Genetics of Cognitive Aging

Matt McGue, Wendy Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Numerous large-scale, cross-sectional and longitudinal investigations have helped to characterize the basic nature of age differences and age changes in cognitive functioning across much of the adult lifespan. We know, for example, that average cognitive test performance declines in adulthood, although the specific age when decline first emerges varies across abilities and in some cases may occur earlier than previously appreciated (Salthouse, 2004). We also know that the timing and rate of decline vary markedly across individuals (Salthouse and Ferrer-Caja, 2003). Although the target of considerable research, the origins of individual differences in the aging of cognitive abilities remain largely unknown (Anstey and Christensen, 2000). In the search for the sources of individual differences in cognitive aging, some researchers emphasize the importance of neurobiological processes (Hedden and Gabrieli, 2005), while others emphasize the importance of psychosocial factors (Pushkar, Etezadi, Andres, Arbuckle, Schwartzman, and Chaikelson, 1999). Although these two approaches are distinct, they need not be incompatible as latelife cognitive functioning is likely the result of a complex interplay between neurobiological changes and psychosocial adaptations (Baltes and Baltes, 1990).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Aging and Cognition
Subtitle of host publicationThird Edition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages42
ISBN (Electronic)9781136872143
ISBN (Print)9780203837665
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2008 by Psychology Press.


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