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Brent J. Small & Cathy L. McEvoy

In: Handbook of Cognitive Aging: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Chapter 34: Does Participation in Cognitive Activities Buffer Age-Related Cognitive Decline?

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Does Participation in Cognitive Activities Buffer Age-Related Cognitive Decline?
Does participation in cognitive activities buffer age-related cognitive decline?

In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the role of lifestyle activities modifying the presence of age-related deficits in cognitive functioning. Indeed, this interest can be seen in both scientific publications (Kramer & Willis, 2002; Stern, 2007) as well as more popular media (Einstein & McDaniel, 2004; Small & Vorgan, 2006). In part, this reflects the fact that it is appealing to believe modifying age-related changes in cognitive performance may be under our own control, often evoking the adage of “Use it or lose it.” Although there is much interest in the role of lifestyle activities as mediators of age-related declines in cognitive performance, definitive evidence ...

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