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J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2010 Jun;23(2):75-93. doi: 10.1177/0891988709358590. Epub 2010 Jan 25.

Contemporary review 2009: cognitive aging.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


This article addresses key topics in cognitive aging, intending to provide the reader with a brief overview of the current state of research in this growing, multidisciplinary field. A summary of the physiological changes in the aging brain is provided as well as a review of variables that influence cognitive abilities in older age. Normal aging differentially affects various aspects of cognition, and specific changes within various domains such as attention, executive functioning, and memory are discussed. Various theories have been proposed to account for the cognitive changes that accompany normal aging, and a brief examination of these theories is presented in the context of these domain-specific changes.

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