The role of cognitive stimulation on the relations between age and cognitive functioning

Psychol Aging. 2002 Dec;17(4):548-57. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.17.4.548.


To make a convincing argument that cognitive stimulation moderates age trends in cognition there must be (a) a negative relation between age and level of cognitive stimulation, (b) a positive relation between level of cognitive stimulation and level of cognitive functioning, and (c) evidence of an interaction between age and cognitive stimulation in the prediction of cognitive functioning. These conditions were investigated in a study in which 204 adults between 20 and 91 years of age completed an activity inventory and performed a variety of cognitive tasks. Only the 1st condition received empirical support, and, thus, the results of this study provide little evidence for the hypothesis that cognitive stimulation preserves or enhances cognitive functioning that would otherwise decline.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Cognition Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Task Performance and Analysis