Disuse as time away from a cognitively demanding job; how does it temporally or developmentally impact late-life cognition?

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Abstract

Cognitive aging and disuse atrophy during a non-working period are often indiscernible due to retirement. This study uses a latent growth curve model that estimates cognitive change, independently and jointly by time over a period, time away from work, and the cognitive job demands of the latest job, while adjusting for attrition biases. Data consist of 14,124 Health and Retirement Study participants whose cognition was assessed at least twice between 1996 and 2016, with the word-recall and the vocabulary tests. Independently of cognitive aging, the word-recall score temporarily declines for the following 17 years of a disuse period while the vocabulary score slightly and constantly improves. In both tests, cognitive aging accelerates over time away from work, and leaving a more cognitively demanding job attenuates cognitive decline during a disuse period and does not slow cognitive aging itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101484
JournalIntelligence
Volume82
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Keywords

  • Cognitive aging
  • Cognitive reserve
  • Disuse atrophy
  • Joint modeling
  • Longitudinal analysis
  • Use-or-lose-ithypothesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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