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Examination of the processing speed account in a population-based longitudinal study with narrow age cohort design
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2008 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 49, no 5, 419-428 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The processing speed account suggests that general slowing of mental processing speed results in an overall decline, especially age-related decline, in other cognitive domains. Support for the speed account comes mainly from cross-sectional studies with participants that vary in age (age-heterogeneous samples). This study investigated how well variations in processing speed predict change of episodic recall in a longitudinal framework and examined with the Narrow Age Cohort (NAC) design. Data were obtained from Betula, a population-based longitudinal study. Both 5-year (n= 490; Time 3 – Time 4) and 10-year follow-up results (n= 608; Time 1 – Time 3) were used. In both samples, which were subjected to prospective dementia screening, we found considerably weaker associations in longitudinal data compared to cross-sectional, and also weaker associations in age-homogeneous than in age-heterogeneous samples. The results provide little support for the speed account.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 49, no 5, 419-428 p.
Keyword [en]
cognitive aging, memory, processing speed, longitudinal, cohort
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-15081DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2008.00663.xISI: 000259228400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-15081DiVA: diva2:181601
Note
The Betula Longitudinal Project is supported by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (1988-0082:17), Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research (D1988-0092, D1989-0115, D1990-0074, D1991-0258, D1992-0143, D1997-0756, D1997-1841, D1999-0739, and B1999-474), Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (F377/1988-2000), and the Swedish Council for Social Research (1988-1990:88-0082, and 311/1991-2000). Åke Wahlin was funded by a grant from the Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Dnr 421-2002-2575). Ola Sternäng was supported by grants from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and from the Foundation Lars Hiertas Minne.Available from: 2008-11-20 Created: 2008-11-20 Last updated: 2010-11-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Individual differences in the aging memory: Mediation accounts, moderators, and contextual factors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Individual differences in the aging memory: Mediation accounts, moderators, and contextual factors
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Within the field of cognitive aging, mediation accounts propose that age affects cognitive abilities through a mediator variable. Most of these mediation accounts are developed based on studies with cross-sectional designs. We had access to data from Betula, a longitudinal population-based multi-cohort project, and tested, in Study I, the well-known processing speed account (general age-related slowing of mental processing speed affects cognitive abilities negatively) (Salthouse, 1996). Interestingly, no support was found for the speed account. In Study II, a second mediation theory was tested, the common cause account (Lindenberger & Baltes, 1994). This notion suggests a link between sensory and cognitive abilities, where both abilities decline with age in a similar fashion because of a third factor, a common cause. Again, no support for a major account of cognitive decline was found. In Study III, interactions including vascular health and genetic status (APOE status) as potential interacting predictors of cognitive development were examined. A difference in the distribution of interaction effects on episodic and semantic memory development was found. Study IV, finally, consisted of a comparison of cognitive aging in two very different countries, Bangladesh (Poverty and Health in Ageing) and Sweden (Betula). The findings were surprising since chronological age, in Bangladesh, did not exert much effect on declarative memory in older people, in contrast to Betula and most other aging studies, predominantly performed in the Western world. Results from these four studies are discussed with respect to theoretical implications and methodological considerations. Recommendations for future research focus are made and implications for explanatory models of cognitive aging are elaborated on.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2010. 73 p.
Keyword
cognitive aging, interactions, context, mediation accounts, cross-cultural, longitudinal, individual differences
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-45917 (URN)978-91-7447-158-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-01-14, David Magnusson salen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Manuscript.Available from: 2010-12-22 Created: 2010-11-16 Last updated: 2010-12-01Bibliographically approved

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