Cognitive plasticity in adulthood and old age: Gauging the generality of cognitive intervention effects

Hannes Noack, Martin Lövdén, Florian Schmiedek, Ulman Lindenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

124 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Interventions enabling aging individuals to fulfill their plastic potential promise to postpone, attenuate, or even reverse the adverse effects of senescent brain changes on cognitive abilities and everyday competence in old age. Based on an overview of the concept of plasticity in lifespan development, we selectively review evidence from cognitive intervention studies and conclude that most of them have failed to observe generalizable performance improvements, as documented by the small size and scope of positive transfer to untrained tasks. We further note that generally accepted criteria for defining transfer distance are lacking, rendering the relevant evidence difficult to interpret. Hence, we propose a taxonomy of transfer distance based on the structure of human intellectual abilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-453
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurology

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