Cognition in aging - contributions of cognitive neuroscience and cognitive neurogenetics

Abstract

The project aims to extend our understanding of cognitive aging by integrating research traditions in experimental cognitive psychology, brain imaging and molecular genetics. The framework for integration is a multilevel approach focusing first on the cognitive neurogenetics of attention and memory, then examining the dynamics of brain-cognition-genetics interaction in an adult lifespan perspective, and finally including aspects of cognitive pathologies. The perspective is that of a dynamic brain-genetics-cognition relation that is sensitive to neurobiological changes during the life span, but strives to maintain function. The project group has access to several large population data bases from Norway, Sweden, UK and USA including brain scans and genome wide association (GWAS) data. We plan to develop strategies for using the large number of participants to test hypothesis not otherwise testable. The project group is composed of experts in the relevant fields, and collaborates closely with researchers focusing on age related cognitive pathologies. Thus we are able to study both successful, normal cognitive aging and conditions where normal cognitive function cannot be maintained.

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