Modeling cognitive trajectories within longitudinal studies: A focus on older adults

Joshua R. Steinerman, Charles B. Hall, Martin J. Sliwinski, Richard B. Lipton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The natural history of life span cognitive performance and its late-life determinants have been studied from an array of perspectives. Significant insights come from psychological disciplines, including cognitive, developmental, and neuropsychology, as well as from medical specialties, such as geriatrics, neurology, psychiatry, neuroradiology, and neuropathology, that contribute to the growing interdisciplinary scientific field: cognitive neuroscience of aging. This survey of longitudinal studies of aging suggests that disease-oriented investigations commonly do not adequately consider normative cognitive changes, whereas developmental studies do not sufficiently measure and model nonnormative cognitive aging. This article argues for an integrative perspective that considers both of these influences on cognitive trajectories and presents a series of methodological concerns that have not been addressed comprehensively. Interdisciplinary methods from longitudinal observational studies should be leveraged to enable translational interventions to promote brain longevity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S313-S318
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • change point
  • cognitive aging
  • measurement burst
  • robust norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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