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Major Issues in Cognitive Aging$
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Timothy Salthouse

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372151

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372151.001.0001

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Practical Consequences and Potential Interventions

Practical Consequences and Potential Interventions

(p.149) 6 Practical Consequences and Potential Interventions
Major Issues in Cognitive Aging

Timothy A. Salthouse

Oxford University Press

Assuming that the phenomena described in earlier chapters are accepted as robust and valid, two questions are often asked: (1) Why are there not greater consequences of these cognitive declines in everyday life?; and (2) What can be done to prevent, or remediate, these declines? These are the two major topics addressed in this chapter. Age-related cognitive declines seem well established, but there are a number of factors that might explain why they do not have greater consequences in everyday life. Among these are that few situations require maximum levels of functioning, many activities have minimal cognitive demands, and in most situations there is a benefit of experience which is usually positively associated with age. Furthermore, one manifestation of increased experience may be accommodations in which activities are performed, and in how they are performed. Although there has been considerable interest in interventions that might prevent or reverse age-related cognitive decline, the currently available research findings are more intriguing than they are definitive.

Keywords:   cognitive aging, cognition, cognitive functioning

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