"All of us are very ignorant. What happens is
that not all are ignorant of the same things."

Compensation factors of cognitive aging

Previous research suggests that factors such as cognitive engagement, physical activity and social context may act as more general modulators of cognitive decline. This coordinated project focuses on investigating two methods or factors that may help remediating or compensating for the effects of cognitive decline in old age. This is a longitudinal study with experimental and control groups. It is inspired from the engagement model of cognitive optimization suggesting that a lifestyle marked by social and intelectual engagement may mitigate age-related declines on cognitive functioning. It uses new cutting-edge information computing technology (ICT) solutions to improve or simply maintain cognitive functions in the elderly. The project investigates how the treatment reduces the effects of cognitive age-related decline in executive control processes, attention, working memory and long-term memory using behavioral and imaging measures. The results will provide significant knowledge on the potential of new ICT technologies to delay, compensate, and even prevent common chronic problems experienced by the elderly population. The hypothesis is that social integration, connectiviness, mental stimulation through ICT solutions and brain training with videogames, will promote brain and mental health and independence. Ultimately, the objective is to contribute to the understanding of factors that help avoiding the (personal and economic) consequences of long-term care in geriatric institutions. The study is funded by the Spanish Government, Ministery of Science and Innovation (currently Economy and Competitiveness) to Dr. Soledad Ballesteros (project coordinator and principal investigator, subproject 1). Dr. Pilar Andrés is principal investigator, (subproject 2).

Related Publications

Ballesteros, S., Bischof, G. N., Goh, J. O.,& Park, D. C. (2013). Neural correlates of conceptual object priming in young and older adults: An event-related fMRI study. Neurobiology of Aging, 34, 1254-1264.

Ballesteros, S., Mayas,& Reales J.M.(2013), Cognitive function in healthy aging and mild cognitive impaired older adults. Psicothema, 25, 18-24.

Ballesteros, S., Peter, C., Waterworth, E. L.,& Waterworth, J. A. (2012), The role of ICT and networking in healthy aging. The 5th ACM International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments : PETRA 2012 [CDROM]. New York: ACM, 2012.