Determinants of Changes in Cognitive Functioning in the Elderly

Katarina Mišetić, Maida Koso-Drljević, Nermin Đapo


Questions about cognitive aging are inherent questions about why individuals of different ages or from different subpopulations differ from each other and how these differences change over time. One of the main goals of cognitive gerontology is to describe how cognitive abilities change over time and to link these changes with brain aging. When we talk about the cognitive deterioration in the elderly, we have to consider great individual differences in cognitive functioning, that are greater than in the earlier period of life. In neurophysiology, significant progress has been made in mapping the brain areas responsible for changes in cognitive functioning; whether biological weakening will manifest in our behavior is greatly determined by life experiences and habits. Emotional stability, openness to experience, higher level of education, higher socioeconomic status, enjoyment in intellectual activities through the lifespan, and better physical and mental health are positively correlated with preserved cognitive abilities among older adults.


cognitive functions; brain; aging; individual differences

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