Cognitive ageing: A positive perspective

Shira Zimerman, Lynn Hasher, David Goldstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


Ageing is characterized by decreased brain volume, changes in general neuronal efficacy and connectivity and by a number of medical conditions, any or all of which contribute to widely reported age-related declines in cognition and memory. However, a number of findings in the recent literature suggest that the age-related declines do not characterize all of cognition, and that there may even be domains in which older adults outperform younger adults. We offer an overview of this evidence along with a review of ways in which standard laboratory procedures may be biased against older adults, leading to an underestimation of their true abilities, as well as to an overestimation of the magnitude of age differences. These two sections raise questions regarding how brain functions compensate in the face of widely reported neurobiological differences with age, and suggest that the full abilities of older adults have yet to be recognized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Paradoxical Brain
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780511978098
ISBN (Print)9780521115575
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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