Objective: Studies of "healthy" cognitive aging often focus on a limited set of measures that decline with age. The current study argues that defining and supporting healthy cognition requires understanding diverse cognitive performance across the lifespan. Method: Data from the Cambridge Centre for Aging and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN) cohort was examined across a range of cognitive domains. Performance was related to lifestyle including education, social engagement, and enrichment activities. Results: Results indicate variable relationships between cognition and age (positive, negative, or no relationship). Principal components analysis indicated maintained cognitive diversity across the adult lifespan, and that cognition-lifestyle relationships differed by age and domain. Discussion: Our findings support a view of normal cognitive aging as a lifelong developmental process with diverse relationships between cognition, lifestyle, and age. This reinforces the need for large-scale studies of cognitive aging to include a wider range of both ages and cognitive tasks.
Keywords: cognitive function; cognitive reserve; healthy aging; lifestyle; principal components analysis.