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The effect of age on fluid intelligence is fully mediated by physical health
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2013 (English)In: Archives of gerontology and geriatrics (Print), ISSN 0167-4943, E-ISSN 1872-6976, Vol. 57, no 1, 100-109 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study investigated the extent to which the effect of age on cognitive ability is predicted by individual differences in physical health. The sample consisted of 118 volunteer subjects who were healthy and ranging in age from 26 to 91. The examinations included a clinical investigation, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain neuroimaging, and a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. The effect of age on fluid IQ with and without visual spatial praxis and on crystallized IQ was tested whether being fully-, partially-or non-mediated by physical health. Structural equation analyses showed that the best and most parsimonious fit to the data was provided by models that were fully mediated for fluid IQ without praxis, non-mediated for crystallized IQ and partially mediated for fluid IQ with praxis. The diseases of the circulatory and nervous systems were the major mediators. It was concluded from the pattern of findings that the effect of age on fluid intelligence is fully mediated by physical health, while crystallized intelligence is non-mediated and visual spatial praxis is partially mediated, influenced mainly by direct effects of age. Our findings imply that improving health by acting against the common age-related circulatory-and nervous system diseases and risk factors will oppose the decline in fluid intelligence with age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 57, no 1, 100-109 p.
Keyword [en]
Brain neuroimaging, Circulatory system, Cognitive aging, Nervous system, Neuropsychological assessment, Physical health
National Category
Genetics Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-90183DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2013.02.010ISI: 000317574200016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-90183DiVA: diva2:623830
Funder
Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF)
Note

AuthorCount:2;

Available from: 2013-05-28 Created: 2013-05-28 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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