Cohort effects in verbal memory function and practice effects: A population-based study

Hiroko Dodge, Jian Zhu, Tiffany F. Hughes, Beth E. Snitz, Chung Chou H Chang, Erin P. Jacobsen, Mary Ganguli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: In many developed countries, cognitive functioning (as measured by neuropsychological tests) appears to be improving over time in the population at large, in parallel with the declining age-specific incidence of dementia. Here, we investigated cohort effects in the age-associated trajectories of verbal memory function in older adults. We sought to determine whether they varied by decade of birth and, if so, whether the change would be explained by increasing educational attainment. Methods: Pooling data from two prospective US population-based studies between 1987 and 2015, we identified four birth cohorts born 1902-1911, 1912-1921, 1922-1931, and 1932-1943. Among these cohorts, we compared age-associated trajectories both of performance and of practice effects on immediate and delayed recall of a 10-item Word List. We used mixed effects models, first including birth cohorts and cohort X age interaction terms, and then controlling for education and education X age interaction. Results: We observed significant cohort effects in performance (baseline and age-associated trajectories) in both immediate recall and delayed recall, with function improving between the earliest- and latest-born cohorts. For both tests, we also observed cohort effects on practice effects with the highest levels in the latest-born cohorts. Including education in the models did not attenuate these effects. Conclusions: In this longitudinal population study, across four decade-long birth cohorts, there were significant improvements in test performance and practice effects in verbal memory tests, not explained by education. Whether this reflects declining disease incidence or other secular trends awaits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Fingerprint

Cohort Effect
Education
Parturition
Short-Term Memory
Population
Birth Order
Neuropsychological Tests
Incidence
Developed Countries
Longitudinal Studies
Dementia
Meta-Analysis
Practice (Psychology)

Keywords

  • cognitive testing
  • neuropsychological testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Dodge, H., Zhu, J., Hughes, T. F., Snitz, B. E., Chang, C. C. H., Jacobsen, E. P., & Ganguli, M. (2017). Cohort effects in verbal memory function and practice effects: A population-based study. International Psychogeriatrics, 29(1), 137-148. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1041610216001551

Cohort effects in verbal memory function and practice effects : A population-based study. / Dodge, Hiroko; Zhu, Jian; Hughes, Tiffany F.; Snitz, Beth E.; Chang, Chung Chou H; Jacobsen, Erin P.; Ganguli, Mary.

In: International Psychogeriatrics, Vol. 29, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 137-148.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dodge, H, Zhu, J, Hughes, TF, Snitz, BE, Chang, CCH, Jacobsen, EP & Ganguli, M 2017, 'Cohort effects in verbal memory function and practice effects: A population-based study', International Psychogeriatrics, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 137-148. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1041610216001551
Dodge, Hiroko ; Zhu, Jian ; Hughes, Tiffany F. ; Snitz, Beth E. ; Chang, Chung Chou H ; Jacobsen, Erin P. ; Ganguli, Mary. / Cohort effects in verbal memory function and practice effects : A population-based study. In: International Psychogeriatrics. 2017 ; Vol. 29, No. 1. pp. 137-148.
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