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Scientific article
English

The fate of cognition in very old age: six-year longitudinal findings in the Berlin Aging Study (BASE)

Published inPsychology and aging, vol. 18, no. 2, p. 318-331
Publication date2003
Abstract

The authors report full-information longitudinal age gradients in 4 intellectual abilities on the basis of 6-year longitudinal changes in 132 individuals (mean age at T1 = 78.27, age range = 70-100) from the Berlin Aging Study. Relative to the cross-sectional parent sample (N = 516, mean age at T1 = 84.92 years), this sample was positively selected because of differential mortality and experimental attrition. Perceptual speed, memory, and fluency declined with age. In contrast, knowledge remained stable up to age 90, with evidence for decline thereafter. Age gradients were more negative in old old (n = 66, mean age at T1 = 83.04) than in old (n = 66, mean age at T1 = 73.77) participants. Rates of decline did not differ reliably between men and women or between participants with high versus low life-history status. They conclude that intellectual development after age 70 varies by distance to death, age, and intellectual ability domain.

Keywords
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging/physiology
  • Cognition Disorders/diagnosis/epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
Citation (ISO format)
SINGER, Tania et al. The fate of cognition in very old age: six-year longitudinal findings in the Berlin Aging Study (BASE). In: Psychology and aging, 2003, vol. 18, n° 2, p. 318–331. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.18.2.318
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ISSN of the journal0882-7974
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