Cognitively stimulating activities: Effects on cognition across four studies with up to 21 years of longitudinal data

Meghan B. Mitchell, Cynthia R. Cimino, Andreana Benitez, Cassandra L. Brown, Laura E. Gibbons, Robert F. Kennison, Steven D. Shirk, Alireza Atri, Annie Robitaille, Stuart W S MacDonald, Magnus Lindwall, Elizabeth M. Zelinski, Sherry L. Willis, K. Warner Schaie, Boo Johansson, Roger A. Dixon, Dan M. Mungas, Scott Hofer, Andrea M. Piccinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Engagement in cognitively stimulating activities has been considered to maintain or strengthen cognitive skills, thereby minimizing age-related cognitive decline. While the idea that there may be a modifiable behavior that could lower risk for cognitive decline is appealing and potentially empowering for older adults, research findings have not consistently supported the beneficial effects of engaging in cognitively stimulating tasks. Using observational studies of naturalistic cognitive activities, we report a series of mixed effects models that include baseline and change in cognitive activity predicting cognitive outcomes over up to 21 years in four longitudinal studies of aging. Consistent evidence was found for cross-sectional relationships between level of cognitive activity and cognitive test performance. Baseline activity at an earlier age did not, however, predict rate of decline later in life, thus not supporting the concept that engaging in cognitive activity at an earlier point in time increases one's ability to mitigate future age-related cognitive decline. In contrast, change in activity was associated with relative change in cognitive performance. Results therefore suggest that change in cognitive activity from one's previous level has at least a transitory association with cognitive performance measured at the same point in time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number461592
JournalJournal of Aging Research
Volume2012
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cognition
Aptitude
Observational Studies
Longitudinal Studies
Research
Cognitive Dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Mitchell, M. B., Cimino, C. R., Benitez, A., Brown, C. L., Gibbons, L. E., Kennison, R. F., ... Piccinin, A. M. (2012). Cognitively stimulating activities: Effects on cognition across four studies with up to 21 years of longitudinal data. Journal of Aging Research, 2012, [461592]. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/461592

Cognitively stimulating activities : Effects on cognition across four studies with up to 21 years of longitudinal data. / Mitchell, Meghan B.; Cimino, Cynthia R.; Benitez, Andreana; Brown, Cassandra L.; Gibbons, Laura E.; Kennison, Robert F.; Shirk, Steven D.; Atri, Alireza; Robitaille, Annie; MacDonald, Stuart W S; Lindwall, Magnus; Zelinski, Elizabeth M.; Willis, Sherry L.; Schaie, K. Warner; Johansson, Boo; Dixon, Roger A.; Mungas, Dan M.; Hofer, Scott; Piccinin, Andrea M.

In: Journal of Aging Research, Vol. 2012, 461592, 2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mitchell, MB, Cimino, CR, Benitez, A, Brown, CL, Gibbons, LE, Kennison, RF, Shirk, SD, Atri, A, Robitaille, A, MacDonald, SWS, Lindwall, M, Zelinski, EM, Willis, SL, Schaie, KW, Johansson, B, Dixon, RA, Mungas, DM, Hofer, S & Piccinin, AM 2012, 'Cognitively stimulating activities: Effects on cognition across four studies with up to 21 years of longitudinal data', Journal of Aging Research, vol. 2012, 461592. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/461592
Mitchell, Meghan B. ; Cimino, Cynthia R. ; Benitez, Andreana ; Brown, Cassandra L. ; Gibbons, Laura E. ; Kennison, Robert F. ; Shirk, Steven D. ; Atri, Alireza ; Robitaille, Annie ; MacDonald, Stuart W S ; Lindwall, Magnus ; Zelinski, Elizabeth M. ; Willis, Sherry L. ; Schaie, K. Warner ; Johansson, Boo ; Dixon, Roger A. ; Mungas, Dan M. ; Hofer, Scott ; Piccinin, Andrea M. / Cognitively stimulating activities : Effects on cognition across four studies with up to 21 years of longitudinal data. In: Journal of Aging Research. 2012 ; Vol. 2012.
@article{2de93bfc70df480fa19325de7814ee47,
title = "Cognitively stimulating activities: Effects on cognition across four studies with up to 21 years of longitudinal data",
abstract = "Engagement in cognitively stimulating activities has been considered to maintain or strengthen cognitive skills, thereby minimizing age-related cognitive decline. While the idea that there may be a modifiable behavior that could lower risk for cognitive decline is appealing and potentially empowering for older adults, research findings have not consistently supported the beneficial effects of engaging in cognitively stimulating tasks. Using observational studies of naturalistic cognitive activities, we report a series of mixed effects models that include baseline and change in cognitive activity predicting cognitive outcomes over up to 21 years in four longitudinal studies of aging. Consistent evidence was found for cross-sectional relationships between level of cognitive activity and cognitive test performance. Baseline activity at an earlier age did not, however, predict rate of decline later in life, thus not supporting the concept that engaging in cognitive activity at an earlier point in time increases one's ability to mitigate future age-related cognitive decline. In contrast, change in activity was associated with relative change in cognitive performance. Results therefore suggest that change in cognitive activity from one's previous level has at least a transitory association with cognitive performance measured at the same point in time.",
author = "Mitchell, {Meghan B.} and Cimino, {Cynthia R.} and Andreana Benitez and Brown, {Cassandra L.} and Gibbons, {Laura E.} and Kennison, {Robert F.} and Shirk, {Steven D.} and Alireza Atri and Annie Robitaille and MacDonald, {Stuart W S} and Magnus Lindwall and Zelinski, {Elizabeth M.} and Willis, {Sherry L.} and Schaie, {K. Warner} and Boo Johansson and Dixon, {Roger A.} and Mungas, {Dan M.} and Scott Hofer and Piccinin, {Andrea M.}",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1155/2012/461592",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "2012",
journal = "Journal of Aging Research",
issn = "2090-2204",
publisher = "Hindawi Publishing Corporation",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cognitively stimulating activities

T2 - Effects on cognition across four studies with up to 21 years of longitudinal data

AU - Mitchell, Meghan B.

AU - Cimino, Cynthia R.

AU - Benitez, Andreana

AU - Brown, Cassandra L.

AU - Gibbons, Laura E.

AU - Kennison, Robert F.

AU - Shirk, Steven D.

AU - Atri, Alireza

AU - Robitaille, Annie

AU - MacDonald, Stuart W S

AU - Lindwall, Magnus

AU - Zelinski, Elizabeth M.

AU - Willis, Sherry L.

AU - Schaie, K. Warner

AU - Johansson, Boo

AU - Dixon, Roger A.

AU - Mungas, Dan M.

AU - Hofer, Scott

AU - Piccinin, Andrea M.

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - Engagement in cognitively stimulating activities has been considered to maintain or strengthen cognitive skills, thereby minimizing age-related cognitive decline. While the idea that there may be a modifiable behavior that could lower risk for cognitive decline is appealing and potentially empowering for older adults, research findings have not consistently supported the beneficial effects of engaging in cognitively stimulating tasks. Using observational studies of naturalistic cognitive activities, we report a series of mixed effects models that include baseline and change in cognitive activity predicting cognitive outcomes over up to 21 years in four longitudinal studies of aging. Consistent evidence was found for cross-sectional relationships between level of cognitive activity and cognitive test performance. Baseline activity at an earlier age did not, however, predict rate of decline later in life, thus not supporting the concept that engaging in cognitive activity at an earlier point in time increases one's ability to mitigate future age-related cognitive decline. In contrast, change in activity was associated with relative change in cognitive performance. Results therefore suggest that change in cognitive activity from one's previous level has at least a transitory association with cognitive performance measured at the same point in time.

AB - Engagement in cognitively stimulating activities has been considered to maintain or strengthen cognitive skills, thereby minimizing age-related cognitive decline. While the idea that there may be a modifiable behavior that could lower risk for cognitive decline is appealing and potentially empowering for older adults, research findings have not consistently supported the beneficial effects of engaging in cognitively stimulating tasks. Using observational studies of naturalistic cognitive activities, we report a series of mixed effects models that include baseline and change in cognitive activity predicting cognitive outcomes over up to 21 years in four longitudinal studies of aging. Consistent evidence was found for cross-sectional relationships between level of cognitive activity and cognitive test performance. Baseline activity at an earlier age did not, however, predict rate of decline later in life, thus not supporting the concept that engaging in cognitive activity at an earlier point in time increases one's ability to mitigate future age-related cognitive decline. In contrast, change in activity was associated with relative change in cognitive performance. Results therefore suggest that change in cognitive activity from one's previous level has at least a transitory association with cognitive performance measured at the same point in time.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84867832042&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84867832042&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1155/2012/461592

DO - 10.1155/2012/461592

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84867832042

VL - 2012

JO - Journal of Aging Research

JF - Journal of Aging Research

SN - 2090-2204

M1 - 461592

ER -