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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Mar;1822(3):467-73. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2011.09.012. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Exploring the neural basis of cognitive reserve in aging.

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  • 1Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Department of Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, USA.


The concept of reserve arose from the mismatch between the extent of brain changes or pathology and the clinical manifestations of these brain changes. The cognitive reserve hypothesis posits that individual differences in the flexibility and adaptability of brain networks underlying cognitive function may allow some people to cope better with brain changes than others. Although there is ample epidemiologic evidence for cognitive reserve, the neural substrate of reserve is still a topic of ongoing research. Here we review some representative studies from our group that exemplify possibilities for the neural substrate of reserve including neural reserve, neural compensation, and generalized cognitive reserve networks. We also present a schematic overview of our ongoing research in this area. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Imaging Brain Aging and Neurodegenerative disease.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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