Today’s Older Adults Are Cognitively Fitter Than Older Adults Were 20 Years Ago, but When and How They Decline Is No Different Than in the Past

Denis Gerstorf, Nilam Ram, Johanna Drewelies, Sandra Duezel, Peter Eibich, Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen, Stefan Liebig, Jan Goebel, Ilja Demuth, Arno Villringer, Gert G. Wagner, Ulman Lindenberger & Paolo Ghisletta
History-graded increases in older adults’ levels of cognitive performance are well documented, but little is known about historical shifts in within-person change: cognitive decline and onset of decline. We combined harmonized perceptual-motor speed data from independent samples recruited in 1990 and 2010 to obtain 2,008 age-matched longitudinal observations (M = 78 years, 50% women) from 228 participants in the Berlin Aging Study (BASE) and 583 participants in the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II). We used...
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