has been identified in Fragile X patients, although it has not been fully characterized nor examined in animal models. A Drosophila model of this disease has been shown to display phenotypes bearing similarity to Fragile X symptoms. Most notably, we previously identified naive courtship and memory deficits in young adults with this model that appear to be due to enhanced metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) signaling. Herein we have examined age-related cognitive decline in the Drosophila Fragile X model and found an age-dependent loss of learning during training. We demonstrate that treatment with mGluR antagonists or lithium can prevent this age-dependent cognitive impairment. We also show that treatment with mGluR antagonists or lithium during development alone displays differential efficacy in its ability to rescue naive courtship, learning during training and memory in aged flies. Furthermore, we show that continuous treatment during aging effectively rescues all of these phenotypes. These results indicate that the Drosophila model recapitulates the age-dependent cognitive decline observed in humans. This places Fragile X in a category with several other diseases that result in age-dependent cognitive decline. This demonstrates a role for the Drosophila Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (dFMR1) in neuronal physiology with regard to cognition during the aging process. Our results indicate that misregulation of mGluR activity may be causative of this age onset decline and strengthens the possibility that mGluR antagonists and lithium may be potential pharmacologic compounds for counteracting several Fragile X symptoms. PMID:20039205
Matton, Nadine; Vautier, Stephane; Raufaste, Eric
Mean gain scores for cognitive ability tests between two sessions in a selection setting are now a robust finding, yet not fully understood. Many authors do not attribute such gain scores to an increase in the target abilities. Our approach consists of testing a longitudinal SEM model suitable to this view. We propose to model the scores' changes…
Finegan, Jo-Anne K.; And Others
Compared children's cognitive abilities at four years and their prenatal amniotic fluid testosterone levels. For girls, prenatal testosterone levels were related in a curvilinear manner to language comprehension and classification abilities, and inversely related to counting and knowledge of number facts. For boys, no relationships were found. (BC)
Passler, Katja; Hell, Benedikt
The present study examines whether vocational interests, measured by Holland's RIASEC model, and objectively assessed cognitive abilities, were useful in discriminating among various major categories for a sample of 1990 German university students. Interests and specific abilities, in combination, significantly discriminated among major categories…
Ali, Fuziana; Yunus, Melor Md
This study was conducted to examine language learning strategies employed by the high ability students in a rural secondary school. Memory and cognitive strategies employed by the high ability students were the main focus in this study. A survey design was used and data was collected using Oxford's questionnaires. Findings reveal that the high…
Bratko, Denis; Butkovic, Ana; Vukasovic, Tena; Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas; von Stumm, Sophie
Self-perceived abilities (SPA), which play an important role in academic achievement, have been recently reported to be fully attributable to genetic and non-shared environmental influences. To replicate and extend this finding, 732 Croatian twins (15-22 years old) were assessed on cognitive ability, self-assessed intelligence (SAI), and Five…
Crepeau-Hobson, Franci; Vujeva, Hana
Students with severe and low-incidence disabilities comprise a heterogeneous population that often presents a challenge to the professionals charged with evaluating their skills and abilities. This is especially true in conducting a valid assessment of the cognitive ability of these children. Often, school psychologists are limited to the use of…
Tyler-Wood, Tandra; Carri, Louis
This study examined the scores obtained by 21 elementary-level gifted students on 4 different intellectual measures--Stanford-Binet (LM), Stanford-Binet (Fourth Edition), Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test, and the Cognitive Abilities Test. Results showed that the population of gifted students identified will vary greatly depending upon which test…
Bizon, J L; Lee, H J; Gallagher, M
Age-related decrements in hippocampal neurogenesis have been suggested as a basis for learning impairment during aging. In the current study, a rodent model of age-related cognitive decline was used to evaluate neurogenesis in relation to hippocampal function. New hippocampal cell survival was assessed approximately 1 month after a series of intraperitoneal injections of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). Correlational analyses between individual measures of BrdU-positive cells and performance on the Morris water maze task provided no indication that this measure of neurogenesis was more preserved in aged rats with intact cognitive abilities. On the contrary, among aged rats, higher numbers of BrdU-positive cells in the granule cell layer were associated with a greater degree of impairment on the learning task. Double-labelling studies confirmed that the majority of the BrdU+ cells were of the neuronal phenotype; the proportion of differentiated neurons was not different across a broad range of cognitive abilities. These data demonstrate that aged rats that maintain cognitive function do so despite pronounced reductions in hippocampal neurogenesis. In addition, these findings suggest the interesting possibility that impaired hippocampal function is associated with greater survival of newly generated hippocampal neurons at advanced ages.
O’Shea, Andrew; Cohen, Ronald A.; Porges, Eric C.; Nissim, Nicole R.; Woods, Adam J.
The hippocampus is one of the most well studied structures in the human brain. While age-related decline in hippocampal volume is well documented, most of our knowledge about hippocampal structure-function relationships was discovered in the context of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. The relationship between cognitive aging and hippocampal structure in the absence of disease remains relatively understudied. Furthermore, the few studies that have investigated the role of the hippocampus in cognitive aging have produced contradictory results. To address these issues, we assessed 93 older adults from the general community (mean age = 71.9 ± 9.3 years) on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), a brief cognitive screening measure for dementia, and the NIH Toolbox-Cognitive Battery (NIHTB-CB), a computerized neurocognitive battery. High-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to estimate hippocampal volume. Lower MoCA Total (p = 0.01) and NIHTB-CB Fluid Cognition (p < 0.001) scores were associated with decreased hippocampal volume, even while controlling for sex and years of education. Decreased hippocampal volume was significantly associated with decline in multiple NIHTB-CB subdomains, including episodic memory, working memory, processing speed and executive function. This study provides important insight into the multifaceted role of the hippocampus in cognitive aging. PMID:28008314
Borrás Blasco, Consuelo; Viña Ribes, José
Brain ageing is produced by various morphological, biochemical, metabolic and circulatory changes, which are reflected in functional changes, whose impact depends on the presence or absence of cognitive impairment. Because of brain plasticity, together with redundancy of the distinct cerebral circuits, age- related deterioration of the brain at various levels does not always translate into loss of brain function. However, when the damage exceeds certain thresholds, there is age-related cognitive impairment, which increases the risk of developing various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease. Genetics, together with lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors, etc, can trigger the development of these diseases, which provoke cognitive impairment. This article discusses the most important age-related changes in the brain, as well as the pathophysiological foundations of cognitive impairment.
Rabbitt, Patrick; Ibrahim, Said; Lunn, Mary; Scott, Marietta; Thacker, Neil; Hutchinson, Charles; Horan, Michael; Pendleton, Neil; Jackson, Alan
Absolute differences in global brain volume predict differences in cognitive ability among healthy older adults. However, absolute differences confound lifelong differences in brain size with amounts of age-related shrinkage. Measurements of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume were made to estimate age-related shrinkage in 93 healthy volunteers aged 63 to 86 years. Their current levels of brain shrinkage predicted their amounts of decline over the previous 8 to 20 years on repeated assessments during a longitudinal study on the Cattell "Culture Fair" Intelligence Test, on two tests of information processing speed, and marginally on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (D. Wechsler, 1981), but not on three memory tests. Loss of brain volume is an effective marker both for current cognitive status and for amounts and rates of previous age-related cognitive losses.
McPhee, Grace M; Downey, Luke A; Noble, Anthony; Stough, Con
As the elderly population grows the impact of age associated cognitive decline as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia will increase. Ageing is associated with consistent impairments in cognitive processes (e.g., processing speed, memory, executive function and learning) important for work, well-being, life satisfaction and overall participation in society. Recently, there has been increased effort to conduct research examining methods to improve cognitive function in older citizens. Cognitive training has been shown to improve performance in some cognitive domains; including memory, processing speed, executive function and attention in older adults. These cognitive changes are thought to be related to improvements in brain connectivity and neural circuitry. Bacopa monnieri has also been shown to improve specific domains of cognition, sensitive to age associated cognitive decline (particularly processing speed and memory). These Bacopa monnieri dependent improvements may be due to the increase in specific neuro-molecular mechanisms implicated in the enhancement of neural connections in the brain (i.e. synaptogenesis). In particular, a number of animal studies have shown Bacopa monnieri consumption upregulates calcium dependent kinases in the synapse and post-synaptic cell, crucial for strengthening and growing connections between neurons. These effects have been shown to occur in areas important for cognitive processes, such as the hippocampus. As Bacopa monnieri has shown neuro-molecular mechanisms that encourage synaptogenesis, while cognitive training enhances brain connectivity, Bacopa monnieri supplementation could theoretically enhance and strengthen synaptic changes acquired through cognitive training. Therefore, the current paper hypothesises that the combination of these two interventions could improve cognitive outcomes, over and above the effects of administrating these interventions independently, as an effective
Vance, David E.; Kaur, Jaspreet; Fazeli, Pariya L.; Talley, Michele H.; Yuen, Hon K.; Kitchin, Beth; Lin, Feng
The brain remains dynamic even in older age and can benefit from mental exercise. Thus, it is important to understand the concepts of positive neuroplasticity and negative neuroplasticity and how these mechanisms either support or detract from cognitive reserve. This article provides a brief review of these key concepts using four exemplary studies that clearly demonstrate the effects these neurological mechanisms exert on cognitive reserve and cognitive functioning. From this review, a working knowledge of how neuroplasticity and cognitive reserve are expressed in patients will be provided along with how this information can be incorporated into nursing practice and research. PMID:22743813
Dickie, David Alexander; Cox, Simon R.; Valdes Hernandez, Maria del C.; Corley, Janie; Royle, Natalie A.; Pattie, Alison; Aribisala, Benjamin S.; Redmond, Paul; Muñoz Maniega, Susana; Taylor, Adele M.; Sibbett, Ruth; Gow, Alan J.; Starr, John M.; Bastin, Mark E.; Wardlaw, Joanna M.; Deary, Ian J.
Abstract Later‐life changes in brain tissue volumes—decreases in the volume of healthy grey and white matter and increases in the volume of white matter hyperintensities (WMH)—are strong candidates to explain some of the variation in ageing‐related cognitive decline. We assessed fluid intelligence, memory, processing speed, and brain volumes (from structural MRI) at mean age 73 years, and at mean age 76 in a narrow‐age sample of older individuals (n = 657 with brain volumetric data at the initial wave, n = 465 at follow‐up). We used latent variable modeling to extract error‐free cognitive levels and slopes. Initial levels of cognitive ability were predictive of subsequent brain tissue volume changes. Initial brain volumes were not predictive of subsequent cognitive changes. Brain volume changes, especially increases in WMH, were associated with declines in each of the cognitive abilities. All statistically significant results were modest in size (absolute r‐values ranged from 0.114 to 0.334). These results build a comprehensive picture of macrostructural brain volume changes and declines in important cognitive faculties during the eighth decade of life. Hum Brain Mapp 36:4910–4925, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc PMID:26769551
Shenkin, S; Starr, J; Pattie, A; Rush, M; Whalley, L; Deary, I; PHARAOH, E. P.
AIMS—To examine the relation between birth weight and cognitive function at age 11 years, and to examine whether this relation is independent of social class. METHODS—Retrospective cohort study based on birth records from 1921 and cognitive function measured while at school at age 11 in 1932.Subjects were 985 live singletons born in the Edinburgh Royal Maternity and Simpson Memorial Hospital in 1921. Moray House Test scores from the Scottish Mental Survey 1932 were traced on 449of these children. RESULTS—Mean score on Moray House Test increased from 30.6 at a birth weight of <2500 g to 44.7 at 4001-4500 g, after correcting for gestational age, maternal age, parity, social class, and legitimacy of birth. Multiple regression showed that 15.6% of the variance in Moray House Test score is contributed by a combination of social class (6.6%), birth weight (3.8%), child's exact age (2.4%), maternal parity (2.0%), and illegitimacy (1.5%). Structural equation modelling confirmed the independent contribution from each of these variables in predicting cognitive ability. A model in which birth weight acted as a mediator of social class had poor fit statistics. CONCLUSION—In this 1921 birth cohort, social class and birth weight have independent effects on cognitive function at age 11. Future research will relate these childhood data to health and cognition in old age. PMID:11517097
Jackson, Simon A.; Kleitman, Sabina; Howie, Pauline; Stankov, Lazar
In this paper, we investigate whether individual differences in performance on heuristic and biases tasks can be explained by cognitive abilities, monitoring confidence, and control thresholds. Current theories explain individual differences in these tasks by the ability to detect errors and override automatic but biased judgments, and deliberative cognitive abilities that help to construct the correct response. Here we retain cognitive abilities but disentangle error detection, proposing that lower monitoring confidence and higher control thresholds promote error checking. Participants (N = 250) completed tasks assessing their fluid reasoning abilities, stable monitoring confidence levels, and the control threshold they impose on their decisions. They also completed seven typical heuristic and biases tasks such as the cognitive reflection test and Resistance to Framing. Using structural equation modeling, we found that individuals with higher reasoning abilities, lower monitoring confidence, and higher control threshold performed significantly and, at times, substantially better on the heuristic and biases tasks. Individuals with higher control thresholds also showed lower preferences for risky alternatives in a gambling task. Furthermore, residual correlations among the heuristic and biases tasks were reduced to null, indicating that cognitive abilities, monitoring confidence, and control thresholds accounted for their shared variance. Implications include the proposal that the capacity to detect errors does not differ between individuals. Rather, individuals might adopt varied strategies that promote error checking to different degrees, regardless of whether they have made a mistake or not. The results support growing evidence that decision-making involves cognitive abilities that construct actions and monitoring and control processes that manage their initiation. PMID:27790170
Jackson, Simon A; Kleitman, Sabina; Howie, Pauline; Stankov, Lazar
In this paper, we investigate whether individual differences in performance on heuristic and biases tasks can be explained by cognitive abilities, monitoring confidence, and control thresholds. Current theories explain individual differences in these tasks by the ability to detect errors and override automatic but biased judgments, and deliberative cognitive abilities that help to construct the correct response. Here we retain cognitive abilities but disentangle error detection, proposing that lower monitoring confidence and higher control thresholds promote error checking. Participants (N = 250) completed tasks assessing their fluid reasoning abilities, stable monitoring confidence levels, and the control threshold they impose on their decisions. They also completed seven typical heuristic and biases tasks such as the cognitive reflection test and Resistance to Framing. Using structural equation modeling, we found that individuals with higher reasoning abilities, lower monitoring confidence, and higher control threshold performed significantly and, at times, substantially better on the heuristic and biases tasks. Individuals with higher control thresholds also showed lower preferences for risky alternatives in a gambling task. Furthermore, residual correlations among the heuristic and biases tasks were reduced to null, indicating that cognitive abilities, monitoring confidence, and control thresholds accounted for their shared variance. Implications include the proposal that the capacity to detect errors does not differ between individuals. Rather, individuals might adopt varied strategies that promote error checking to different degrees, regardless of whether they have made a mistake or not. The results support growing evidence that decision-making involves cognitive abilities that construct actions and monitoring and control processes that manage their initiation.
Ariel, Robert; Moffat, Scott D
Spatial cognitive performance is impaired in later adulthood but it is unclear whether the metacognitive processes involved in monitoring spatial cognitive performance are also compromised. Inaccurate monitoring could affect whether people choose to engage in tasks that require spatial thinking and also the strategies they use in spatial domains such as navigation. The current experiment examined potential age differences in monitoring spatial cognitive performance in a variety of spatial domains including visual-spatial working memory, spatial orientation, spatial visualization, navigation, and place learning. Younger and older adults completed a 2D mental rotation test, 3D mental rotation test, paper folding test, spatial memory span test, two virtual navigation tasks, and a cognitive mapping test. Participants also made metacognitive judgments of performance (confidence judgments, judgments of learning, or navigation time estimates) on each trial for all spatial tasks. Preference for allocentric or egocentric navigation strategies was also measured. Overall, performance was poorer and confidence in performance was lower for older adults than younger adults. In most spatial domains, the absolute and relative accuracy of metacognitive judgments was equivalent for both age groups. However, age differences in monitoring accuracy (specifically relative accuracy) emerged in spatial tasks involving navigation. Confidence in navigating for a target location also mediated age differences in allocentric navigation strategy use. These findings suggest that with the possible exception of navigation monitoring, spatial cognition may be spared from age-related decline even though spatial cognition itself is impaired in older age.
Salthouse, Timothy A.
There are many reports of relations between age and cognitive variables and of relations between age and variables representing different aspects of brain structure, and a few reports of relations between brain structure variables and cognitive variables. These findings have sometimes led to inferences that the age-related brain changes cause the age-related cognitive changes. Although this conclusion may well be true, it is widely recognized that simple correlations are not sufficient to warrant causal conclusions, and other types of correlational information, such as mediation and correlations between longitudinal brain changes and longitudinal cognitive changes, also have limitations with respect to causal inferences. These issues are discussed, and the existing results on relations of regional volume, white matter hyperintensities, and DTI measures of white matter integrity to age and to measures of cognitive functioning are reviewed. It is concluded that at the current time the evidence that these aspects of brain structure are neuroanatomical substrates of age-related cognitive decline is weak. The final section contains several suggestions concerned with measurement and methodology that may lead to stronger conclusions in the future. PMID:21463028
Michaud, Kathy; Forget, Hélène; Cohen, Henri
Cumulative exposure to glucocorticoid hormones (GC) over the lifespan has been associated with cognitive impairment and may contribute to physical and cognitive degeneration in aging. The objective of the present study was to examine whether the pattern of cognitive deficits in patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS), a disorder characterized by chronic exposure to elevated levels of glucocorticoids (GC), is similar to that observed in older individuals. Ten subjects with CS were compared to sex-, age-, and education-matched healthy controls and older subjects (age of CS subjects+15 yr). All participants were administered tests to assess attention, visuospatial processing, learning and memory, reasoning, concept formation and verbal fluency. MANCOVAs with depression scores as covariate and polynomial contrasts revealed that the age-matched control group performed better than the CS and older subject groups in visual target detection, trail making test, stroop task, digit symbol substitution, block design, object assembly, visual reproduction, spatial memory and similarities. The CS and older subjects performed similarly on these tasks. Further, a principal component analysis revealed two significant factors, representing general cognitive function and verbal memory explaining 39.9% and 10.0% of the variance, respectively. Additional MANCOVAs with depression as a covariate revealed that CS and older control subjects showed impaired performance on general cognitive function compared to age-matched controls. These results suggest that hypersecretion of GCs has "aging-like" effects on cognitive performance in individuals with CS.
Leung, Natalie T Y; Tam, Helena M K; Chu, Leung W; Kwok, Timothy C Y; Chan, Felix; Lam, Linda C W; Woo, Jean; Lee, Tatia M C
Increasing research has evidenced that our brain retains a capacity to change in response to experience until late adulthood. This implies that cognitive training can possibly ameliorate age-associated cognitive decline by inducing training-specific neural plastic changes at both neural and behavioral levels. This longitudinal study examined the behavioral effects of a systematic thirteen-week cognitive training program on attention and working memory of older adults who were at risk of cognitive decline. These older adults were randomly assigned to the Cognitive Training Group (n = 109) and the Active Control Group (n = 100). Findings clearly indicated that training induced improvement in auditory and visual-spatial attention and working memory. The training effect was specific to the experience provided because no significant difference in verbal and visual-spatial memory between the two groups was observed. This pattern of findings is consistent with the prediction and the principle of experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Findings of our study provided further support to the notion that the neural plastic potential continues until older age. The baseline cognitive status did not correlate with pre- versus posttraining changes to any cognitive variables studied, suggesting that the initial cognitive status may not limit the neuroplastic potential of the brain at an old age.
Voelcker-Rehage, Claudia; Godde, Ben; Staudinger, Ursula M
The benefits of fitness for cognitive performance in healthy older adults have repeatedly been demonstrated. Animal studies, however, have revealed differential relationships between physical and motor fitness and brain metabolism. We therefore investigated whether for older humans different dimensions of fitness are differentially associated with cognitive performance and brain activation patterns. Seventy-two participants (mean age 68.99 years, SD = 3.66; 52 females) completed four psychometric tests reflecting two primary abilities of higher cognitive functioning (executive control, perceptual speed) and a battery of fitness tests comprising two fitness dimensions (physical and motor fitness). We found that not only physical fitness indexed by cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength, but also motor fitness including movement speed, balance, motor coordination and flexibility showed a strong association with cognitive functioning. Additionally, functional brain imaging data revealed that physical and motor fitness were differentially related to cognitive processes. Results are discussed with regard to the compensation hypothesis and potential consequences for intervention work.
Mata, Rui; von Helversen, Bettina; Rieskamp, Jörg
Decision makers often have to learn from experience. In these situations, people must use the available feedback to select the appropriate decision strategy. How does the ability to select decision strategies on the basis of experience change with age? We examined younger and older adults' strategy selection learning in a probabilistic inference task using a computational model of strategy selection learning. Older adults showed poorer decision performance compared with younger adults. In particular, older adults performed poorly in an environment favoring the use of a more cognitively demanding strategy. The results suggest that the impact of cognitive aging on strategy selection learning depends on the structure of the decision environment.
Hua, Jeremy T; Hildreth, Kerry L; Pelak, Victoria S
Endogenous testosterone in the aging man has been scrutinized extensively in regard to its effects on performance in many cognitive domains, especially verbal fluency, visuospatial and visuoperceptual abilities, memory, and executive function. Studies of testosterone supplementation have sought to identify potential cognitive improvements in men with and without baseline cognitive impairment, and have had a wide range of results. The variability in outcomes is likely related, in part, to the lack of consensus on methods for testosterone measurement and supplementation and, in part, to the disparate measures of cognitive function used in randomized controlled studies. Despite the limitations imposed by such inconsistent methods, promising associations have been found between cognition and testosterone supplementation in both eugonadal men and men with low testosterone levels, with and without baseline cognitive dysfunction. This systematic review highlights the cognitive measures used in and the outcomes of existing studies of testosterone and cognition in aging men. The review suggests that larger studies and a more standardized approach to assessment will be needed before we can fully understand and realize sustained benefits from testosterone supplementation in the elderly male population, particularly given the substantial increase in testosterone supplementation in clinical practice.
Hardy, Joseph L.; Nelson, Rolf A.; Thomason, Moriah E.; Sternberg, Daniel A.; Katovich, Kiefer; Farzin, Faraz; Scanlon, Michael
Background A variety of studies have demonstrated gains in cognitive ability following cognitive training interventions. However, other studies have not shown such gains, and questions remain regarding the efficacy of specific cognitive training interventions. Cognitive training research often involves programs made up of just one or a few exercises, targeting limited and specific cognitive endpoints. In addition, cognitive training studies typically involve small samples that may be insufficient for reliable measurement of change. Other studies have utilized training periods that were too short to generate reliable gains in cognitive performance. Methods The present study evaluated an online cognitive training program comprised of 49 exercises targeting a variety of cognitive capacities. The cognitive training program was compared to an active control condition in which participants completed crossword puzzles. All participants were recruited, trained, and tested online (N = 4,715 fully evaluable participants). Participants in both groups were instructed to complete one approximately 15-minute session at least 5 days per week for 10 weeks. Results Participants randomly assigned to the treatment group improved significantly more on the primary outcome measure, an aggregate measure of neuropsychological performance, than did the active control group (Cohen’s d effect size = 0.255; 95% confidence interval = [0.198, 0.312]). Treatment participants showed greater improvements than controls on speed of processing, short-term memory, working memory, problem solving, and fluid reasoning assessments. Participants in the treatment group also showed greater improvements on self-reported measures of cognitive functioning, particularly on those items related to concentration compared to the control group (Cohen’s d = 0.249; 95% confidence interval = [0.191, 0.306]). Conclusion Taken together, these results indicate that a varied training program composed of a number of
Maillot, Pauline; Perrot, Alexandra; Hartley, Alan
Advancing age is associated with cognitive decline, which, however, remains a very heterogeneous phenomenon. Indeed, several extrinsic factors seem to modulate the effect of aging on cognition. Recently, several studies have provided evidence that the practice of video games could engender many benefits by favoring the maintenance of cognitive vitality in the elderly. This review of the literature aims to establish a precise inventory of the relations between the various types of video games and cognitive aging, including both sedentary video games (i.e., classics as well as brain training) and active video games (i.e., exergames). The largest benefits seem to be provided by exergames which combine game play with significant physical exercise. This article also tries to define the determinants of the training programs which could be responsible for the observed improvements.
Cipolotti, Lisa; Healy, Colm; Chan, Edgar; MacPherson, Sarah E.; White, Mark; Woollett, Katherine; Turner, Martha; Robinson, Gail; Spanò, Barbara; Bozzali, Marco; Shallice, Tim
Age is known to affect prefrontal brain structure and executive functioning in healthy older adults, patients with neurodegenerative conditions and TBI. Yet, no studies appear to have systematically investigated the effect of age on cognitive performance in patients with focal lesions. We investigated the effect of age on the cognitive performance of a large sample of tumour and stroke patients with focal unilateral, frontal (n=68), or non-frontal lesions (n=45) and healthy controls (n=52). We retrospectively reviewed their cross sectional cognitive and imaging data. In our frontal patients, age significantly predicted the magnitude of their impairment on two executive tests (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, RAPM and the Stroop test) but not on nominal (Graded Naming Test, GNT) or perceptual (Incomplete Letters) task. In our non-frontal patients, age did not predict the magnitude of their impairment on the RAPM and GNT. Furthermore, the exacerbated executive impairment observed in our frontal patients manifested itself from middle age. We found that only age consistently predicted the exacerbated executive impairment. Lesions to specific frontal areas, or an increase in global brain atrophy or white matter abnormalities were not associated with this impairment. Our results are in line with the notion that the frontal cortex plays a critical role in aging to counteract cognitive and neuronal decline. We suggest that the combined effect of aging and frontal lesions impairs the frontal cortical systems by causing its computational power to fall below the threshold needed to complete executive tasks successfully. PMID:26102190
Gerstorf, Denis; Ram, Nilam; Hoppmann, Christiane; Willis, Sherry L.; Schaie, K. Warner
Life span researchers have long been interested in how and why fundamental aspects of human ontogeny differ between cohorts of people who have lived through different historical epochs. When examined at the same age, later born cohorts are often cognitively and physically fitter than earlier born cohorts. Less is known, however, about cohort differences in the rate of cognitive aging and if, at the very end of life, pervasive mortality-related processes overshadow and minimize cohort differences. We used data on 5 primary mental abilities from the Seattle Longitudinal Study (Schaie, 2005) to compare both age-related and mortality-related changes between earlier born cohorts (1886–1913) and later born cohorts (1914–1948). Our models covary for several individual and cohort differences in central indicators of life expectancy, education, health, and gender. Age-related growth models corroborate and extend earlier findings by documenting level differences at age 70 of up to 0.50 SD and less steep rates of cognitive aging on all abilities between 50 and 80 years of age favoring the later born cohort. In contrast, mortality-related models provide limited support for positive cohort differences. The later born cohort showed steeper mortality-related declines. We discuss possible reasons why often reported positive secular trends in age-related processes may not generalize to the vulnerable segment of the population that is close to death and suggest routes for further inquiry. PMID:21517155
Yam, Anna; Gross, Alden; Prindle, John; Marsiske, Michael
Objective To examine the longitudinal trajectories of everyday cognition and longitudinal associations with basic (i.e., laboratory and experimentally measured) cognitive abilities, including verbal memory, inductive reasoning, visual processing speed, and vocabulary. Method Participants were healthy older adults drawn from the no-treatment control group (N = 698) of the ACTIVE randomized trial, and were assessed at baseline and 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10 years later. Analyses were conducted using latent growth models. Results Modeling revealed an overall inverted “U” shape (quadratic) trajectory across cognitive domains. Among basic cognitive predictors, level and slope in reasoning demonstrated the closest association to level and slope of everyday cognition, and accounted for most of the individual differences in linear gain in everyday cognition. Conclusions Everyday cognition is not buffered against decline, and is most closely related to inductive reasoning in healthy older adults. To establish the clinical utility of everyday cognitive measures, future research should examine these associations in samples with more cognitive impairment. PMID:24885451
Baniqued, Pauline L; Lee, Hyunkyu; Voss, Michelle W; Basak, Chandramallika; Cosman, Joshua D; Desouza, Shanna; Severson, Joan; Salthouse, Timothy A; Kramer, Arthur F
The idea that video games or computer-based applications can improve cognitive function has led to a proliferation of programs claiming to "train the brain." However, there is often little scientific basis in the development of commercial training programs, and many research-based programs yield inconsistent or weak results. In this study, we sought to better understand the nature of cognitive abilities tapped by casual video games and thus reflect on their potential as a training tool. A moderately large sample of participants (n=209) played 20 web-based casual games and performed a battery of cognitive tasks. We used cognitive task analysis and multivariate statistical techniques to characterize the relationships between performance metrics. We validated the cognitive abilities measured in the task battery, examined a task analysis-based categorization of the casual games, and then characterized the relationship between game and task performance. We found that games categorized to tap working memory and reasoning were robustly related to performance on working memory and fluid intelligence tasks, with fluid intelligence best predicting scores on working memory and reasoning games. We discuss these results in the context of overlap in cognitive processes engaged by the cognitive tasks and casual games, and within the context of assessing near and far transfer. While this is not a training study, these findings provide a methodology to assess the validity of using certain games as training and assessment devices for specific cognitive abilities, and shed light on the mixed transfer results in the computer-based training literature. Moreover, the results can inform design of a more theoretically-driven and methodologically-sound cognitive training program.
Background. Growing evidence suggests that self-reported physical activity accounts for variability in cognitive function among older adults, and aerobic intervention may improve cognitive function in this population. However, much less is known about the longitudinal association between direct measures of cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive function across the life span. The present study examined the prospective association between symptom-limited maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and longitudinal performance on a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. Methods. Up to 1,400 participants aged 19–94 years underwent initial VO2max assessment and completed subsequent tests of memory, attention, perceptuomotor speed, language, and executive function, in addition to cognitive screening measures, on up to six occasions (mean, M = 2; standard deviation, SD = 1) for up to 18 years (M = 7, SD = 3). Mixed-effects regression models were adjusted for demographic, biomedical, and behavioral confounders. Results. Analyses revealed significant longitudinal associations between baseline VO2max and trajectory of performance on multiple measures of verbal and visual memory, as well as on a cognitive screening test (all ps < .05). Individuals with lower VO2max demonstrated accelerated trajectories of cognitive decline over time. Conclusions. Baseline cardiorespiratory fitness is related to longitudinal neuropsychological performance, and memory appears to be a particularly vulnerable domain. Evidence that aerobic fitness is associated with accelerated cognitive decline emphasizes the possible importance of behavioral interventions to optimize cognitive aging over time. PMID:24192540
Mupawose, Anniah; Broom, Yvonne
HIV can cross the blood-brain barrier to enter the central nervous system. This results in cognitive deficits in the majority of patients. The assessment of these deficits and management of these patients poses challenges for healthcare workers in South Africa. This study investigates the effectiveness of the Cognitive Linguistic Quick Test (CLQT) in identifying the cognitive and linguistic abilities of adults with HIV or AIDS. Sixteen participants were recruited from an outpatient clinic in Johannesburg. The CLQT was utilised to assess the cognitive/linguistic abilities of the participants. The overall scores revealed that 87.5% of the participants presented with some form of cognitive deficit, 81% exhibited deficits in memory and executive functioning, 75% showed deficits in attention and visual perception, and 50% exhibited language deficits. Thus, this instrument may be usefully employed with patients who exhibit neurological disorders, including those caused by HIV infection. We conclude that the CLQT can be used as an alternative to more expensive, elaborate and time-consuming neuropsychometric evaluations to identify deficits in memory, attention and executive functions as experienced by adults with HIV or AIDS in South Africa.
Hülür, Gizem; Ram, Nilam; Willis, Sherry L; Schaie, K Warner; Gerstorf, Denis
A central aim of life-span psychology is to understand ontogenetic changes in the structure of individuals' actions, thoughts, and behaviors. The dedifferentiation hypothesis of cognitive aging suggests that the structure of individuals' cognitive abilities becomes less differentiated in old age. Empirical tests have almost exclusively approached this hypothesis from a between-person difference perspective and produced a mixed set of findings. In the present study, we pursue a within-person test of the hypothesis using up to 8 repeated measures of cognitive abilities over up to 49 years, covering fluid (inductive reasoning), visualization (spatial orientation), and crystallized abilities (number, verbal meaning, and word fluency), obtained from 419 now-deceased individuals who participated in the Seattle Longitudinal Study (SLS) and have provided at least 4 observations for each cognitive test. Results revealed that with advancing age and proximity to death, within-person coupling increased (a) among the crystallized abilities, (b) between visualization and fluid abilities, (c) between visualization and crystallized abilities, and (d) between fluid abilities and crystallized abilities. We discuss the importance of within-person analyses for understanding changes in the structure of behavior and consider how our findings inform research on cognitive decline and dedifferentiation later in life.
Weijenberg, R A F; Lobbezoo, F; Visscher, C M; Scherder, E J A
Masticatory performance has been positively associated with cognitive ability in both animals and healthy humans. We hypothesised that there would also be a positive correlation between masticatory performance and cognition in older persons suffering from dementia. Older persons suffering from dementia (n = 114) and receiving institutionalised care were studied in a cross-sectional design. The assessments included masticatory performance, which was measured objectively with a two-colour gum mixing ability test, and cognition, which was assessed with a multidomain neuropsychological test battery. Significant relationships were observed between masticatory performance and general cognition and between masticatory performance and verbal fluency. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that the correlation with general cognition was influenced by the scores for dependency in activities of daily living. The association between verbal fluency and masticatory performance was not significantly affected by secondary variables. An unexpected limitation of this study was the high dropout rate for the mixing ability test. The clinical implications of these findings are profound; care professionals should endeavour to maintain and stimulate mastication in older persons with dementia in an attempt to preserve cognition.
Mazza, Monica; Lucci, Giuliana; Pacitti, Francesca; Pino, Maria Chiara; Mariano, Melania; Casacchia, Massimo; Roncone, Rita
Schizophrenics display impairments in domains of social cognition such as theory of mind and emotion recognition. Recent studies, showing that the relationship of social cognition abilities with functional outcome is more significant than other neuro-cognitive functions, have considered these abilities as a target for intervention research. This article describes preliminary data from a new group-based study focused on Emotion and ToM Imitation Training (ETIT), an imitation treatment aimed at improving social cognition and social functioning in schizophrenia. In the present study, 16 outpatients with schizophrenia completed ETIT assessment and were compared with 17 outpatients who participated to a Problem Solving Training group. Participants were assessed at pre- and post-test on measures of emotion recognition, theory of mind, cognition, flexibility and social functioning. We compared the rehabilitation training effects on neuro-physiological activation through the event-related potentials (ERPs) method, which was recorded pre- and post-rehabilitation training. The results showed that when compared to the control group, ETIT participants improved on every social cognitive measure and showed better social functioning at post-test. Improvement in social cognition, in particular in emotion recognition, is also supported by ERP responses: we recorded an increase in electroactivity of medio-frontal areas only after ETIT treatment. Action observation and imitation could be regarded as a new frontier in rehabilitation.
Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Wong, Chelsea N; Voss, Michelle W; Cooke, Gillian E; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F
Decline in cognitive performance in old age is linked to both suboptimal neural processing in grey matter (GM) and reduced integrity of white matter (WM), but the whole-brain structure-function-cognition associations remain poorly understood. Here we apply a novel measure of GM processing-moment-to-moment variability in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal (SDBOLD)-to study the associations between GM function during resting state, performance on four main cognitive domains (i.e., fluid intelligence, perceptual speed, episodic memory, vocabulary), and WM microstructural integrity in 91 healthy older adults (aged 60-80 years). We modeled the relations between whole-GM SDBOLD with cognitive performance using multivariate partial least squares analysis. We found that greater SDBOLD was associated with better fluid abilities and memory. Most of regions showing behaviorally relevant SDBOLD (e.g., precuneus and insula) were localized to inter- or intra-network "hubs" that connect and integrate segregated functional domains in the brain. Our results suggest that optimal dynamic range of neural processing in hub regions may support cognitive operations that specifically rely on the most flexible neural processing and complex cross-talk between different brain networks. Finally, we demonstrated that older adults with greater WM integrity in all major WM tracts had also greater SDBOLD and better performance on tests of memory and fluid abilities. We conclude that SDBOLD is a promising functional neural correlate of individual differences in cognition in healthy older adults and is supported by overall WM integrity.
Trouillet, Raphael; Doan-Van-Hay, Loane-Martine; Launay, Michel; Martin, Sophie
To explore the predictive value of cognitive and coping resources for problem- and emotion-focused coping with age, we collected data from community-dwelling adults between 20 and 90 years old. We hypothesized that age, perceived stress, self-efficacy, working-memory capacity, and mental flexibility were predictors of coping. We collected data…
La Rue, Asenath; Jarvik, Lissy F.
Examined longitudinal changes in cognitive functioning for aging twins. Found that those who were considered demented in old age had achieved lower test scores 20 years prior to diagnosis and experienced greater declines in vocabulary and forward digit span over time than those without dementia. Suggests that dementia may develop very slowly.…
Iselin, Anne-Marie R.; DeCoster, Jamie
Context processing has significant empirical support as an explanation of age- and psychopathology-related deficiencies in cognitive control. We examined whether context processing generalizes to younger individuals who are in trouble with the law. We tested whether age and delinquency might have unique relations to context processing skills in…
Mapstone, Mark; Dickerson, Kathryn; Duffy, Charles J.
Similar manifestations of functional decline in ageing and Alzheimer's disease obscure differences in the underlying cognitive mechanisms of impairment. We sought to examine the contributions of top-down attentional and bottom-up perceptual factors to visual self-movement processing in ageing and Alzheimer's disease. We administered a novel…
In the last century, the lifespan of humans has almost doubled. Consequently, the percent of the population that is over the age of 65 years has markedly increased, making age-related pathologies a growing concern. Research has demonstrated, in both human and animals, that psychomotor and cognitive...
Aged rats show impaired performance on motor and cognitive tasks that require the use of spatial learning and memory. In previous studies, we have shown the beneficial effects of various berry fruits (blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries) in reversing age-related deficits in behavioral and ne...
Zamroziewicz, Marta K; Barbey, Aron K
Nutritional cognitive neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to understand nutrition's impact on cognition and brain health across the life span. Research in this burgeoning field demonstrates that many aspects of nutrition-from entire diets to specific nutrients-affect brain structure and function, and therefore have profound implications for understanding the nature of healthy brain aging. The aim of this Focused Review is to examine recent advances in nutritional cognitive neuroscience, with an emphasis on methods that enable discovery of nutrient biomarkers that predict healthy brain aging. We propose an integrative framework that calls for the synthesis of research in nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, incorporating: (i) methods for the precise characterization of nutritional health based on the analysis of nutrient biomarker patterns (NBPs), along with (ii) modern indices of brain health derived from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). By integrating cutting-edge techniques from nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, nutritional cognitive neuroscience will continue to advance our understanding of the beneficial effects of nutrition on the aging brain and establish effective nutritional interventions to promote healthy brain aging.
Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Barbey, Aron K.
Nutritional cognitive neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to understand nutrition's impact on cognition and brain health across the life span. Research in this burgeoning field demonstrates that many aspects of nutrition—from entire diets to specific nutrients—affect brain structure and function, and therefore have profound implications for understanding the nature of healthy brain aging. The aim of this Focused Review is to examine recent advances in nutritional cognitive neuroscience, with an emphasis on methods that enable discovery of nutrient biomarkers that predict healthy brain aging. We propose an integrative framework that calls for the synthesis of research in nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, incorporating: (i) methods for the precise characterization of nutritional health based on the analysis of nutrient biomarker patterns (NBPs), along with (ii) modern indices of brain health derived from high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). By integrating cutting-edge techniques from nutritional epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience, nutritional cognitive neuroscience will continue to advance our understanding of the beneficial effects of nutrition on the aging brain and establish effective nutritional interventions to promote healthy brain aging. PMID:27375409
Miller, Sally M; Taylor-Piliae, Ruth E; Insel, Kathleen C
As the number of older adults in the United States grows, the number of automobile drivers over the age of 65 will also increase. Several cognitive processes necessary for automobile driving are vulnerable to age-related decline. These include declines in executive function, working memory, attention, and speed of information processing. The benefits of physical activity on physical, psychological and particular cognitive processes are well-documented; however few studies have explored the relationship between physical activity and driving ability in older adults or examined if cognitive processes mediate (or moderate) the effect of physical activity on driving ability. The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature regarding physical activity, cognition and automobile driving. Recommendations for further research and utility of the findings to nursing and the health care team are provided.
Henkel, Linda A.
The involvement of undergraduates in research on aging has benefits for the students and for the faculty mentors, as well as for their departments, their universities, and the field of gerontology at large. This article reports on the application of a 3-year Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) by the National Institute on Aging awarded to…
Kohman, Rachel A
Over the years it has become evident that the immune system can affect the function of the central nervous system (CNS), including altering cognitive processes. The impact of immune activation on the CNS is particularly important for aged individuals, as the brain's resident immune cells, microglia, acquire a pro-inflammatory profile. The low-grade chronic neuroinflammation that develops with normal aging likely contributes to the susceptibility to cognitive deficits and a host of age-related pathologies. Understanding why microglia show increased inflammatory activity (i.e., neuroinflammation) and identifying effective treatments to reduce microglia activation is expected to have beneficial effects on cognitive performance and measures of neural plasticity. However, microglia also promote regeneration after injury. Therefore, effective treatments must dampen inflammatory activity while preserving microglia's neuroprotective function. Discovering factors that induce neuroinflammation and investigating potential preventative therapies is expected to uncover the ways of maintaining normal microglia activity in the aged brain.
Klein, Rachael M; Dilchert, Stephan; Ones, Deniz S; Dages, Kelly D
Age differences on measures of general mental ability and specific cognitive abilities were examined in 2 samples of job applicants to executive positions as well as a mix of executive/nonexecutive positions to determine which predictors might lead to age-based adverse impact in making selection and advancement decisions. Generalizability of the pattern of findings was also investigated in 2 samples from the general adult population. Age was negatively related to general mental ability, with older executives scoring lower than younger executives. For specific ability components, the direction and magnitude of age differences depended on the specific ability in question. Older executives scored higher on verbal ability, a measure most often associated with crystallized intelligence. This finding generalized across samples examined in this study. Also, consistent with findings that fluid abilities decline with age, older executives scored somewhat lower on figural reasoning than younger executives, and much lower on a letter series test of inductive reasoning. Other measures of inductive reasoning, such as Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, also showed similar age group mean differences across settings. Implications for employee selection and adverse impact on older job candidates are discussed.
Clewett, David V; Lee, Tae-Ho; Greening, Steven; Ponzio, Allison; Margalit, Eshed; Mather, Mara
Leading a mentally stimulating life may build up a reserve of neural and mental resources that preserve cognitive abilities in late life. Recent autopsy evidence links neuronal density in the locus coeruleus (LC), the brain's main source of norepinephrine, to slower cognitive decline before death, inspiring the idea that the noradrenergic system is a key component of reserve (Robertson, I. H. 2013. A noradrenergic theory of cognitive reserve: implications for Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiol. Aging. 34, 298-308). Here, we tested this hypothesis using neuromelanin-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging to visualize and measure LC signal intensity in healthy younger and older adults. Established proxies of reserve, including education, occupational attainment, and verbal intelligence, were linearly correlated with LC signal intensity in both age groups. Results indicated that LC signal intensity was significantly higher in older than younger adults and significantly lower in women than in men. Consistent with the LC-reserve hypothesis, both verbal intelligence and a composite reserve score were positively associated with LC signal intensity in older adults. LC signal intensity was also more strongly associated with attentional shifting ability in older adults with lower cognitive reserve. Together these findings link in vivo estimates of LC neuromelanin signal intensity to cognitive reserve in normal aging.
Wood, Robin Y; Giuliano, Karen K; Bignell, Candace U; Pritham, Whitney W
The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), originally designed to screen for dementia, is an instrument currently used extensively to assess cognitive status in clinical and community settings. This descriptive study compares standard MMSE scores to MMSE scores adjusted for age and education in a sample of 414 elderly Black and White women living independently in communities. After scores were adjusted, 14 participants (all Black) were moved from categories of mild cognitive impairment to unimpaired cognitive ability. However, even after scores were adjusted for age and education, White elderly adults still had higher mean scores than Black elderly adults (p = .003), suggesting that racial differences may have an effect on MMSE performance independent of age and education. Further research is needed to better understand the interaction of race and culture on MMSE outcomes. Implications are offered for appropriate use of the MMSE considering factors of age, education, and racial differences to guide evidence-based practice by gerontological nurses engaged in work with elderly populations.
Sanders, Sarah; McIntosh, David E.; Dunham, Mardis; Rothlisberg, Barbara A.; Finch, Holmes
This study examined the underlying constructs measured by the "Differential Ability Scales" ("DAS"; C.D. Elliott, 1990a) as they relate to the "Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) Theory" (K.S. McGrew, 1997) of cognitive abilities. The "DAS" and "Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities" ("WJ-III COG"; R.W.Woodcock, K.S. McGrew, & N. Mather, 2001)…
Ponsoda, Vicente; Martínez, Kenia; Pineda-Pardo, José A; Abad, Francisco J; Olea, Julio; Román, Francisco J; Barbey, Aron K; Colom, Roberto
Neuroimaging research involves analyses of huge amounts of biological data that might or might not be related with cognition. This relationship is usually approached using univariate methods, and, therefore, correction methods are mandatory for reducing false positives. Nevertheless, the probability of false negatives is also increased. Multivariate frameworks have been proposed for helping to alleviate this balance. Here we apply multivariate distance matrix regression for the simultaneous analysis of biological and cognitive data, namely, structural connections among 82 brain regions and several latent factors estimating cognitive performance. We tested whether cognitive differences predict distances among individuals regarding their connectivity pattern. Beginning with 3,321 connections among regions, the 36 edges better predicted by the individuals' cognitive scores were selected. Cognitive scores were related to connectivity distances in both the full (3,321) and reduced (36) connectivity patterns. The selected edges connect regions distributed across the entire brain and the network defined by these edges supports high-order cognitive processes such as (a) (fluid) executive control, (b) (crystallized) recognition, learning, and language processing, and (c) visuospatial processing. This multivariate study suggests that one widespread, but limited number, of regions in the human brain, supports high-level cognitive ability differences. Hum Brain Mapp 38:803-816, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This commentary touches on practical, public policy, and social science domains informed by cognitive epidemiology while pulling together common themes running through this important special issue. As is made clear in the contributions assembled here, and others (Deary, Whalley, & Starr, 2009; Gottfredson, 2004; Lubinski & Humphreys, 1992, 1997),…
Mayer, Richard E.; Massa, Laura J.
Examines the hypothesis that some people are verbal learners and some people are visual learners. Presented a battery of 14 cognitive measures related to the visualizer-verbalizer dimension to 95 college students and then conducted correlational and factor analyses. Results have implications for how to conceptualize and measure individual…
Root, Martin; Ravine, Erin; Harper, Anne
Cognitive decline occurs with age and may be slowed by dietary measures, including increased intake of dietary phytochemicals. However, evidence from large and long-term studies of flavonol intake is limited. Dietary intakes of flavonols were assessed from a large biracial study of 10,041 subjects, aged 45-64, by analysis of a food frequency questionnaire administered at visit 1 of triennial visits. Cognitive function was assessed at visits 2 and 4 with the following three cognitive performance tests: the delayed word recall test, the revised Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale digit symbol subtest, and the word fluency test of the Multilingual Aphasia Examination. The change in each score over 6 years was calculated, and a combined standardized change score was calculated. Generalized linear models controlled for age, ethnicity, gender, education level, energy intake, current smoking, physical activity, body mass index, diabetes, and vitamin C intake. Total flavonols across quintiles of intake were positively associated with preserved combined cognitive function (P<.001). This pattern with preserved combined cognitive function was consistent for the three major individual flavonols in the diet, myricetin, kaempferol, and quercetin (each P<.001). The positive association with total flavonols was strongest for the digit symbol subtest (P<.001). In this cohort, flavonol intake was correlated with protected cognitive function over time.
Hames, E.; Baker, M.
Learning preferences have been indirectly linked to student success in engineering programmes, without a significant body of research to connect learning preferences with cognitive abilities. A better understanding of the relationship between learning styles and cognitive abilities will allow educators to optimise the classroom experience for students. The goal of this study was to determine whether relationships exist between student learning styles, as determined by the Felder-Soloman Inventory of Learning Styles (FSILS), and their cognitive performance. Three tests were used to assess student's cognitive abilities: a matrix reasoning task, a Tower of London task, and a mental rotation task. Statistical t-tests and correlation coefficients were used to quantify the results. Results indicated that the global-sequential, active-referential, and visual-verbal FSILS learning styles scales are related to performance on cognitive tasks. Most of these relationships were found in response times, not accuracy. Differences in task performance between gender groups (male and female) were more notable than differences between learning styles groups.
O'Brien, K S; O'Hare, D
Successful performance in complex dynamic environments depends on domain-dependent factors, such as situational awareness (SA). Underlying SA in a domain are domain-independent cognitive abilities in perception, memory, attention and executive control. Individuals with lower underlying ability perform relatively poorly in complex dynamic real-world tasks. The first experiment examined whether cognitive skills training could overcome limitations in underlying SA ability that impact on complex dynamic task performance. Participants were taught a mix of cognitive management strategies (e.g. divided and focused attention and visual search) in a simulated air traffic control task. A second experiment investigated the link between underlying SA ability, TRACON and SAGAT, a widely used measure of domain-specific SA. In a third experiment, the focus was on encouraging participants to plan ahead and consider the interrelations of elements (aircraft) in the environment. Whilst both training methods ameliorated the negative impact that lower SA ability had on complex dynamic task performance, the results of the third study indicated that this may have been achieved through improved planning behaviour. Finally, participants with higher underlying SA ability performed well irrespective of training condition.
Hubert, Valérie; Beaunieux, Hélène; Chételat, Gaël; Platel, Hervé; Landeau, Brigitte; Viader, Fausto; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis
Cognitive procedural learning occurs in three qualitatively different phases (cognitive, associative, and autonomous). At the beginning of this process, numerous cognitive functions are involved, subtended by distinct brain structures such as the prefrontal and parietal cortex and the cerebellum. As the learning progresses, these cognitive components are gradually replaced by psychomotor abilities, reflected by the increasing involvement of the cerebellum, thalamus, and occipital regions. In elderly subjects, although cognitive studies have revealed a learning effect, performance levels differ during the acquisition of a procedure. The effects of age on the learning of a cognitive procedure have not yet been examined using functional imaging. The aim of this study was therefore to characterize the cerebral substrates involved in the learning of a cognitive procedure, comparing a group of older subjects with young controls. For this purpose, we performed a positron emission tomography activation study using the Tower of Toronto task. A direct comparison of the two groups revealed the involvement of a similar network of brain regions at the beginning of learning (cognitive phase). However, the engagement of frontal and cingulate regions persisted in the older group as learning continued, whereas it ceased in the younger controls. We assume that this additional activation in the older group during the associative and autonomous phases reflected compensatory processes and the fact that some older subjects failed to fully automate the procedure.
Mather, Mara; Harley, Carolyn W.
Research on cognitive aging has focused on how decline in various cortical and hippocampal regions influence cognition. However, brainstem regions play essential modulatory roles, and new evidence suggests that among these, the integrity of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system plays a key role in determining late life cognitive abilities. The locus coeruleus is especially vulnerable to toxins and infection and is often the first place Alzheimer’s related pathology appears, with most people showing at least some tau pathology by their mid-twenties. On the other hand, norepinephrine released from the locus coeruleus during arousing, mentally challenging or novel situations helps protect neurons from damage, which may help explain how education and engaging careers prevent cognitive decline in later years. PMID:26895736
Talwar, Victoria; Lavoie, Jennifer; Gomez-Garibello, Carlos; Crossman, Angela M
Lie-telling may be part of a normative developmental process for children. However, little is known about the complex interaction of social and cognitive factors related to this developmental behavior. The current study examined parenting style, maternal exposure to stressors, and children's cognitive abilities in relation to children's antisocial lie-telling behavior in an experimental setting. Children (3-6years, N=157) participated in a modified temptation resistance paradigm to elicit spontaneous lies. Results indicate that high authoritative parenting and high inhibitory control interact to predict a lower propensity to lie, but those who did lie had better semantic leakage control. This suggests that although children's lie-telling may be normative during early development, the relation to children's cognitive abilities can be moderated by responsive parenting behaviors that discourage lying.
The present paper reports a series of six studies, each investigating the power of self-rated analytical, creative, and practical abilities for predicting one of six individual-difference variables: cognitive development, modes of thinking, career interests, learning approaches, thinking styles, and personality traits. Contributing to the…
Kunihira, Yura; Senju, Atsushi; Dairoku, Hitoshi; Wakabayashi, Akio; Hasegawa, Toshikazu
We explored the relationships between "autistic" traits as measured by the AQ (Autism-Spectrum Quotient; Baron-Cohen et al., J. Autism Develop. Disord. (2001b) 31 5) and various personality traits or cognitive ability, which usually coincide with autistic symptoms, for general populations. Results showed the AQ was associated with…
Ben-Itzchak, Esther; Watson, Linda R.; Zachor, Ditza A.
Variability in clinical expression and in intervention outcome has been described in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study examined progress after 1 and 2 years of intervention and compared the impact of baseline cognitive ability on outcome trajectories in 46 children (m = 25.5 months) with ASD. The entire group showed a gradual decrease in…
Duckworth, Angela L.; Yeager, David Scott
There has been perennial interest in personal qualities other than cognitive ability that determine success, including self-control, grit, growth mind-set, and many others. Attempts to measure such qualities for the purposes of educational policy and practice, however, are more recent. In this article, we identify serious challenges to doing so.…
Makransky, Guido; Glas, Cees A. W.
Cognitive ability tests are widely used in organizations around the world because they have high predictive validity in selection contexts. Although these tests typically measure several subdomains, testing is usually carried out for a single subdomain at a time. This can be ineffective when the subdomains assessed are highly correlated. This…
Fuller-Killgore, Melissa D.; Burlison, Jonathan; Dwyer, William
Objective: To assess three of the better known screeners for Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and review the relationship between ADHD and cognitive ability. Method: The three ADHD screeners were administered to 111 college students enrolled in a college Introductory Psychology class, on whom ACT scores and total course performance…
Beier, Margaret E.; Oswald, Frederick L.
Over a century of psychological research provides strong and consistent support for the idea that cognitive ability correlates positively with success in tasks that people face in employment, education, and everyday life. Recent experimental research, however, has converged on a different and provocative conclusion, namely that lower-ability…
Estimates effects of cognitive ability as measured by test scores and educational attainment on young adults' demand for alcohol, using data from a followup survey of high school seniors six years after graduation. For both sexes, graduating from college and test scores negatively affect heavy drinking. (27 references) (MLH)
New York State Education Dept., Albany. Bureau of Continuing Education Curriculum Development.
This inventory is designed to assess the degree to which adults who are illiterate possess some of the more commonly acknowledged requisites to learning to read. Instructions for administering the inventory are provided in enough detail to insure a reasonably accurate assessment of visual discrimination and select cognitive abilities. The…
Parkin, Jason R.; Beaujean, A. Alexander
This study used structural equation modeling to examine the effect of Stratum III (i.e., general intelligence) and Stratum II (i.e., Comprehension-Knowledge, Fluid Reasoning, Short-Term Memory, Processing Speed, and Visual Processing) factors of the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) cognitive abilities, as operationalized by the Wechsler Intelligence…
Wicherts, Jelte M.; Vorst, Harrie C. M.
The aim of this longitudinal study was to investigate differences in interests, personality, and cognitive abilities between students majoring in the six specialties of psychology at the University of Amsterdam. Results show that students at Social Psychology and Work and Organizational Psychology were on average more extraverted than students of…
Harlaar, Nicole; Hayiou-Thomas, Marianna E.; Plomin, Robert
We examined the association between reading and general cognitive ability (g) in a population-based sample of 6,476 pairs of 7-year-old twins. Additive genetic influences largely accounted for individual differences in reading and the covariation between reading and g. Furthermore, both genetic and shared environmental influences on reading and g…
Phillipson, Sivanes; Phillipson, Shane N.
It is generally accepted that cognitive ability predicts academic achievement, and that parental involvement and expectations form part of the constellation of factors that predict their children's academic achievement, particularly for families within the Chinese-heritage Cultures. Although a number of interactions between these parental factors…
Hofer, Manfred; Kuhnle, Claudia; Kilian, Britta; Fries, Stefan
The predictive power of cognitive ability and self-control strength for self-reported grades and an achievement test were studied. It was expected that the variables use of time structure, academic procrastination, and motivational interference during learning further aid in predicting students' achievement because they are operative in situations…
Bannink, Femke; Fontaine, Johnny R. J.; Idro, Richard; van Hove, Geert
This study investigates cognitive abilities of pre/primary school children without and with spina bifida in Uganda. Qualitative semi structured interviews and quantitative functioning scales measurements were combined and conducted with 133 parents, 133 children with spina bifida, and 35 siblings. ANCOVA was used to test for differences in…
The present study examined whether various indices of interference control were related to one another and to other cognitive abilities. It was found that the interference control measures were weakly correlated and could form a single factor that was related to overall memory performance on the tasks as well as to measures of working memory…
Latvala, Antti; Kuja-Halkola, Ralf; Långström, Niklas; Lichtenstein, Paul
Parents' antisocial behavior is associated with developmental risks for their offspring, but its effects on their children's cognitive ability are unknown. We used linked Swedish register data for a large sample of adolescent men (N = 1,177,173) and their parents to estimate associations between fathers' criminal-conviction status and sons' cognitive ability assessed at compulsory military conscription. Mechanisms behind the association were tested in children-of-siblings models across three types of sibling fathers with increasing genetic relatedness (half-siblings, full siblings, and monozygotic twins) and in quantitative genetic models. Sons whose fathers had a criminal conviction had lower cognitive ability than sons whose fathers had no conviction (any crime: Cohen's d = -0.28; violent crime: Cohen's d = -0.49). As models adjusted for more genetic factors, the association was gradually reduced and eventually eliminated. Nuclear-family environmental factors did not contribute to the association. Our results suggest that the association between men's antisocial behavior and their children's cognitive ability is not causal but is due mostly to underlying genetic factors.
Perry, Justin C.; Satiani, Anmol; Henze, Kevin T.; Mascher, Jackquelyn; Helms, Janet E.
To investigate how the culturalist perspective on investigating racial group differences in standardized cognitive ability tests has advanced, a content analysis of 28 studies citing J. E. Helms (1992) identified 7 general themes. Overall, researchers cited J. E. Helms (1992) as support for their own hypotheses but did not directly test the…
Delmolino, Lara M.
The utility of Developmental Quotients (DQ) from the Psychoeducational Profile--Revised (PEP-R) to estimate cognitive ability in young children with autism was assessed. DQ scores were compared to scores from the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales--Fourth Edition (SB-FE) for 27 preschool students with autism. Overall and domain DQ's on the PEP-R…
MacDonald, Heidi H.; Sullivan, Amanda L.; Watkins, Marley W.
The present study used multiple regression to determine the predictive value of Kindergarten phonemic awareness, rapid serial naming, letter knowledge, and cognitive ability for predicting first-grade word reading and fluency. Participants were 131 first-grade students from a mid-Atlantic school system. A combination of predictor variables was…
Giessman, Jacob A.; Gambrell, James L.; Stebbins, Molly S.
The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, Second Edition (NNAT2), is used widely to screen students for possible inclusion in talent development programs. The NNAT2 claims to provide a more culturally neutral evaluation of general ability than tests such as Form 6 of the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT6), which has Verbal and Quantitative batteries in…
Demographic developments, characterized by ungreening’ and greying’ of the population at the same time, necessitate the reconsidering of early ... retirement schemes in general and possible those of military professionals as well. Keeping people in the services at older ages asks for continued training
Reiman, Eric M; Brinton, Roberta Diaz; Katz, Russell; Petersen, Ronald C; Negash, Selam; Mungas, Dan; Aisen, Paul S
What will it take to develop interventions for the treatment of age-related cognitive decline? Session V of the Summit provided perspectives on the design of clinical trials to evaluate promising but unproven interventions, and some of the steps needed to accelerate the discovery and evaluation of promising treatments. It considered strategies to further characterize the biological and cognitive changes associated with normal aging and their translation into the development of new treatments. It provided regulatory, scientific, and clinical perspectives about neurocognitive aging treatments, their potential benefits and risks, and the strategies and endpoints needed to evaluate them in the most rapid, rigorous, and clinically meaningful way. It considered lessons learned from the study of Alzheimer's disease, the promising roles of biomarkers in neurocognitive aging research, and ways to help galvanize the scientific study and treatment of neurocognitive aging.
Elliott, Rohan A; Goeman, Dianne; Beanland, Christine; Koch, Susan
Impaired cognition has a significant impact on a person's ability to manage their medicines. The aim of this paper is to provide a narrative review of contemporary literature on medicines management by people with dementia or cognitive impairment living in the community, methods for assessing their capacity to safely manage medicines, and strategies for supporting independent medicines management. Studies and reviews addressing medicines management by people with dementia or cognitive impairment published between 2003 and 2013 were identified via searches of Medline and other databases. The literature indicates that as cognitive impairment progresses, the ability to plan, organise, and execute medicine management tasks is impaired, leading to increased risk of unintentional non-adherence, medication errors, preventable medication-related hospital admissions and dependence on family carers or community nursing services to assist with medicines management. Impaired functional capacity may not be detected by health professionals in routine clinical encounters. Assessment of patients' (or carers') ability to safely manage medicines is not undertaken routinely, and when it is there is variability in the methods used. Self-report and informant report may be helpful, but can be unreliable or prone to bias. Measures of cognitive function are useful, but may lack sensitivity and specificity. Direct observation, using a structured, standardised performance-based tool, may help to determine whether a person is able to manage their medicines and identify barriers to adherence such as inability to open medicine packaging. A range of strategies have been used to support independent medicines management in people with cognitive impairment, but there is little high-quality research underpinning these strategies. Further studies are needed to develop and evaluate approaches to facilitate safe medicines management by older people with cognitive impairment and their carers.
Salthouse, Timothy A.
A major challenge for researchers interested in investigating relations between aging and cognitive functioning is distinguishing influences of aging from other determinants of cognitive performance. For example, cross-sectional comparisons may be distorted because people of different ages were born and grew up in different time periods, and longitudinal comparisons may be distorted because performance on a second occasion is influenced by the experience of performing the tests on the first occasion. One way in which these different types of influences might be investigated is with research designs involving comparisons of people of different ages from the same birth cohorts who are all tested for the first time in different years. Results from several recent studies using these types of designs suggest that the age trends in some cognitive abilities more closely resemble those from cross-sectional comparisons than those from longitudinal comparisons. These findings imply that a major reason for different age trends in longitudinal and cross-sectional comparisons of cognitive functioning is that the prior experience with the tests inflates scores on the second occasion in longitudinal studies. PMID:25382943
Li, Dandan; Li, Xiaosi; Yu, Fengqiong; Chen, Xingui; Zhang, Long; Li, Dan; Wei, Qiang; Zhang, Qing; Zhu, Chunyan; Wang, Kai
Background Evidence in the literature suggests that there is an impairment of social cognition in schizophrenia. Theory of Mind (ToM) is defined as one’s ability to understand others’ wishes, beliefs, intentions, and other psychological states and thereby to judge others’ behavior, as an essential component of social cognition. However, there have been limited studies on social cognition, especially ToM in adolescent onset schizophrenia (AOS). The current study aims to investigate ToM abilities in adolescent schizophrenia according to various ToM subcomponents (cognitive ToM and affective ToM) and various ToM orders (first order and second order). Methods This study examines ToM in 35 adolescent schizophrenic patients and 35 healthy adolescents using the “Yoni task” and “Faux Pas Recognition test” to assess their affective and cognitive ToM abilities. Results In the Yoni task, patients with AOS showed differences in ToM abilities either on a different order or under different conditions. The Faux Pas Recognition task results revealed that AOS patients were not always able to recognize a faux pas or understand complicated emotions under the faux pas scenario. Furthermore, as indicated by the correlation analysis, neither cognitive ToM nor affective ToM was related to the patients’ symptoms, disease duration, dose of medication, or intelligence quotient (IQ). Conclusion Our findings showed AOS impairment in the performance of ToM tasks. It seemed that impairment in second-order-ToM is more serious. Moreover, these deficits are largely independent of symptom clusters, disease duration, dose of medication, and IQ. It can be speculated that ToM dysfunction may be a hallmark of adolescent schizophrenia. PMID:28392697
Puente, Antonio Nicolas; Lindbergh, Cutter A; Miller, L Stephen
It has been noted in the literature that cognitive reserve (CR) predicts future functional ability (FA), but the association between CR and current FA is rather limited. This investigation aimed to explicate this relationship, and hypothesized it would be mediated by executive functioning (EF). To best understand the relationship between CR and FA, we recruited and tested independent community-dwelling older adults (OAs). Bivariate correlations and hierarchical regressions were completed to determine the association between CR and FA. Both individual CR measures and a composite CR score were used. Mediation analyses were completed to examine our hypothesis that EF would mediate the CR and FA relationship. All measures of CR were positively related to and predictive of FA. Although the highest zero-order correlation across the independent CR proxies was between income and FA (r = .417), education accounted for the greatest amount of variance in FA, 8.3% after controlling for age and Mini-Mental State Examination performance. Furthermore, the CR composite had a higher correlation (r = .447) and accounted for more variance than any of the independent proxies. Complete mediation was found between a CR composite and FA via an internally consistent D-KEFS composite score (Cronbach's α = .795). This suggests that as CR increases so does EF, which in turn improves FA. Thus, future investigations could determine the effect on FA in OAs by improving EF.
Bourassa, Kyle J; Memel, Molly; Woolverton, Cindy; Sbarra, David A
Married couples evidence interdependence in their psychological and physical wellbeing across the life span. This is particularly true in aging populations that experience declines in physical health and cognitive ability. This study investigated the effects of partners' physical health and cognition on quality of life (QoL) in a series of bivariate latent curve growth models. The sample included aging married couples (N = 8,187) who participated in the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) study and provided data across 6 years. Results indicated that husbands' and wives' baseline levels and rates of change in QoL covaried significantly over time. In addition, husbands' and wives' physical health and cognition predicted their partners' baseline level of QoL above and beyond their own health and cognition, and these effects were of equivalent size for both men and women. The findings suggest that as couples age, husbands' and wives' QoL, cognition, and health are predictive of their partners' QoL.
Matzel, Louis D.; Light, Kenneth R.; Wass, Christopher; Colas-Zelin, Danielle; Denman-Brice, Alexander; Waddel, Adam C.; Kolata, Stefan
Learning, attentional, and perseverative deficits are characteristic of cognitive aging. In this study, genetically diverse CD-1 mice underwent longitudinal training in a task asserted to tax working memory capacity and its dependence on selective attention. Beginning at 3 mo of age, animals were trained for 12 d to perform in a dual radial-arm…
Silverman, J.L.; Gastrell, P.T.; Karras, M.N.; Solomon, M.; Crawley, J.N.
Cognitive abilities are impaired in neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia. Preclinical models with strong endophenotypes relevant to cognitive dysfunctions offer a valuable resource for therapeutic development. However, improved assays to test higher order cognition are needed. We employed touchscreen technology to design a complex transitive inference (TI) assay that requires cognitive flexibility and relational learning. C57BL/6J (B6) mice with good cognitive skills and BTBR T+tf/J (BTBR), a model of ASD with cognitive deficits, were evaluated in simple and complex touchscreen assays. Both B6 and BTBR acquired visual discrimination and reversal. BTBR displayed deficits on components of TI, when 4 stimuli pairs were interspersed, which required flexible integrated knowledge. BTBR displayed impairment on the A > E inference, analogous to the A > E deficit in ASD. B6 and BTBR mice both reached criterion on the B > D comparison, unlike the B > D impairment in schizophrenia. These results demonstrate that mice are capable of complex discriminations and higher order tasks using methods and equipment paralleling those used in humans. Our discovery that a mouse model of ASD displays a TI deficit similar to humans with ASD supports the use of the touchscreen technology for complex cognitive tasks in mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:24293564
Trampush, Joey W; Lencz, Todd; Knowles, Emma; Davies, Gail; Guha, Saurav; Pe'er, Itsik; Liewald, David C; Starr, John M; Djurovic, Srdjan; Melle, Ingrid; Sundet, Kjetil; Christoforou, Andrea; Reinvang, Ivar; Mukherjee, Semanti; DeRosse, Pamela; Lundervold, Astri; Steen, Vidar M; John, Majnu; Espeseth, Thomas; Räikkönen, Katri; Widen, Elisabeth; Palotie, Aarno; Eriksson, Johan G; Giegling, Ina; Konte, Bettina; Ikeda, Masashi; Roussos, Panos; Giakoumaki, Stella; Burdick, Katherine E; Payton, Antony; Ollier, William; Horan, Mike; Scult, Matthew; Dickinson, Dwight; Straub, Richard E; Donohoe, Gary; Morris, Derek; Corvin, Aiden; Gill, Michael; Hariri, Ahmad; Weinberger, Daniel R; Pendleton, Neil; Iwata, Nakao; Darvasi, Ariel; Bitsios, Panos; Rujescu, Dan; Lahti, Jari; Le Hellard, Stephanie; Keller, Matthew C; Andreassen, Ole A; Deary, Ian J; Glahn, David C; Malhotra, Anil K
Cognitive deficits and reduced educational achievement are common in psychiatric illness; understanding the genetic basis of cognitive and educational deficits may be informative about the etiology of psychiatric disorders. A recent, large genome-wide association study (GWAS) reported a genome-wide significant locus for years of education, which subsequently demonstrated association to general cognitive ability ("g") in overlapping cohorts. The current study was designed to test whether GWAS hits for educational attainment are involved in general cognitive ability in an independent, large-scale collection of cohorts. Using cohorts in the Cognitive Genomics Consortium (COGENT; up to 20,495 healthy individuals), we examined the relationship between g and variants associated with educational attainment. We next conducted meta-analyses with 24,189 individuals with neurocognitive data from the educational attainment studies, and then with 53,188 largely independent individuals from a recent GWAS of cognition. A SNP (rs1906252) located at chromosome 6q16.1, previously associated with years of schooling, was significantly associated with g (P = 1.47 × 10(-4) ) in COGENT. The first joint analysis of 43,381 non-overlapping individuals for this a priori-designated locus was strongly significant (P = 4.94 × 10(-7) ), and the second joint analysis of 68,159 non-overlapping individuals was even more robust (P = 1.65 × 10(-9) ). These results provide independent replication, in a large-scale dataset, of a genetic locus associated with cognitive function and education. As sample sizes grow, cognitive GWAS will identify increasing numbers of associated loci, as has been accomplished in other polygenic quantitative traits, which may be relevant to psychiatric illness.
Trampush, Joey W.; Lencz, Todd; Knowles, Emma; Davies, Gail; Guha, Saurav; Pe’er, Itsik; Liewald, David C.; Starr, John M.; Djurovic, Srdjan; Melle, Ingrid; Sundet, Kjetil; Christoforou, Andrea; Reinvang, Ivar; Mukherjee, Semanti; DeRosse, Pamela; Lundervold, Astri; Steen, Vidar M.; John, Majnu; Espeseth, Thomas; Räikkönen, Katri; Widen, Elisabeth; Palotie, Aarno; Eriksson, Johan G.; Giegling, Ina; Konte, Bettina; Ikeda, Masashi; Roussos, Panos; Giakoumaki, Stella; Burdick, Katherine E.; Payton, Antony; Ollier, William; Horan, Mike; Scult, Matthew; Dickinson, Dwight; Straub, Richard E.; Donohoe, Gary; Morris, Derek; Corvin, Aiden; Gill, Michael; Hariri, Ahmad; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Pendleton, Neil; Iwata, Nakao; Darvasi, Ariel; Bitsios, Panos; Rujescu, Dan; Lahti, Jari; Le Hellard, Stephanie; Keller, Matthew C.; Andreassen, Ole A.; Deary, Ian J.; Glahn, David C.; Malhotra, Anil K.
Cognitive deficits and reduced educational achievement are common in psychiatric illness; understanding the genetic basis of cognitive and educational deficits may be informative about the etiology of psychiatric disorders. A recent, large genomewide association study (GWAS) reported a genome-wide significant locus for years of education, which subsequently demonstrated association to general cognitive ability (“g”) in overlapping cohorts. The current study was designed to test whether GWAS hits for educational attainment are involved in general cognitive ability in an independent, large-scale collection of cohorts. Using cohorts in the Cognitive Genomics Consortium (COGENT; up to 20,495 healthy individuals), we examined the relationship between g and variants associated with educational attainment. We next conducted meta-analyses with 24,189 individuals with neurocognitive data from the educational attainment studies, and then with 53,188 largely independent individuals from a recent GWAS of cognition. A SNP (rs1906252) located at chromosome 6q16.1, previously associated with years of schooling, was significantly associated with g (P = 1.47×10−4) in COGENT. The first joint analysis of 43,381 non-overlapping individuals for this a priori-designated locus was strongly significant (P = 4.94×10−7), and the second joint analysis of 68,159 non-overlapping individuals was even more robust (P = 1.65×10−9). These results provide independent replication, in a large-scale dataset, of a genetic locus associated with cognitive function and education. As sample sizes grow, cognitive GWAS will identify increasing numbers of associated loci, as has been accomplished in other polygenic quantitative traits, which may be relevant to psychiatric illness. PMID:25951819
Wolf, D; Grothe, M; Fischer, F U; Heinsen, H; Kilimann, I; Teipel, S; Fellgiebel, A
The basal forebrain cholinergic system (BFCS) is known to undergo moderate neurodegenerative alterations during normal aging and severe atrophy in Alzheimer's disease (AD). It has been suggested that functional and structural alterations of the BFCS mediate cognitive performance in normal aging and AD. But, it is still unclear to what extend age-associated cognitive decline can be related to BFCS in normal aging. We analyzed the relationship between BFCS volume and cognition using MRI and a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery in a cohort of 43 healthy elderly subjects spanning the age range from 60 to 85 years. Most notably, we found significant associations between general intelligence and BFCS volumes, specifically within areas corresponding to posterior nuclei of the nucleus basalis of Meynert (Ch4p) and the nucleus subputaminalis (NSP). Associations between specific cognitive domains and BFCS volumes were less pronounced. Supplementary analyses demonstrated that especially the volume of NSP but also the volume of Ch4p was related to the volume of widespread temporal, frontal, and parietal gray and white matter regions. Volumes of these gray and white matter regions were also related to general intelligence. Higher volumes of Ch4p and NSP may enhance the effectiveness of acetylcholine supply in related gray and white matter regions underlying general intelligence and hence explain the observed association between the volume of Ch4p as well as NSP and general intelligence. Since general intelligence is known to attenuate the degree of age-associated cognitive decline and the risk of developing late-onset AD, the BFCS might, besides the specific contribution to the pathophysiology in AD, constitute a mechanism of brain resilience in normal aging.
The present study was designed to examine how the correlations between cognitive abilities evolve during adulthood. Data from 1104 participants on the French version of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition were analyzed. The entire sample was divided into four age groups (16-24 years; 25-44 years; 45-69 years and 70-89 years), which…
Choi, Jean; Sardar, Shaila
Although specific cognitive abilities, cognitive style, and learning preferences are assumed to be inter-related, the empirical evidence supporting this assumption is mixed. Cognitive style refers to how individuals represent information, and learning preference refers to how individuals prefer the presentation of information (Mayer & Massa,…
Redick, Thomas S; Shipstead, Zach; Meier, Matthew E; Montroy, Janelle J; Hicks, Kenny L; Unsworth, Nash; Kane, Michael J; Hambrick, D Zachary; Engle, Randall W
Previous research has identified several cognitive abilities that are important for multitasking, but few studies have attempted to measure a general multitasking ability using a diverse set of multitasks. In the final dataset, 534 young adult subjects completed measures of working memory (WM), attention control, fluid intelligence, and multitasking. Correlations, hierarchical regression analyses, confirmatory factor analyses, structural equation models, and relative weight analyses revealed several key findings. First, although the complex tasks used to assess multitasking differed greatly in their task characteristics and demands, a coherent construct specific to multitasking ability was identified. Second, the cognitive ability predictors accounted for substantial variance in the general multitasking construct, with WM and fluid intelligence accounting for the most multitasking variance compared to attention control. Third, the magnitude of the relationships among the cognitive abilities and multitasking varied as a function of the complexity and structure of the various multitasks assessed. Finally, structural equation models based on a multifaceted model of WM indicated that attention control and capacity fully mediated the WM and multitasking relationship. (PsycINFO Database Record
Nordberg, Ann; Dahlgren Sandberg, Annika; Miniscalco, Carmela
Background: Research on retelling ability and cognition is limited in children with cerebral palsy (CP) and speech impairment. Aims: To explore the impact of expressive and receptive language, narrative discourse dimensions (Narrative Assessment Profile measures), auditory and visual memory, theory of mind (ToM) and non-verbal cognition on the…
Cai, Liuyang; Chan, John S Y; Yan, Jin H; Peng, Kaiping
For more than two decades, there have been extensive studies of experience-based neural plasticity exploring effective applications of brain plasticity for cognitive and motor development. Research suggests that human brains continuously undergo structural reorganization and functional changes in response to stimulations or training. From a developmental point of view, the assumption of lifespan brain plasticity has been extended to older adults in terms of the benefits of cognitive training and physical therapy. To summarize recent developments, first, we introduce the concept of neural plasticity from a developmental perspective. Secondly, we note that motor learning often refers to deliberate practice and the resulting performance enhancement and adaptability. We discuss the close interplay between neural plasticity, motor learning and cognitive aging. Thirdly, we review research on motor skill acquisition in older adults with, and without, impairments relative to aging-related cognitive decline. Finally, to enhance future research and application, we highlight the implications of neural plasticity in skills learning and cognitive rehabilitation for the aging population.
Cognitive training and aerobic training are known to improve cognitive functions. To examine the separate and combined effects of such training on cognitive performance, four groups of healthy older adults embarked on a 4 months cognitive and/or mild aerobic training. A first group [n = 33, mean age = 80 (66–90)] engaged in cognitive training, a second [n = 29, mean age = 81 (65–89)] in mild aerobic training, a third [n = 29, mean age = 79 (70–93)] in the combination of both, and a fourth [n = 31, mean age = 79 (71–92)] control group engaged in book-reading activity. The outcome was a well-validated multi-domain computerized cognitive evaluation for older adults. The results indicate that, when compared to older adults who did not engage in cognitive training (the mild aerobic and control groups) older adults who engaged in cognitive training (separate or combined training groups) showed significant improvement in cognitive performance on Hand-Eye Coordination, Global Visual Memory (GVM; working memory and long-term memory), Speed of Information Processing, Visual Scanning, and Naming. Indeed, individuals who did not engage in cognitive training showed no such improvements. Those results suggest that cognitive training is effective in improving cognitive performance and that it (and not mild aerobic training) is driving the improvement in the combined condition. Results are discussed in terms of the special circumstances of aerobic and cognitive training for older adults who are above 80 years of age. PMID:23531885
S., Akbarian; S., Beeri M.; V., Haroutunian
A better understanding of normal and diseased brain aging and cognition will have a significant public health impact, given that the oldest-old persons over 85 years of age represent the fastest growing segment in the population in developed countries, with over 30 million new cases of dementia predicted to occur world-wide each year by 2040. Dysregulation of gene expression, and more generally, genome organization and function, is thought to contribute to age-related declines in cognition. Remarkably, nearly all neuronal nuclei that reside in an aged brain had permanently exited from the cell cycle during prenatal development, and DNA methylation and histone modifications and other molecular constituents of the epigenome are likely to play a critical role in the maintenance of neuronal health and function throughout the entire lifespan. Here, we provide an overview on age-related changes in the brain’s chromatin structures, highlight potential epigenetic drug targets for cognitive decline and age-related neurodegenerative disease and discuss opportunities and challenges when studying ‘epigenetic biomarkers’ in aging research. PMID:23571692
Cassimatis, Nicholas L; Bello, Paul; Langley, Pat
Computational models will play an important role in our understanding of human higher-order cognition. How can a model's contribution to this goal be evaluated? This article argues that three important aspects of a model of higher-order cognition to evaluate are (a) its ability to reason, solve problems, converse, and learn as well as people do; (b) the breadth of situations in which it can do so; and (c) the parsimony of the mechanisms it posits. This article argues that fits of models to quantitative experimental data, although valuable for other reasons, do not address these criteria. Further, using analogies with other sciences, the history of cognitive science, and examples from modern-day research programs, this article identifies five activities that have been demonstrated to play an important role in our understanding of human higher-order cognition. These include modeling within a cognitive architecture, conducting artificial intelligence research, measuring and expanding a model's ability, finding mappings between the structure of different domains, and attempting to explain multiple phenomena within a single model.
Kwak, Chuljung; Lim, Chae-Seok; Kaang, Bong-Kiun
Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) experience both motor output deficits and cognitive disabilities. Various PD rodent models have been developed to investigate the genetic and brain circuit-related causes of PD and have contributed to the basic and clinical research and to therapeutic strategies for this disease. Most studies using PD rodent models have focused on the motor output deficits, rather than cognitive disabilities due to the lack of appropriate testing tools that do not require significant motor abilities. In this study, we assessed the cognitive disabilities of PD model mice using a touch screen test that required only little motor ability. We found that the PD model mice, which had motor deficits caused by unilateral striatal dopaminergic degeneration, successfully underwent operant conditioning with a touch screen test. Additionally, we found that the PD model mice demonstrated impaired location discrimination, but intact attention and reversal learning in the cognitive tests. Therefore, the touch screen test is useful for assessing hidden cognitive disabilities in disease model animals with decreased motor function.
Salthouse, Timothy A.
There has recently been a great deal of interest in cognitive interventions, particularly when applied in older adults with the goal of slowing or reversing age-related cognitive decline. Although seldom directly investigated, one of the fundamental questions concerning interventions is whether the intervention alters the rate of cognitive change, or affects the level of certain cognitive measures with no effect on the trajectory of change. This question was investigated with a very simple intervention consisting of the performance of three versions (treatment) or one version (control) of the relevant cognitive tests at an initial occasion. Participants were retested at intervals ranging from less than 1 to 12 years, which allowed rates of change to be examined in the control and treatment groups. Although the intervention can be considered modest, participants in the treatment group had about .25 standard deviations less negative cognitive change over an interval of approximately three years than those in the control group, which is comparable to effect sizes reported with more intensive interventions. However, there were no interactions of the intervention with length of the interval between occasions, and thus there was no evidence that the intervention affected the course of age-related cognitive decline. PMID:26478640
Cognitive neuroscience has revealed aging of the human brain to be rich in reorganization and change. Neuroimaging results have recast our framework around cognitive aging from one of decline to one emphasizing plasticity. Current methods use neurostimulation approaches to manipulate brain function, providing a direct test of the ways that the brain differently contributes to task performance for younger and older adults. Emerging research into emotional, social, and motivational domains provides some evidence for preservation with age, suggesting potential avenues of plasticity, alongside additional evidence for reorganization. Thus, we begin to see that aging of the brain, amidst interrelated behavioral and biological changes, is as complex and idiosyncratic as the brain itself, qualitatively changing over the life span.
Xu, Kui; Sun, Xiaoyan; Eroku, Bernadette O; Tsipis, Constantinos P; Puchowicz, Michelle A; LaManna, Joseph C
Aging is associated with increased susceptibility to hypoxic/ischemic insult and declines in behavioral function which may be due to attenuated adaptive/defense responses. We investigated if diet-induced ketosis would improve behavioral performance in the aged rats. Fischer 344 rats (3- and 22-month-old) were fed standard (STD) or ketogenic (KG) diet for 3 weeks and then exposed to hypobaric hypoxia. Cognitive function was measured using the T-maze and object recognition tests. Motor function was measured using the inclined-screen test. Results showed that KG diet significantly increased blood ketone levels in both young and old rats. In the aged rats, the KG diet improved cognitive performance under normoxic and hypoxic conditions; while motor performance remained unchanged. Capillary density and HIF-1alpha levels were elevated in the aged ketotic group independent of hypoxic challenge. These data suggest that diet-induced ketosis may be beneficial in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions.
Wu, Xiang; Chen, Huixin; Huang, Chunhui; Gu, Xinmei; Wang, Jialing; Xu, Dilin; Yu, Xin; Shuai, Chu; Chen, Liping; Li, Shun; Xu, Yiguo; Gao, Tao; Ye, Mingrui; Su, Wei; Liu, Haixiong; Zhang, Jinrong; Wang, Chuang; Chen, Junping; Wang, Qinwen; Cui, Wei
Post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is associated with elderly patients undergoing surgery. However, pharmacological treatments for POCD are limited. In this study, we found that curcumin, an active compound derived from Curcuma longa, ameliorated the cognitive dysfunction following abdominal surgery in aged mice. Further, curcumin prevented surgery-induced anti-oxidant enzyme activity. Curcumin also increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-positive area and expression of pAkt in the brain, suggesting that curcumin activated BDNF signaling in aged mice. Furthermore, curcumin neutralized cholinergic dysfunction involving choline acetyltransferase expression induced by surgery. These results strongly suggested that curcumin prevented cognitive impairments via multiple targets, possibly by increasing the activity of anti-oxidant enzymes, activation of BDNF signaling, and neutralization of cholinergic dysfunction, concurrently. Based on these novel findings, curcumin might be a potential agent in POCD prophylaxis and treatment.
Gao, Xiaocai; Xi, Gengsi; Niu, Yinbo; Zhang, Shumiao; Fu, Ruijuan; Zheng, Zijian; Zhang, Kejin; Lv, Shumin; He, Hui; Xue, Min; Zhang, Fuchang
This study aimed to investigate the effects of IL1RAPL1 on the human cognitive ability. Four genetic marker sites, i.e., DXS1218, DXS9896, rs6526806 and rs12847959 on IL1RAPL1 were genotyped in 332 Qinba Mountain Area children. Meanwhile, a cognition test with a C-WISC scale was performed to study the relationship of genotype with cognition test scores. Results indicated that genotypes of DXS1218, DXS9896 and rs12847959 were associated with memory/concentration factor intelligence quotient (IQ) (P=0.027, 0.042, 0.029, respectively). DXS1218 also associated with full IQ, verbal IQ, and performance IQ (P=0.006, 0.014, 0.006, respectively). rs12847959 were related to verbal comprehension factor and perceptual organization factor IQ (P=0.021, 0.043, respectively). Further study on rat brain revealed that Il1rapl was mainly expressed in memory/concentration-associated encephalic regions, such as hippocampus, dentate fascia, osmesis perithelium, and piriform cortex. mRNA expression levels of Il1rapl in brains of rats with different learning and memory abilities showed significant difference. Combined data suggested that IL1RAPL1 affected human cognitive ability to some extent, especially the memory and concentration capability.
Verney, Steven P; Granholm, Eric; Marshall, Sandra P
Cognitive processing efficiency requires both an ability to attend to task-relevant stimuli with quickness and accuracy, also while filtering distracting or task-irrelevant stimuli. This study investigated cognitive processing efficiency by using pupillary responses as an index of attentional allocation to relevant target and irrelevant masks on a visual backward masking task. The relationship between attentional allocation on this task and general cognitive ability on the scholastic aptitude test (SAT) was examined in college students (n=67). A principle components analysis of the pupillary response waveform isolated a late component that appeared to index the attentional demands associated with processing masks on the backward masking task. This pupillary response index of wasteful resource allocation to the mask accounted for significant variance in SAT scores over and above that accounted for by socio-economic status and target detection accuracy scores. Consistent with the neural efficiency hypothesis, individuals who allocated more resources to processing irrelevant information performed more poorly on cognitive ability tests.
Celis-Morales, Carlos A.; Anderson, Jana; Gill, Jason M. R.; Mackay, Daniel F.; McIntosh, Andrew M.; Smith, Daniel J.; Deary, Ian J.; Sattar, Naveed; Pell, Jill P.
Aims Cardiometabolic diseases (hypertension, coronary artery disease [CAD] and diabetes are known to associate with poorer cognitive ability but there are limited data on whether having more than one of these conditions is associated with additive effects. We aimed to quantify the magnitude of their associations with non-demented cognitive abilities and determine the extent to which these associations were additive. Methods and results We examined cognitive test scores in domains of reasoning, information processing speed and memory, included as part of the baseline UK Biobank cohort assessment (N = 474 129 with relevant data), adjusting for a range of potentially confounding variables. The presence of hypertension, CAD and diabetes generally associated with poorer cognitive scores on all tests, compared with a control group that reported none of these diseases. There was evidence of an additive deleterious dose effect of an increasing number of cardiometabolic diseases, for reasoning scores (unstandardized additive dose beta per disease = −0.052 score points out of 13, 95% CI [confidence intervals] −0.063 to − 0.041, P < 0.001), log reaction time scores (exponentiated beta = 1.005, i.e. 0.5% slower, 95% CI 1.004–1.005, P < 0.001) and log memory errors (exponentiated beta = 1.005 i.e. 0.5% more errors; 95% CI 1.003–1.008). Conclusion Cardiometabolic diseases are associated with worse cognitive abilities, and the potential effect of an increasing number of cardiometabolic conditions appears additive. These results reinforce the notion that preventing or delaying cardiovascular disease or diabetes may delay cognitive decline and possible dementia. PMID:28363219
Morice, Rodney; Slaghuis, Walter
Reports results from a detailed syntactic analysis of spoken language samples collected from poor and good readers at eight years of age. Results showed an undeniably strong association between reduced language comprehension and reading impairment at age eight, an association that appeared to strengthen by age nine. (SED)
Lohninger, S; Strasser, A; Bubna-Littitz, H
L-carnitine is of considerable interest because of its capacity to counteract several physiological and pathological phenomena typical of brain aging processes. We examined the effects of L-carnitine on the learning ability of old rats. 100 mg/kg per body weight per day L-carnitine was administered orally to old (21 months) male Sprague-Dawley rats (OLD-CAR) for a period of 2 months. Old (21 months, OLD-CO) and young (7 months, YG-CO) control animals received tap water exclusively. Performance of the OLD-CAR and OLD-CO was compared with that of YG-CO in a multiple T-maze. The mean run time values showed a significant (P=0.01) difference of the OLD-CAR rats to the OLD-CO but no significant differences between OLD-CAR and YG-CO. For the T-maze parameter mean correct responses we were able to demonstrate that L-carnitine treated old rats made significantly (P=0.03) less errors and significantly (P=0.01) more animals reached the T-maze goal compared with OLD-CO but no significant differences were observed between OLD-CAR and YG-CO. The results of the present study clearly demonstrate that carnitine treatment improves the learning ability of old rats and seems to be able to reduce the loss of cognitive functions that occur with aging.
Fortunato, S; Forli, F; Guglielmi, V; De Corso, E; Paludetti, G; Berrettini, S; Fetoni, A R
Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) has a multifactorial pathogenesis and it is an inevitable hearing impairment associated with reduction of communicative skills related to ageing. Increasing evidence has linked ARHL to more rapid progression of cognitive decline and incidental dementia. Many aspects of daily living of elderly people have been associated to hearing abilities, showing that hearing loss (HL) affects the quality of life, social relationships, motor skills, psychological aspects and function and morphology in specific brain areas. Epidemiological and clinical studies confirm the assumption of a relationship between these conditions. However, the mechanisms are still unclear and are reviewed herein. Long-term hearing deprivation of auditory inputs can impact cognitive performance by decreasing the quality of communication leading to social isolation and depression and facilitate dementia. On the contrary, the limited cognitive skills may reduce the cognitive resources available for auditory perception, increasing the effects of HL. In addition, hearing loss and cognitive decline may reflect a 'common cause' on the auditory pathway and brain. In fact, some pathogenetic factors are recongised in common microvascular disease factors such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and hypertension. Interdisciplinary efforts to investigate and address HL in the context of brain and cognitive ageing are needed. Surprisingly, few studies have been adressed on the effectiveness of hearing aids in changing the natural history of cognitive decline. Effective interventions with hearing aids or cochlear implant may improve social and emotional function, communication, cognitive function and positively impact quality of life. The aim of this review is to overview new insights on this challenging topic and provide new ideas for future research.
Gaser, Christian; Franke, Katja; Klöppel, Stefan; Koutsouleris, Nikolaos; Sauer, Heinrich
Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, shares many aspects of abnormal brain aging. We present a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based biomarker that predicts the individual progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to AD on the basis of pathological brain aging patterns. By employing kernel regression methods, the expression of normal brain-aging patterns forms the basis to estimate the brain age of a given new subject. If the estimated age is higher than the chronological age, a positive brain age gap estimation (BrainAGE) score indicates accelerated atrophy and is considered a risk factor for conversion to AD. Here, the BrainAGE framework was applied to predict the individual brain ages of 195 subjects with MCI at baseline, of which a total of 133 developed AD during 36 months of follow-up (corresponding to a pre-test probability of 68%). The ability of the BrainAGE framework to correctly identify MCI-converters was compared with the performance of commonly used cognitive scales, hippocampus volume, and state-of-the-art biomarkers derived from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). With accuracy rates of up to 81%, BrainAGE outperformed all cognitive scales and CSF biomarkers in predicting conversion of MCI to AD within 3 years of follow-up. Each additional year in the BrainAGE score was associated with a 10% greater risk of developing AD (hazard rate: 1.10 [CI: 1.07-1.13]). Furthermore, the post-test probability was increased to 90% when using baseline BrainAGE scores to predict conversion to AD. The presented framework allows an accurate prediction even with multicenter data. Its fast and fully automated nature facilitates the integration into the clinical workflow. It can be exploited as a tool for screening as well as for monitoring treatment options.
Klöppel, Stefan; Koutsouleris, Nikolaos; Sauer, Heinrich
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, shares many aspects of abnormal brain aging. We present a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based biomarker that predicts the individual progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to AD on the basis of pathological brain aging patterns. By employing kernel regression methods, the expression of normal brain-aging patterns forms the basis to estimate the brain age of a given new subject. If the estimated age is higher than the chronological age, a positive brain age gap estimation (BrainAGE) score indicates accelerated atrophy and is considered a risk factor for conversion to AD. Here, the BrainAGE framework was applied to predict the individual brain ages of 195 subjects with MCI at baseline, of which a total of 133 developed AD during 36 months of follow-up (corresponding to a pre-test probability of 68%). The ability of the BrainAGE framework to correctly identify MCI-converters was compared with the performance of commonly used cognitive scales, hippocampus volume, and state-of-the-art biomarkers derived from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). With accuracy rates of up to 81%, BrainAGE outperformed all cognitive scales and CSF biomarkers in predicting conversion of MCI to AD within 3 years of follow-up. Each additional year in the BrainAGE score was associated with a 10% greater risk of developing AD (hazard rate: 1.10 [CI: 1.07–1.13]). Furthermore, the post-test probability was increased to 90% when using baseline BrainAGE scores to predict conversion to AD. The presented framework allows an accurate prediction even with multicenter data. Its fast and fully automated nature facilitates the integration into the clinical workflow. It can be exploited as a tool for screening as well as for monitoring treatment options. PMID:23826273
Scult, Matthew A.; Trampush, Joey W.; Zheng, Fengyu; Conley, Emily Drabant; Lencz, Todd; Malhotra, Anil K.; Dickinson, Dwight; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Hariri, Ahmad R.
Here we provide novel convergent evidence across three independent cohorts of healthy adults (n=531) demonstrating that a common polymorphism in the gene encoding the α2 subunit of neuronal voltage-gated type II sodium channels (SCN2A) predicts human general cognitive ability or “g.” Using meta-analysis, we demonstrate that the minor T allele of a common polymorphism (rs10174400) in SCN2A is associated with significantly higher “g” independent of gender and age. We further demonstrate using resting-state fMRI data from our discovery cohort (n=236) that this genetic advantage may be mediated by increased capacity for information processing between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which support higher cognitive functions. Collectively, these findings fill a gap in our understanding of the genetics of general cognitive ability and highlight a specific neural mechanism through which a common polymorphism shapes inter-individual variation in “g.” PMID:25961639
Laver, Gary D.
Involving undergraduate students in cognitive aging research requires extra efforts not associated with graduate assistants. However, if the researcher acknowledges the limited experience of undergraduates in structuring their participation, the rewards are copious for the students and researcher alike. This paper describes undergraduate student…
Spiegel, Amy M.; Sewal, Angila S.; Rapp, Peter R.
Epigenetic modifications of chromatin structure provide a mechanistic interface for gene-environment interactions that impact the individualization of health trajectories across the lifespan. A growing body of research indicates that dysfunctional epigenetic regulation contributes to poor cognitive outcomes among aged populations. Here we review…
Guitart-Masip, Marc; Salami, Alireza; Garrett, Douglas; Rieckmann, Anna; Lindenberger, Ulman; Bäckman, Lars
Dopamine (DA) losses are associated with various aging-related cognitive deficits. Typically, higher moment-to-moment brain signal variability in large-scale patterns of voxels in neocortical regions is linked to better cognitive performance and younger adult age, yet the physiological mechanisms regulating brain signal variability are unknown. We explored the relationship among adult age, DA availability, and blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal variability, while younger and older participants performed a spatial working memory (SWM) task. We quantified striatal and extrastriatal DA D1 receptor density with [(11)C]SCH23390 and positron emission tomography in all participants. We found that BOLD variability in a neocortical region was negatively related to age and positively related to SWM performance. In contrast, BOLD variability in subcortical regions and bilateral hippocampus was positively related to age and slower responses, and negatively related to D1 density in caudate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, BOLD variability in neocortical regions was positively associated with task-related disengagement of the default-mode network, a network whose activation needs to be suppressed for efficient SWM processing. Our results show that age-related DA losses contribute to changes in brain signal variability in subcortical regions and suggest a potential mechanism, by which neocortical BOLD variability supports cognitive performance.
Chen, Huaihou; Zhao, Bingxin; Cao, Guanqun; Proges, Eric C.; O'Shea, Andrew; Woods, Adam J.; Cohen, Ronald A.
Neuroimaging studies of cognitive and brain aging often yield massive datasets that create many analytic and statistical challenges. In this paper, we discuss and address several limitations in the existing work. (1) Linear models are often used to model the age effects on neuroimaging markers, which may be inadequate in capturing the potential nonlinear age effects. (2) Marginal correlations are often used in brain network analysis, which are not efficient in characterizing a complex brain network. (3) Due to the challenge of high-dimensionality, only a small subset of the regional neuroimaging markers is considered in a prediction model, which could miss important regional markers. To overcome those obstacles, we introduce several advanced statistical methods for analyzing data from cognitive and brain aging studies. Specifically, we introduce semiparametric models for modeling age effects, graphical models for brain network analysis, and penalized regression methods for selecting the most important markers in predicting cognitive outcomes. We illustrate these methods using the healthy aging data from the Active Brain Study. PMID:27486400
Doobay, Alissa F; Foley-Nicpon, Megan; Ali, Saba R; Assouline, Susan G
Research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is thriving; however, scant empirical research has investigated how ASD manifests in high ability youth. Further research is necessary to accurately differentiate high ability students with ASD from those without the disorder, and thus decrease the risk of misdiagnosis. The purpose of the present study is to provide an empirical account of the intellectual, adaptive, and psychosocial functioning of high ability youth with and without ASD utilizing a group study design. Forty youth with high cognitive ability and ASD and a control group of 41 youth with high cognitive ability and no psychological diagnosis were included in the study. In comparison to the control group, the ASD group showed poorer functioning on measures of processing speed, adaptive skills, and broad psychological functioning, as perceived by parents and teachers. These findings have significant implications for diagnosing ASD among those with high ability, and the development of related psychological and educational interventions to address talent domains and areas of concern.
Jeste, Dilip V; Wolkowitz, Owen M; Palmer, Barton W
Aging is not a uniform process. In the general population, there is a paradox of aging: age-associated decline in physical and some cognitive functions stands in contrast to an enhancement of subjective quality of life and psychosocial functioning. This paradox is even more striking in people with schizophrenia. Compared with the overall population, individuals with schizophrenia have accelerated physical aging (with increased and premature medical comorbidity and mortality) but a normal rate of cognitive aging, although with mild cognitive impairment starting from premorbid period and persisting throughout life. Remarkably, psychosocial function improves with age, with diminished psychotic symptoms, reduced psychiatric relapses requiring hospitalization and better self-management. Many older adults with schizophrenia successfully adapt to the illness, with increased use of positive coping techniques, enhanced self-esteem and increased social support. Although complete remission is uncommon, most individuals with schizophrenia experience significant improvement in their quality of well-being. Cohort effect and survivor bias may provide a partial explanation for this phenomenon. However, the improvement also may reflect some brain changes that are beneficial for the course of schizophrenia along with neuroplasticity of aging. The proposed hypothesis has several implications. As significant medical morbidity in schizophrenia takes years to develop, studies of changes in sensitive biomarkers of aging during the course of illness may point to new treatments aimed at normalizing the rate of biological aging in schizophrenia. At the same time, effective psychotherapeutic interventions can affect brain structure and function and produce lasting positive behavioral changes in aging adults with schizophrenia.
Souza, Alessandra S
Maintenance of information in mind to the moment-to-moment cognition is accomplished by working memory (WM). WM capacity is reduced in old age, but the nature of this decline is yet not clear. The current study examined the hypothesis that the decline in visual WM performance with age is related to a reduced ability to use attention to control the contents of WM. Young (M = 26 years) and old (M = 71 years) adults performed a color reproduction task in which the precise color of a set of dots had to be maintained in mind over a brief interval and later reproduced using a continuous color wheel. Attention was manipulated by presenting a spatial cue before the onset of the memory array (a precue) or during the maintenance phase (retro-cue). The cue indicated with 100% certainty the item to be tested at the end of the trial. A precue allows the selective encoding of only the relevant item to WM, whereas a retro-cue allows WM contents to be updated by refreshing the relevant (cued) item and removing nonrelevant (noncued) items. Aging was associated with a lower capacity in the baseline (no-cue) condition. Precues and (to a smaller extent) retro-cues improved WM performance (in terms of probability of recall and memory precision). Critically, the benefits of cueing were of similar magnitude in young and older adults showing that the ability to use attention to selectively encode and update the contents of WM is preserved with aging. (PsycINFO Database Record
Luciano, Michelle; Batty, G. David; McGilchrist, Mark; Linksted, Pamela; Fitzpatrick, Bridie; Jackson, Cathy; Pattie, Alison; Dominiczak, Anna F.; Morris, Andrew D.; Smith, Blair H.; Porteous, David; Deary, Ian J.
People with higher general cognitive ability in early life have more favourable levels of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in adulthood and CVD itself. The mechanism of these associations is not known. Here we examine whether general cognitive ability and CVD risk factors share genetic and/or environmental aetiology. In this large,…
Petruccelli, Meredith Lohr; Fiorello, Catherine A.; Thurman, S. Kenneth
Teacher perceptions of their students' cognitive abilities affect the referrals they make and intervention strategies they implement. In this study, teachers and school psychologists were asked to sort basic academic tasks into categories on the basis of the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) broad cognitive abilities, such as fluid reasoning and…
Hall, Dianne J.; Cegielski, Casey G.; Wade, James N.
The research described in this article reports the results of a study designed to evaluate the relationship among object-oriented (OO) computer programming task performance and a student's (1) theoretical value belief, (2) cognitive ability, and (3) personality. The results of this study do not support the assertion that cognitive ability is a…
Baltes, P B; Lindenberger, U
Six hundred eighty seven individuals ages 25-103 years were studied cross-sectionally to examine the relationship between measures of sensory functioning (visual and auditory acuity) and intelligence (14 cognitive tasks representing a 5-factor space of psychometric intelligence). As predicted, the average proportion of individual differences in intellectual functioning connected to sensory functioning increased from 11% in adulthood (25-69 years) to 31% in old age (70-103 years). However, the link between fluid intellectual abilities and sensory functioning, albeit of different size, displayed a similarly high connection to age in both age groups. Several explanations are discussed, including a "common cause" hypothesis. In this vein, we argue that the increase in the age-associated link between sensory and intellectual functioning may reflect brain aging and that the search for explanations of cognitive aging phenomena would benefit from attending to factors that are shared between the 2 domains.
Huijgen, Barbara C H; Leemhuis, Sander; Kok, Niels M; Verburgh, Lot; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Elferink-Gemser, Marije T; Visscher, Chris
Soccer players are required to anticipate and react continuously in a changing, relatively unpredictable situation in the field. Cognitive functions might be important to be successful in soccer. The current study investigated the relationship between cognitive functions and performance level in elite and sub-elite youth soccer players aged 13-17 years. A total of 47 elite youth soccer players (mean age 15.5 years, SD = 0.9) and 41 sub-elite youth soccer players (mean age 15.2 years, SD = 1.2) performed tasks for "higher-level" cognitive functions measuring working memory (i.e., Visual Memory Span), inhibitory control (i.e., Stop-Signal Task), cognitive flexibility (i.e., Trail Making Test), and metacognition (i.e., Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System Design Fluency Test). "Lower-level" cognitive processes, i.e., reaction time and visuo-perceptual abilities, were also measured with the previous tasks. ANOVA's showed that elite players outscored sub-elite players at the "higher-level" cognitive tasks only, especially on metacognition (p < .05). Using stepwise discriminant analysis, 62.5% of subjects was correctly assigned to one of the groups based on their metacognition, inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility performance. Controlling for training hours and academic level, MANCOVA's showed differences in favor of the elite youth soccer players on inhibitory control (p = .001), and cognitive flexibility (p = .042), but not on metacognition (p = .27). No differences were found concerning working memory nor the "lower-level" cognitive processes (p > .05). In conclusion, elite youth soccer players have better inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and especially metacognition than their sub-elite counterparts. However, when training hours are taken into account, differences between elite and sub-elite youth soccer players remain apparent on inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility in contrast to metacognition. This highlights the need for longitudinal
Huijgen, Barbara C. H.; Leemhuis, Sander; Kok, Niels M.; Verburgh, Lot; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Elferink-Gemser, Marije T.; Visscher, Chris
Soccer players are required to anticipate and react continuously in a changing, relatively unpredictable situation in the field. Cognitive functions might be important to be successful in soccer. The current study investigated the relationship between cognitive functions and performance level in elite and sub-elite youth soccer players aged 13–17 years. A total of 47 elite youth soccer players (mean age 15.5 years, SD = 0.9) and 41 sub-elite youth soccer players (mean age 15.2 years, SD = 1.2) performed tasks for “higher-level” cognitive functions measuring working memory (i.e., Visual Memory Span), inhibitory control (i.e., Stop-Signal Task), cognitive flexibility (i.e., Trail Making Test), and metacognition (i.e., Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System Design Fluency Test). “Lower-level” cognitive processes, i.e., reaction time and visuo-perceptual abilities, were also measured with the previous tasks. ANOVA’s showed that elite players outscored sub-elite players at the “higher-level” cognitive tasks only, especially on metacognition (p < .05). Using stepwise discriminant analysis, 62.5% of subjects was correctly assigned to one of the groups based on their metacognition, inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility performance. Controlling for training hours and academic level, MANCOVA’s showed differences in favor of the elite youth soccer players on inhibitory control (p = .001), and cognitive flexibility (p = .042), but not on metacognition (p = .27). No differences were found concerning working memory nor the “lower-level” cognitive processes (p > .05). In conclusion, elite youth soccer players have better inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and especially metacognition than their sub-elite counterparts. However, when training hours are taken into account, differences between elite and sub-elite youth soccer players remain apparent on inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility in contrast to metacognition. This highlights the
Jeong, Eunju; Ryu, Hokyoung
Cognitive decline is a natural phenomenon of aging. Although there exists a consensus that sensitivity to acoustic features of music is associated with such decline, no solid evidence has yet shown that structural elements and contexts of music explain this loss of cognitive performance. This study examined the extent and the type of cognitive decline that is related to the contour identification task (CIT) using tones with different pitches (i.e., melodic contours). Both younger and older adult groups participated in the CIT given in three listening conditions (i.e., focused, selective, and alternating). Behavioral data (accuracy and response times) and hemodynamic reactions were measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Our findings showed cognitive declines in the older adult group but with a subtle difference from the younger adult group. The accuracy of the melodic CITs given in the target-like distraction task (CIT2) was significantly lower than that in the environmental noise (CIT1) condition in the older adult group, indicating that CIT2 may be a benchmark test for age-specific cognitive decline. The fNIRS findings also agreed with this interpretation, revealing significant increases in oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyHb) concentration in the younger (p < 0.05 for Δpre - on task; p < 0.01 for Δon – post task) rather than the older adult group (n.s for Δpre - on task; n.s for Δon – post task). We further concluded that the oxyHb difference was present in the brain regions near the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Taken together, these findings suggest that CIT2 (i.e., the melodic contour task in the target-like distraction) is an optimized task that could indicate the degree and type of age-related cognitive decline. PMID:27378907
Langlois, Roxane; Fontaine, Francine; Hamel, Caroline; Joubert, Sven
ABSTRACTThe aim of this study was to investigate the impact of aging on the ability a) to name famous faces and b) to access biographical knowledge about famous people from different modalities of presentation (faces and names). Healthy elderly subjects (n = 117) divided into three different age groups were assessed using a semantic memory test of famous people. Results of this study indicate a decline in naming performance between oldest and youngest groups. In contrast, no difference between groups was found in terms of the ability to access semantic knowledge about famous people. Finally, a main effect of modality of presentation (faces vs. names) was found, revealing greater ability to identify famous people in the verbal (names) than in the visual modality (faces). Taken together, results of this study may contribute to developing new cognitive intervention programs in older adults presenting with proper-name anomia.
Woodard, John L; Sugarman, Michael A
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allows for dynamic observation of the neural substrates of cognitive processing, which makes it a valuable tool for studying brain changes that may occur with both normal and pathological aging. fMRI studies have revealed that older adults frequently exhibit a greater magnitude and extent activation of the blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal compared to younger adults. This additional activation may reflect compensatory recruitment associated with functional and structural deterioration of neural resources. Increased activation has also been associated with several risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD), including the apolipoprotein ε4 allele. Longitudinal studies have also demonstrated that fMRI may have predictive utility in determining which individuals are at the greatest risk of developing cognitive decline. This chapter will review the results of a number of task-activated fMRI studies of older adults, focusing on both healthy aging and neuropathology associated with AD. We also discuss models that account for cognitive aging processes, including the hemispheric asymmetry reduction in older adults (HAROLD) and scaffolding theory of aging and cognition (STAC) models. Finally, we discuss methodological issues commonly associated with fMRI research in older adults.
Asano, Kohei; Taki, Yasuyuki; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sassa, Yuko; Thyreau, Benjamin; Asano, Michiko; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Kawashima, Ryuta
Humans perceive textual and nontextual information in visual perception, and both depend on language. In childhood education, students exhibit diverse perceptual abilities, such that some students process textual information better and some process nontextual information better. These predispositions involve many factors, including cognitive ability and learning preference. However, the relationship between verbal and nonverbal cognitive abilities and brain activation during visual perception has not yet been examined in children. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the relationship between nonverbal and verbal cognitive abilities and brain activation during nontextual visual perception in large numbers of children. A significant positive correlation was found between nonverbal cognitive abilities and brain activation in the right temporoparietal junction, which is thought to be related to attention reorienting. This significant positive correlation existed only in boys. These findings suggested that male brain activation differed from female brain activation, and that this depended on individual cognitive processes, even if there was no gender difference in behavioral performance.
Askey, Charlotte; Playfoot, David
Changes in memory performance with advancing age have been well-documented, even in the absence of brain injury or dementia. The mechanisms underlying cognitive ageing are still a matter of debate. The current paper describes a comparison between young (18-25 year old) and older (60+ years) adults using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott false memory paradigm and manipulating the number of words included in the memory lists. Two key theories of cognitive ageing (the Inhibitory Deficit Hypothesis and the Transmission Deficit Hypothesis) predict opposing patterns on this task. Results showed that longer lists increase the likelihood that a lure is retrieved and that older adults are more susceptible to false memories than are younger adults. We argue that these findings are supportive of the Inhibitory Deficit Hypothesis and cannot easily be reconciled with the Transmission Deficit Hypothesis account.
Toplak, Maggie E.; West, Richard F.; Stanovich, Keith E.
We studied developmental trends in 5 important reasoning tasks that are critical components of the operational definition of rational thinking. The tasks measured denominator neglect, belief bias, base rate sensitivity, resistance to framing, and the tendency toward otherside thinking. In addition to age, we examined 2 other individual difference…
Lievens, Filip; Reeve, Charlie L; Heggestad, Eric D
Using a latent variable approach, the authors examined whether retesting on a cognitive ability measure resulted in measurement and predictive bias. A sample of 941 candidates completed a cognitive ability test in a high-stakes context. Results of both the within-group between-occasions comparison and the between-groups within-occasion comparison indicated that no measurement bias existed during the initial testing but that retesting induced both measurement and predictive bias. Specifically, the results suggest that the factor underlying the retest scores was less saturated with g and more associated with memory than the latent factor underlying initial test scores and that these changes eliminated the test's criterion-related validity. This study's implications for retesting theory, practice, and research are discussed.
Walker, Linsey M; Katzir, Tami; Liu, Tianming; Ly, Jenny; Corriveau, Kathleen; Barzillai, Mirit; Chu, Felicia; O'Connor, Margaret G; Hackney, David B; Chang, Bernard S
Periventricular nodular heterotopia (PNH) is a brain malformation clinically characterized by the triad of epilepsy, normal intelligence, and dyslexia. We investigated the structure-function relationship between cerebral volumes and cognitive ability in this disorder by studying 12 subjects with PNH and 6 controls using volumetric analysis of high-resolution anatomical MRI and neuropsychological testing. Total cerebral volumes and specific brain compartment volumes (gray matter, white matter, and cerebrospinal fluid) in subjects with PNH were comparable to those in controls. There was a negative correlation between heterotopic gray matter volume and cortical gray matter volume. Cerebral and cortical volumes in PNH did not correlate with Full Scale IQ, unlike in normal individuals. Our findings support the idea that heterotopic nodules contain misplaced neurons that would normally have migrated to the cortex, and suggest that structural correlates of normal cognitive ability may be different in the setting of neuronal migration failure.
Wilson, Elizabeth A H; Wolf, Michael S; Curtis, Laura M; Clayman, Marla L; Cameron, Kenzie A; Eigen, Keith Vom; Makoul, Gregory
Interventions to mitigate the impact of low literacy on patients' recall of information by simplifying language have had limited success. The current study examines the extent to which cognition explains the relationship between literacy and retention of health information. Primary care patients aged 40 to 85 years watched a video about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and then answered knowledge-based questions about the video's content as well as a literacy assessment and cognitive assessments measuring processing speed, working memory, and-long term memory. A week later, available participants completed the knowledge assessment a second time. In regression models for immediate knowledge, literacy significantly predicted knowledge. However, once cognition (i.e., processing speed, working memory, and long-term memory) was added to the model, it explained 70.7% of the relationship between literacy and performance. A week later, literacy again significantly predicted knowledge, but entering cognition into the model explained 45.9% of the relationship between literacy and performance. These results suggest that cognition explains much of the association between literacy and both immediate and delayed recall of health information. Design and intervention strategies for educational tools should consider cognitive factors such as working memory demands in addition to focusing on the readability of materials.
Wee, Serena; Newman, Daniel A; Joseph, Dana L
When using cognitive tests, personnel selection practitioners typically face a trade-off between the expected job performance and diversity of new hires. We review the increasingly mainstream evidence that cognitive ability is a multidimensional and hierarchically ordered set of concepts, and examine the implications for both composite test validity and subgroup differences. Ultimately, we recommend a strategy for differentially weighting cognitive subtests (i.e., second-stratum abilities) in a way that minimizes overall subgroup differences without compromising composite test validity. Using data from 2 large validation studies that included a total of 15 job families, we demonstrate that this strategy could lead to substantial improvement in diversity hiring (e.g., doubling the number of job offers extended to minority applicants) and to at least 8% improvement in job offers made to minority applicants, without decrements in expected selection quality compared to a unit-weighted cognitive test composite. Finally, we conduct a sensitivity analysis to examine whether the technique continues to perform well when applied to applicant pools of smaller size. We discuss prerequisites for the application of this strategy, potential limitations, and extensions.
Wook Yoo, Sang; Han, Cheol E; Shin, Joseph S; Won Seo, Sang; Na, Duk L; Kaiser, Marcus; Jeong, Yong; Seong, Joon-Kyung
Cognitive reserve is the ability to sustain cognitive function even with a certain amount of brain damages. Here we investigate the neural compensation mechanism of cognitive reserve from the perspective of structural brain connectivity. Our goal was to show that normal people with high education levels (i.e., cognitive reserve) maintain abundant pathways connecting any two brain regions, providing better compensation or resilience after brain damage. Accordingly, patients with high education levels show more deterioration in structural brain connectivity than those with low education levels before symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) become apparent. To test this hypothesis, we use network flow measuring the number of alternative paths between two brain regions in the brain network. The experimental results show that for normal aging, education strengthens network reliability, as measured through flow values, in a subnetwork centered at the supramarginal gyrus. For AD, a subnetwork centered at the left middle frontal gyrus shows a negative correlation between flow and education, which implies more collapse in structural brain connectivity for highly educated patients. We conclude that cognitive reserve may come from the ability of network reorganization to secure the information flow within the brain network, therefore making it more resistant to disease progress.
Consistency of the Relations of Cognitive Ability and Personality Traits to Pilot Training Performance 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER...examined in large samples of US Air Force pilot trainees. Criterion data were collected between 1995 and 2008 from four training bases across three...training tracks. Analyses also examined consistency in pilot aptitude and training outcomes. Results were consistent with previous research
Clewett, David V.; Lee, Tae-Ho; Greening, Steven; Ponzio, Allison; Margalit, Eshed; Mather, Mara
Leading a mentally stimulating life may build up a reserve of neural and mental resources that preserve cognitive abilities in late life. Recent autopsy evidence links neuronal density in the locus coeruleus (LC), the brain's main source of norepinephrine, to slower cognitive decline before death, inspiring the idea that the noradrenergic system is a key component of reserve. Here, we tested this hypothesis using neuromelanin-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging to visualize and measure LC signal intensity in healthy younger and older adults. Established proxies of reserve, including education, occupational attainment, and verbal intelligence, were linearly correlated with LC signal intensity in both age groups. Results indicated that LC signal intensity was significantly higher in older than younger adults and significantly lower in women than in men. Consistent with the LC-reserve hypothesis, both verbal intelligence and a composite reserve score were positively associated with LC signal intensity in older adults. LC signal intensity was also more strongly associated with attentional shifting ability in older adults with lower cognitive reserve. Together these findings link in vivo estimates of LC neuromelanin signal intensity to cognitive reserve in normal aging. PMID:26521135
de Bruin, Natalie; Bryant, Devon C.; MacLean, Jessica N.; Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.
This study examined the efficacy of a novel reaching-and-grasping task in determining visuospatial abilities across adulthood. The task required male and female young (18–25 years) and older adults (60–82 years) to replicate a series of complex models by locating and retrieving the appropriate building blocks from an array. The task allows visuospatial complexity to be manipulated independently from the visuomotor demands. Mental rotation and spatial visualization abilities were assessed. The results showed that the time taken to complete the tasks increased with increased mental rotation complexity. Patterns of hand use were also influenced by the complexity of the models being constructed with right hand use being greater for the less complex models. In addition, although older adults consistently performed the visuomotor tasks slower than the younger adults, their performance was comparable when expressed as the percent change in task demands. This is suggestive that spatial abilities are preserved in older adults. Given the ecologically validity, the described task is an excellent candidate for investigating: (1) developmental; (2) sex-based; and (3) pathology-based differences in spatial abilities in the visuomotor domain. PMID:26869918
Kirkpatrick, Robert M; McGue, Matt; Iacono, William G; Miller, Michael B; Basu, Saonli
We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for general cognitive ability (GCA) plus three other analyses of GWAS data that aggregate the effects of multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in various ways. Our multigenerational sample comprised 7,100 Caucasian participants, drawn from two longitudinal family studies, who had been assessed with an age-appropriate IQ test and had provided DNA samples passing quality screens. We conducted the GWAS across ∼ 2.5 million SNPs (both typed and imputed), using a generalized least-squares method appropriate for the different family structures present in our sample, and subsequently conducted gene-based association tests. We also conducted polygenic prediction analyses under five-fold cross-validation, using two different schemes of weighting SNPs. Using parametric bootstrapping, we assessed the performance of this prediction procedure under the null. Finally, we estimated the proportion of variance attributable to all genotyped SNPs as random effects with software GCTA. The study is limited chiefly by its power to detect realistic single-SNP or single-gene effects, none of which reached genome-wide significance, though some genomic inflation was evident from the GWAS. Unit SNP weights performed about as well as least-squares regression weights under cross-validation, but the performance of both increased as more SNPs were included in calculating the polygenic score. Estimates from GCTA were 35% of phenotypic variance at the recommended biological-relatedness ceiling. Taken together, our results concur with other recent studies: they support a substantial heritability of GCA, arising from a very large number of causal SNPs, each of very small effect. We place our study in the context of the literature-both contemporary and historical-and provide accessible explication of our statistical methods.
Huang, Pei; Fang, Rong; Li, Bin-Yin; Chen, Sheng-Di
Aging and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are accompanied by decline of cognitive functions. Meanwhile, the most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is characterized by loss of memory and other intellectual abilities serious to make difficulties for patients in their daily life. MCI is a transition period between normal aging and dementia, which has been used for early detection of emerging dementia. It converts to dementia with an annual rate of 5–15% as compared to normal aging with 1% rate. Small decreases in the conversion rate of MCI to AD might significantly reduce the prevalence of dementia. Thus, it is important to intervene at the preclinical stage. Since there are still no effective drugs to treat AD, non-drug intervention is crucial for the prevention and treatment of cognitive decline in aging and MCI populations. Previous studies have found some cognitive brain networks disrupted in aging and MCI population, and physical exercise (PE) could effectively remediate the function of these brain networks. Understanding the exercise-related mechanisms is crucial to design efficient and effective PE programs for treatment/intervention of cognitive decline. In this review, we provide an overview of the neuroimaging studies on physical training in normal aging and MCI to identify the potential mechanisms underlying current physical training procedures. Studies of functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography and positron emission tomography on brain networks were all included. Based on our review, the default mode network, fronto-parietal network and fronto-executive network are probably the three most valuable targets for efficiency evaluation of interventions. PMID:27014055
Morris, Tim; Dorling, Danny; Davey Smith, George
Social inequalities in UK educational outcomes continue to persist despite improvements in recent years. However, studies that examine these inequalities fail to account for differences in prior cognitive ability. We seek to determine the influence of cognitive ability on educational outcomes and the extent of socio-economic disparities in education across a wide range of indicators while accounting for cognitive ability. Social inequalities exist whereby children from disadvantaged backgrounds systematically underperform compared to their advantaged peers regardless of cognitive ability; high ability children from disadvantaged backgrounds are disproportionately less likely to attain good grades compared to children from advantaged backgrounds. In addition, school effects operate to add to this inequality as children in fee-paying secondary schools outperform their state secondary school counterparts regardless of ability. Future UK policies should focus on reducing social inequality in education to ensure that all children are offered the same life chances regardless of background. PMID:28191364
Callaghan, Eleanor; Holland, Carol; Kessler, Klaus
Background: Identifying age-related changes in cognition that contribute towards reduced driving performance is important for the development of interventions to improve older adults' driving and prolong the time that they can continue to drive. While driving, one is often required to switch from attending to events changing in time, to distribute attention spatially. Although there is extensive research into both spatial attention and temporal attention and how these change with age, the literature on switching between these modalities of attention is limited within any age group. Methods: Age groups (21-30, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70+ years) were compared on their ability to switch between detecting a target in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream and detecting a target in a visual search display. To manipulate the cost of switching, the target in the RSVP stream was either the first item in the stream (Target 1st), towards the end of the stream (Target Mid), or absent from the stream (Distractor Only). Visual search response times and accuracy were recorded. Target 1st trials behaved as no-switch trials, as attending to the remaining stream was not necessary. Target Mid and Distractor Only trials behaved as switch trials, as attending to the stream to the end was required. Results: Visual search response times (RTs) were longer on "Target Mid" and "Distractor Only" trials in comparison to "Target 1st" trials, reflecting switch-costs. Larger switch-costs were found in both the 40-49 and 60-69 years group in comparison to the 21-30 years group when switching from the Target Mid condition. Discussion: Findings warrant further exploration as to whether there are age-related changes in the ability to switch between these modalities of attention while driving. If older adults display poor performance when switching between temporal and spatial attention while driving, then the development of an intervention to preserve and improve this ability would be
Callaghan, Eleanor; Holland, Carol; Kessler, Klaus
Background: Identifying age-related changes in cognition that contribute towards reduced driving performance is important for the development of interventions to improve older adults’ driving and prolong the time that they can continue to drive. While driving, one is often required to switch from attending to events changing in time, to distribute attention spatially. Although there is extensive research into both spatial attention and temporal attention and how these change with age, the literature on switching between these modalities of attention is limited within any age group. Methods: Age groups (21–30, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69 and 70+ years) were compared on their ability to switch between detecting a target in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream and detecting a target in a visual search display. To manipulate the cost of switching, the target in the RSVP stream was either the first item in the stream (Target 1st), towards the end of the stream (Target Mid), or absent from the stream (Distractor Only). Visual search response times and accuracy were recorded. Target 1st trials behaved as no-switch trials, as attending to the remaining stream was not necessary. Target Mid and Distractor Only trials behaved as switch trials, as attending to the stream to the end was required. Results: Visual search response times (RTs) were longer on “Target Mid” and “Distractor Only” trials in comparison to “Target 1st” trials, reflecting switch-costs. Larger switch-costs were found in both the 40–49 and 60–69 years group in comparison to the 21–30 years group when switching from the Target Mid condition. Discussion: Findings warrant further exploration as to whether there are age-related changes in the ability to switch between these modalities of attention while driving. If older adults display poor performance when switching between temporal and spatial attention while driving, then the development of an intervention to preserve and
de Bie, H M A; Oostrom, K J; Delemarre-van de Waal, H A
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can lead to infants being born small for gestational age (SGA). SGA is associated with increased neonatal morbidity and mortality as well as short stature, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus type 2, dyslipidemia and end-stage renal disease in adulthood. In addition, SGA children have decreased levels of intelligence and cognition, although the effects are mostly subtle. The overall outcome of each child is the result of a complex interaction between intrauterine and extrauterine factors. Animal and human studies show structural alterations in the brains of individuals with IUGR/SGA. The presence of growth hormone (GH) receptors in the brain implies that the brain is also a target for GH. Exogenous GH theoretically has the ability to act on the brain. This is exemplified by the effects of GH on cognition in GH-deficient adults. In SGA children, data on the effect of exogenous GH on intelligence and cognition are scant and contradictory.
Finkel, Deborah; Andel, Ross; Gatz, Margaret; Pedersen, Nancy L.
We examined the association between complexity of the main lifetime occupation and changes in cognitive ability in later life. Data on complexity of work with data, people, and things and on four cognitive factors (verbal, spatial, memory, and speed) were available from 462 individuals in the longitudinal Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging. Mean age at the first measurement wave was 64.3 (s.d. = 7.2) and 65% of the sample had at least 3 waves of data. Occupational complexity with people and data were both correlated with cognitive performance. Individuals with more complex work demonstrated higher mean performance on the verbal, spatial, and speed factors. Latent growth curve analyses indicated that, after correcting for education, only complexity with people was associated with differences in cognitive performance and rate of cognitive change. Continued engagement as a result of occupational complexity with people helped to facilitate verbal function before retirement, while a previous high level of complexity of work with people was associated with faster decline after retirement on the spatial factor. PMID:19739912
Grosse, Scott D; Lam, Wendy K K; Wiggins, Lisa D; Kemper, Alex R
The US Secretary of Health and Human Services recommended in February 2016 that mucopolysaccharidosis type 1 (MPS I) be added to the recommended uniform screening panel for state newborn screening programs. One of the key factors in this decision was the evidence suggesting that earlier treatment with hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for the most severe form, Hurler syndrome (MPS IH), would lead to improved cognitive outcomes. Consistent evidence from peer-reviewed studies suggests that transplantation in the first year of life is associated with improved developmental quotient or intelligence quotient and continued cognitive growth, with earlier age of treatment associated with improved outcomes. However, available evidence suggests that cognitive functioning and attention can still lag behind unaffected age-matched children, leading to the need for special education services. Verbal and nonverbal cognitive abilities outcomes may be affected differently by HCT. With the recent addition of MPS I to the recommended uniform screening panel, future work is needed to evaluate the impact of earlier, presymptomatic detection and treatment initiation and other supportive therapies on cognitive outcomes.Genet Med advance online publication 26 January 2017Genetics in Medicine (2017); doi:10.1038/gim.2016.223.
Rakoczy, Hannes; Harder-Kasten, Antje; Sturm, Lioba
Following up on existing, mixed findings in the literature on social cognition in old age different aspects of theory of mind were investigated in younger and older adults. In line with some previous findings, older participants--though matched with the younger ones on crystallized abilities--performed significantly worse both on tasks requiring the ascription of complex intentional attitudes to story protagonists and on tasks of recognizing subtle emotional expressions from video displays. Control analyses showed, however, that these deficits are partly explained by domain-general declines in processing speed and executive function. The implications of these findings for the nature of social cognition and its fate in old age are discussed.
Arcara, Giorgio; Bambini, Valentina
The Assessment of Pragmatic Abilities and Cognitive Substrates (APACS) test is a new tool to evaluate pragmatic abilities in clinical populations with acquired communicative deficits, ranging from schizophrenia to neurodegenerative diseases. APACS focuses on two main domains, namely discourse and non-literal language, combining traditional tasks with refined linguistic materials in Italian, in a unified framework inspired by language pragmatics. The test includes six tasks (Interview, Description, Narratives, Figurative Language 1, Humor, Figurative Language 2) and three composite scores (Pragmatic Productions, Pragmatic Comprehension, APACS Total). Psychometric properties and normative data were computed on a sample of 119 healthy participants representative of the general population. The analysis revealed acceptable internal consistency and good test-retest reliability for almost every APACS task, suggesting that items are coherent and performance is consistent over time. Factor analysis supports the validity of the test, revealing two factors possibly related to different facets and substrates of the pragmatic competence. Finally, excellent match between APACS items and scores and the pragmatic constructs measured in the test was evidenced by experts' evaluation of content validity. The performance on APACS showed a general effect of demographic variables, with a negative effect of age and a positive effect of education. The norms were calculated by means of state-of-the-art regression methods. Overall, APACS is a valuable tool for the assessment of pragmatic deficits in verbal communication. The short duration and easiness of administration make the test especially suitable to use in clinical settings. In presenting APACS, we also aim at promoting the inclusion of pragmatics in the assessment practice, as a relevant dimension in defining the patient's cognitive profile, given its vital role for communication and social interaction in daily life. The combined
Arcara, Giorgio; Bambini, Valentina
The Assessment of Pragmatic Abilities and Cognitive Substrates (APACS) test is a new tool to evaluate pragmatic abilities in clinical populations with acquired communicative deficits, ranging from schizophrenia to neurodegenerative diseases. APACS focuses on two main domains, namely discourse and non-literal language, combining traditional tasks with refined linguistic materials in Italian, in a unified framework inspired by language pragmatics. The test includes six tasks (Interview, Description, Narratives, Figurative Language 1, Humor, Figurative Language 2) and three composite scores (Pragmatic Productions, Pragmatic Comprehension, APACS Total). Psychometric properties and normative data were computed on a sample of 119 healthy participants representative of the general population. The analysis revealed acceptable internal consistency and good test-retest reliability for almost every APACS task, suggesting that items are coherent and performance is consistent over time. Factor analysis supports the validity of the test, revealing two factors possibly related to different facets and substrates of the pragmatic competence. Finally, excellent match between APACS items and scores and the pragmatic constructs measured in the test was evidenced by experts' evaluation of content validity. The performance on APACS showed a general effect of demographic variables, with a negative effect of age and a positive effect of education. The norms were calculated by means of state-of-the-art regression methods. Overall, APACS is a valuable tool for the assessment of pragmatic deficits in verbal communication. The short duration and easiness of administration make the test especially suitable to use in clinical settings. In presenting APACS, we also aim at promoting the inclusion of pragmatics in the assessment practice, as a relevant dimension in defining the patient's cognitive profile, given its vital role for communication and social interaction in daily life. The combined
Borghans, Lex; Golsteyn, Bart H. H.; Zölitz, Ulf
This paper studies the extent to which young children develop their cognitive ability in high and low quality schools. We use a representative panel data set containing cognitive test scores of 4-6 year olds in Dutch schools. School quality is measured by the school’s average achievement test score at age 12. Our results indicate that children in high-quality schools develop their skills substantially faster than those in low-quality schools. The results remain robust to the inclusion of initial ability, parental background, and neighborhood controls. Moreover, using proximity to higher-achieving schools as an instrument for school choice corroborates the results. The robustness of the results points toward a causal interpretation, although it is not possible to erase all doubt about unobserved confounding factors. PMID:26182123
Burzynska, Agnieszka Z.; Wong, Chelsea N.; Voss, Michelle W.; Cooke, Gillian E.; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.
Decline in cognitive performance in old age is linked to both suboptimal neural processing in grey matter (GM) and reduced integrity of white matter (WM), but the whole-brain structure-function-cognition associations remain poorly understood. Here we apply a novel measure of GM processing–moment-to-moment variability in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal (SDBOLD)—to study the associations between GM function during resting state, performance on four main cognitive domains (i.e., fluid intelligence, perceptual speed, episodic memory, vocabulary), and WM microstructural integrity in 91 healthy older adults (aged 60-80 years). We modeled the relations between whole-GM SDBOLD with cognitive performance using multivariate partial least squares analysis. We found that greater SDBOLD was associated with better fluid abilities and memory. Most of regions showing behaviorally relevant SDBOLD (e.g., precuneus and insula) were localized to inter- or intra-network “hubs” that connect and integrate segregated functional domains in the brain. Our results suggest that optimal dynamic range of neural processing in hub regions may support cognitive operations that specifically rely on the most flexible neural processing and complex cross-talk between different brain networks. Finally, we demonstrated that older adults with greater WM integrity in all major WM tracts had also greater SDBOLD and better performance on tests of memory and fluid abilities. We conclude that SDBOLD is a promising functional neural correlate of individual differences in cognition in healthy older adults and is supported by overall WM integrity. PMID:25853882
Nirestean, Aurel; Lukacs, Emese; Cimpan, Dana; Nirestean, Tudor
Narcissistic traits interfere in the process of self-determination and the individual motivational strategies of human beings. The grandiose and vulnerable narcissistic personality subtypes have difficulties in their education, interpersonal relationships and quality of life. The latter is also affected by ageing, whose attributes influence, above all, one's self-esteem, especially in women. Though very fearful of suffering and death, narcissists have a powerful desire to overcome them by cultivating their grandiosity, especially through the mystical and paranormal experiences they relate. The spiritual means of transcending one's self, including the components of magical thinking, can prevent the destruction of self-esteem in narcissists in their third-age.
Folmer, Amy S.; Cole, David A.; Sigal, Amanda B.; Benbow, Lovisa D.; Satterwhite, Lindsay F.; Swygert, Katherine E.; Ciesla, Jeffrey A.
Building upon Nicholls' (1978) work, we examined developmental changes in children's understanding of effort and ability when faced with a negative outcome. In a sample of 166 children and adolescents (ages 5 to 15), younger children conflated the meaning of effort and ability, explaining that smart students work hard; whereas older children understood effort and ability to be reciprocally related constructs, explaining that smart students do not have to work as hard. Understanding the reciprocal relation between effort and ability was correlated with age. Age-related changes in the meaning and correlates of effort and ability were also examined. Developmental implications for attribution theory and achievement motivation are discussed. PMID:18067917
Ability to predict and prevent incipient functional decline in older adults may help prolong independence. Cognition is related to everyday function and easily administered, sensitive cognitive tests may help identify at-risk individuals. Factors like depressive symptoms and self-rated health are also associated with functional ability and may be as important as cognition. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between concurrent longitudinal changes in cognition, depression, self-rated health and everyday function in a well-defined cohort of healthy 85 year olds that were followed-up at the age of 90 in the Elderly in Linköping Screening Assessment 85 study. Regression analyses were used to determine if cognitive decline as assessed by global (the Mini-Mental State Examination) and domain specific (the Cognitive Assessment Battery, CAB) cognitive tests predicted functional decline in the context of changes in depressive symptoms and self-rated health. Results showed deterioration in most variables and as many as 83% of these community-dwelling elders experienced functional difficulties at the age of 90. Slowing-down of processing speed as assessed by the Symbol Digits Modality Test (included in the CAB) accounted for 14% of the variance in functional decline. Worsening self-rated health accounted for an additional 6%, but no other variables reached significance. These results are discussed with an eye to possible preventive interventions that may prolong independence for the steadily growing number of normally aging old-old citizens. PMID:27551749
Cornish, Kim M; Li, Lexin; Kogan, Cary S; Jacquemont, Sebastien; Turk, Jeremy; Dalton, Ann; Hagerman, Randi J; Hagerman, Paul J
Fragile X syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is caused by the silencing of a single gene on the X chromosome, the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. Affected individuals display a unique neurocognitive phenotype that includes significant impairment in inhibitory control, selective attention, working memory, and visual-spatial cognition. In contrast, little is known about the trajectory and specificity of any cognitive impairment associated with the fragile X premutation (i.e., "carrier status") or its relationship with the recently identified neurodegenerative disorder, fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). In the present study, we evaluated a broad sample of 40 premutation males (PM) aged 18-69 years matched on age and IQ to 67 unaffected comparison males (NC). Performance was compared across a range of cognitive domains known to be impaired in fragile X syndrome (i.e., "full mutation"). Tremor was also assessed using a self-report neurological questionnaire. PM displayed statistically significant deficits in their ability to inhibit prepotent responses, differentiating them from NC from age 30 onwards. With increasing age, the two groups follow different trajectories, with PM developing progressively more severe problems in inhibitory control. This deficit also has a strong co-occurrence in males displaying FXTAS-related symptomatology (p<.001). Selective attention was also impaired in PM but did not show any disproportionate aging effect. No other cognitive deficits were observed. We conclude that an inhibitory deficit and its impact across the lifespan are specifically associated with the fragile X premutation status, and may be a precursor for development of a more severe form of cognitive impairment or dementia, which has been reported in patients with the diagnosis of FXTAS.
Schellenberg, E Glenn; Hallam, Susan
The spatial abilities of a large sample of 10 and 11 year olds were tested after they listened to contemporary pop music, music composed by Mozart, or a discussion about the present experiment. After being assigned at random to one of the three listening experiences, each child completed two tests of spatial abilities. Performance on one of the tests (square completion) did not differ as a function of the listening experience, but performance on the other test (paper folding) was superior for children who listened to popular music compared to the other two groups. These findings are consistent with the view that positive benefits of music listening on cognitive abilities are most likely to be evident when the music is enjoyed by the listener.
McFarland, Dennis J
Theories of human mental abilities should be consistent with what is known in neuroscience. Currently, tests of human mental abilities are modeled by cognitive constructs such as attention, working memory, and speed of information processing. These constructs are in turn related to a single general ability. However, brains are very complex systems and whether most of the variability between the operations of different brains can be ascribed to a single factor is questionable. Research in neuroscience suggests that psychological processes such as perception, attention, decision, and executive control are emergent properties of interacting distributed networks. The modules that make up these networks use similar computational processes that involve multiple forms of neural plasticity, each having different time constants. Accordingly, these networks might best be characterized in terms of the information they process rather than in terms of abstract psychological processes such as working memory and executive control.
Aging is associated with cognitive decline in both humans and animals and of all brain regions, the hippocampus appears to be particularly vulnerable to senescence. Age-related spatial learning deficits result from alterations in hippocampal connectivity and plasticity. These changes are differentially expressed in each of the hippocampal fields known as cornu ammonis 1 (CA1), cornu ammonis 3 (CA3), and the dentate gyrus. Each sub-region displays varying degrees of susceptibility to aging. For example, the CA1 region is particularly susceptible in Alzheimer's disease while the CA3 region shows vulnerability to stress and glucocorticoids. Further, in animals, aging is the main factor associated with the decline in adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. This review discusses the relationship between region-specific hippocampal connectivity, morphology, and gene expression alterations and the cognitive deficits associated with senescence. In particular, data are reviewed that illustrate how the molecular changes observed in the CA1, CA3, and dentate regions are associated with age-related learning deficits. This topic is of importance because increased understanding of how gene expression patterns reflect individual differences in cognitive performance is critical to the process of identifying new and clinically useful biomarkers for cognitive aging. PMID:21048902
Aging is associated with cognitive decline in both humans and animals and of all brain regions, the hippocampus appears to be particularly vulnerable to senescence. Age-related spatial learning deficits result from alterations in hippocampal connectivity and plasticity. These changes are differentially expressed in each of the hippocampal fields known as cornu ammonis 1 (CA1), cornu ammonis 3 (CA3), and the dentate gyrus. Each sub-region displays varying degrees of susceptibility to aging. For example, the CA1 region is particularly susceptible in Alzheimer's disease while the CA3 region shows vulnerability to stress and glucocorticoids. Further, in animals, aging is the main factor associated with the decline in adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. This review discusses the relationship between region-specific hippocampal connectivity, morphology, and gene expression alterations and the cognitive deficits associated with senescence. In particular, data are reviewed that illustrate how the molecular changes observed in the CA1, CA3, and dentate regions are associated with age-related learning deficits. This topic is of importance because increased understanding of how gene expression patterns reflect individual differences in cognitive performance is critical to the process of identifying new and clinically useful biomarkers for cognitive aging.
Kennedy, Q; Taylor, J L; Noda, A; Adamson, M; Murphy, G M; Zeitzer, J M; Yesavage, J A
The polymorphic variation in the val158met position of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is associated with differences in executive performance, processing speed, and attention. The purpose of this study is: (1) replicate previous COMT val158met findings on cognitive performance; (2) determine whether COMT val158met effects extend to a real-world task, aircraft navigation performance in a flight simulator; and (3) determine if aviation expertise moderates any effect of COMT val158met status on flight simulator performance. One hundred seventy two pilots aged 41-69 years, who varied in level of aviation training and experience, completed flight simulator, cognitive, and genetic assessments. Results indicate that although no COMT effect was found for an overall measure of flight performance, a positive effect of the met allele was detected for two aspects of cognitive ability: executive functioning and working memory performance. Pilots with the met/met genotype benefited more from increased levels of expertise than other participants on a traffic avoidance measure, which is a component of flight simulator performance. These preliminary results indicate that COMT val158met polymorphic variation can affect a real-world task.
Taylor, J. L.; Noda, A.; Adamson, M.; Murphy, G. M.; Zeitzer, J. M.; Yesavage, J. A.
The polymorphic variation in the val158met position of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is associated with differences in executive performance, processing speed, and attention. The purpose of this study is: (1) replicate previous COMT val158met findings on cognitive performance; (2) determine whether COMT val158met effects extend to a real-world task, aircraft navigation performance in a flight simulator; and (3) determine if aviation expertise moderates any effect of COMT val158met status on flight simulator performance. One hundred seventy two pilots aged 41–69 years, who varied in level of aviation training and experience, completed flight simulator, cognitive, and genetic assessments. Results indicate that although no COMT effect was found for an overall measure of flight performance, a positive effect of the met allele was detected for two aspects of cognitive ability: executive functioning and working memory performance. Pilots with the met/met genotype benefited more from increased levels of expertise than other participants on a traffic avoidance measure, which is a component of flight simulator performance. These preliminary results indicate that COMT val158met polymorphic variation can affect a real-world task. PMID:21193954
The study of individual differences in cognitive abilities is one of the few branches of psychological science to amass a coherent body of empirical knowledge withstanding the test of time. There is wide consensus that cognitive abilities are organized hierarchically, and C. Spearman's (1904) general intelligence occupies the vertex of this hierarchy. In addition, specific abilities beyond general intelligence refine longitudinal forecasts of important social phenomena and paint a rich portrait of this important domain of psychological diversity. This opening article identifies and then reviews 5 major areas concerning the personological significance of cognitive abilities and the methods used to study them. In models of human behavior and important life outcomes, cognitive abilities are critical in more ways than social scientists realize.
Iwata, Ryohei; Ohi, Kazutaka; Kobayashi, Yuki; Masuda, Akira; Iwama, Mizuho; Yasuda, Yuka; Yamamori, Hidenaga; Tanaka, Mika; Hashimoto, Ryota; Itohara, Shigeyoshi; Iwasato, Takuji
A major concern in neuroscience is how cognitive ability in adulthood is affected and regulated by developmental mechanisms. The molecular bases of cognitive development are not well understood. We provide evidence for the involvement of the α2 isoform of Rac-specific guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase)-activating protein (RacGAP) α-chimaerin (chimerin) in this process. We generated and analyzed mice with global and conditional knockouts of α-chimaerin and its isoforms (α1-chimaerin and α2-chimaerin) and found that α-chimaerin plays a wide variety of roles in brain function and that the roles of α1-chimaerin and α2-chimaerin are distinct. Deletion of α2-chimaerin, but not α1-chimaerin, beginning during early development results in an increase in contextual fear learning in adult mice, whereas learning is not altered when α2-chimaerin is deleted only in adulthood. Our findings suggest that α2-chimaerin acts during development to establish normal cognitive ability in adulthood.
Lencz, Todd; Knowles, Emma; Davies, Gail; Guha, Saurav; Liewald, David C; Starr, John M; Djurovic, Srdjan; Melle, Ingrid; Sundet, Kjetil; Christoforou, Andrea; Reinvang, Ivar; Mukherjee, Semanti; Lundervold, Astri; Steen, Vidar M.; John, Majnu; Espeseth, Thomas; Räikkönen, Katri; Widen, Elisabeth; Palotie, Aarno; Eriksson, Johan G; Giegling, Ina; Konte, Bettina; Ikeda, Masashi; Roussos, Panos; Giakoumaki, Stella; Burdick, Katherine E.; Payton, Antony; Ollier, William; Horan, Mike; Donohoe, Gary; Morris, Derek; Corvin, Aiden; Gill, Michael; Pendleton, Neil; Iwata, Nakao; Darvasi, Ariel; Bitsios, Panos; Rujescu, Dan; Lahti, Jari; Hellard, Stephanie Le; Keller, Matthew C.; Andreassen, Ole A.; Deary, Ian J; Glahn, David C.; Malhotra, Anil K.
It has long been recognized that generalized deficits in cognitive ability represent a core component of schizophrenia, evident prior to full illness onset and independent of medication. The possibility of genetic overlap between risk for schizophrenia and cognitive phenotypes has been suggested by the presence of cognitive deficits in first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia; however, until recently, molecular genetic approaches to test this overlap have been lacking. Within the last few years, large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of schizophrenia have demonstrated that a substantial proportion of the heritability of the disorder is explained by a polygenic component consisting of many common SNPs of extremely small effect. Similar results have been reported in GWAS of general cognitive ability. The primary aim of the present study is to provide the first molecular genetic test of the classic endophenotype hypothesis, which states that alleles associated with reduced cognitive ability should also serve to increase risk for schizophrenia. We tested the endophenotype hypothesis by applying polygenic SNP scores derived from a large-scale cognitive GWAS meta-analysis (~5000 individuals from 9 non-clinical cohorts comprising the COGENT consortium) to four schizophrenia case-control cohorts. As predicted, cases had significantly lower cognitive polygenic scores compared to controls. In parallel, polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia were associated with lower general cognitive ability. Additionally, using our large cognitive meta-analytic dataset, we identified nominally significant cognitive associations for several SNPs that have previously been robustly associated with schizophrenia susceptibility. Results provide molecular confirmation of the genetic overlap between schizophrenia and general cognitive ability, and may provide additional insight into pathophysiology of the disorder. PMID:24342994