Demographic Effects on Longitudinal Semantic Processing, Working Memory, and Cognitive Speed

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Vonk , J , Higby , E , Nikolaev , A , Cahana-Amitay , D , Spiro III , A , Albert , M L & Obler , L K 2020 , ' Demographic Effects on Longitudinal Semantic Processing, Working Memory, and Cognitive Speed ' , Journals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences , vol. 75 , no. 9 , pp. 1850–1862 . https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbaa080

Title: Demographic Effects on Longitudinal Semantic Processing, Working Memory, and Cognitive Speed
Author: Vonk, Jet; Higby, Eve; Nikolaev, Alexandre; Cahana-Amitay, Dalia; Spiro III, Avron; Albert, Martin L; Obler, Loraine K.
Contributor organization: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
University of Helsinki
Date: 2020
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Journals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences
ISSN: 1079-5014
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbaa080
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/320995
Abstract: OBJECTIVES To better understand and compare effects of aging and education across domains of language and cognition, we investigated whether 1) these domains show different associations with age and education, 2) these domains show similar patterns of age-related change over time, and 3) education moderates the rate of decline in these domains. METHODS We analyzed data from 306 older adults aged 55-85 at baseline of whom 116 returned for follow-up 4-8 years later. An exploratory factor analysis identified domains of language and cognition across a range of tasks. A confirmatory factor analysis analyzed cross-sectional associations of age and education with these domains. Subsequently, mixed linear models analyzed longitudinal change as a function of age and moderation by education. RESULTS Two language domains, i.e., semantic control and semantic memory efficiency, and two cognitive domains, i.e., working memory and cognitive speed, were identified. Older age negatively affected all domains, but semantic memory efficiency and higher education positively affected all domains except cognitive speed at baseline. In language domains, a steeper age-related decline was observed after age 73-74 compared to younger ages, while cognition declined linearly with age. Greater educational attainment did not protect the rate of decline over time in any domain. DISCUSSION Separate domains show varying effects of age and education at baseline, language versus cognitive domains show dissimilar patterns of age-related change over time, and education does not moderate the rate of decline in these domains. These findings broaden our understanding of age effects on cognitive and language abilities by placing observed age differences in context.Objectives: To better understand and compare effects of aging and education across domains of language and cognition, we investigated whether (a) these domains show different associations with age and education, (b) these do- mains show similar patterns of age-related change over time, and (c) education moderates the rate of decline in these domains. Method: We analyzed data from 306 older adults aged 55–85 at baseline of whom 116 returned for follow-up 4–8 years later. An exploratory factor analysis identified domains of language and cognition across a range of tasks. A confirmatory factor analysis analyzed cross-sectional associations of age and education with these domains. Subsequently, mixed linear models analyzed longitudinal change as a function of age and moderation by education. Results: We identified 2 language domains, that is, semantic control and semantic memory efficiency, and 2 cognitive domains, that is, working memory and cognitive speed. Older age negatively affected all domains except semantic memory efficiency, and higher education positively affected all domains except cognitive speed at baseline. In language domains, a steeper age-related decline was observed after age 73–74 compared to younger ages, while cognition declined linearly with age. Greater educational attainment did not protect the rate of decline over time in any domain. Discussion: Separate domains show varying effects of age and education at baseline, language versus cognitive domains show dissimilar patterns of age-related change over time, and education does not moderate the rate of decline in these domains. These findings broaden our understanding of age effects on cognitive and language abilities by placing observed age differences in context.
Subject: 515 Psychology
6121 Languages
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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