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Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind$
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Pamela M. Greenwood and Raja Parasuraman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262017145

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262017145.001.0001

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Ameliorating Cognitive Aging: A Neurocognitive Framework

Ameliorating Cognitive Aging: A Neurocognitive Framework

(p.49) 4 Ameliorating Cognitive Aging: A Neurocognitive Framework
Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind

Pamela M. Greenwood

Raja Parasuraman

The MIT Press

This chapter presents a hypothesis which states that interaction between brain plasticity and cognitive plasticity is the fundamental mechanism for successful cognitive aging. The role of cognitive demand and neuronal plasticity in reorganizing the aging brain is explored with a focus on the ability of neuronal plasticity to reorganize cortical circuits. The chapter presents studies which show that neuronal activity can be altered with the help of memory training. Studies suggesting that neurogenesis occurs in older adults and that new neurons have the ability to create functional connections are also presented. The role of environmental enrichment and learning experiences in changing the cortical mass is discussed.

Keywords:   brain plasticity, cognitive plasticity, cognitive aging, cognitive demand, cortical circuits

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