Full course description
This course covers a broad range of topics in the field of cognitive development and ageing. The initial focus is on healthy ageing, to better understand processing changes that may arise in abnormal aging such as in neurodegeneration. Important questions covered will include: What is ageing? What neurobiological and cognitive mechanisms determine whether a person ages pathologically, normally, or successfully? Can the ageing process be influenced? To address these questions, students will critically reflect on influential theories, state-of-the-art research, established research methods, and clinical interventions. General themes are physical ageing, neural ageing, cognitive ageing, pathological ageing (mild cognitive impairment, dementia, Parkinson’s disease), intervention strategies, and methodological issues in ageing research.
Students are able to understand:
mechanisms of physical ageing, evolutionary theories of ageing, neural aging, amyloid cascade hypothesis, temporal lobe dysfunction, frontal lobe dysfunction, subcortical dysfunction, processing-speed theory, white matter decline, decline of cognitive control, inhibition deficit hypothesis, sensory ageing, default-mode network dysfunction, parietal lobe dysfunction, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and other dementia subtypes, successful ageing, reserve theories, compensation and intervention, and emotional ageing.