Age, ability and experience affect performance on cognitive tests
In an article published in the journal Intelligence, the study author reported that whether longitudinal cognition studies measure an increase or decrease in cognitive ability depended on a number of factors: the domain of cognition under study, the time between cognitive tests and the participant's age and overall cognitive ability.
In traditional longitudinal studies, cognitive tests are administered at the start of the study, and then the tests are administered again at a different time weeks or years later. In this study, the researcher used a longitudinal study design that differed from traditional longitudinal cognitive studies. At baseline, participants were given parallel versions of cognitive tests on three separate visits, with less than a week, on average, between visits. Then, between one and eleven years later, participants again received parallel versions of cognitive tests on three separate visits with an average of less than a week between visits. There were more than 2,000 study participants, and just under half of them received a third set of cognitive tests during three separate visits with less than a week between visits on average, and approximately one to eight years after the second round of testing. . The schedule for the nine visits is shown in the graph below.
Study participants were between the ages of 18 and 80, and those who might have had dementia, as identified by their performance on a cognitive test, were excluded from the study. The researcher administered sixteen tests to examine five aspects of cognition. For example, memory was probed with word recall tests. Perception speed was tested by asking participants to match symbols to numbers. Vocabulary was tested by asking participants to give definitions for different words. The spatial visualization was tested by a paper folding test. The reasoning was examined with a matrix reasoning test where participants were presented with a series of patterned figures with a missing number, which participants were asked to complete. All tests were performed in the same order on each visit. The study researcher created a composite score for each cognitive ability by combining the test scores for each aspect of cognition.
Using statistical analyzes, the study author examined the effects of longer time intervals between visits on participants' cognitive test scores. The author of the study reported that the longer the time interval between Visit 3 and Visit 4, the more participants scored on memory and speed of perception tests. The researcher also reported that the longer the time interval between visit 6 and visit 7, the higher the scores on memory tests. These drops in performance were statistically significant.
Differences in cognitive test performance between age groups
The researcher plotted the composite test scores for each of the five cognitive abilities studied, separately plotting the scores for three different age groups: 18 to 39, 40 to 59, and 60 to 80. For cognitive tests of memory, speed of perception, spatial visualization, and reasoning, participants aged 18 to 39 had the highest scores, participants aged 40 to 59 had the lowest and participants aged 60 to 80 the lowest scores.
For cognitive vocabulary tests, this trend has reversed. Participants aged 60 to 80 scored the highest, participants aged 40 to 59 scored lower, and participants aged 18 to 39 scored the lowest. This trend in cognitive performance on vocabulary tests was observed in all four vocabulary tests, not just in the composite vocabulary score. At younger ages, participants saw greater vocabulary gains over shorter time intervals (for example, from visit 1 to visit 3).
In general, cognitive performance tended to increase over shorter time intervals (eg, from visit 1 to visit 3). Older study participants and participants with lower cognitive ability tended to see the greatest gains over these shorter intervals. Cognitive performance over longer time intervals (for example, from visit 3 to visit 4) tended to decline, especially for older study participants.
Associations between short-term changes and long-term changes
The study investigator wondered whether changes in cognitive performance over the shorter time intervals (eg, visit 1 to visit 3) might predict changes in cognitive performance over the longer intervals (eg, visit 3 to visit 4). Contrary to what the researcher expected, study participants who had the largest increases in performance from visits 1 to 2, visits 4 to 5, and visits 7 to 8 had the largest reductions in performance from the study. visit 3 to visit 4 and from visit 6 to visit 7.
RELEVANCE OF THE STUDY
Having previous experience with a cognitive test can affect the performance of test participants. Often the performance improves. This article addresses a gap in the literature because the study was designed to examine the effects of previous experience with cognitive tests. There are very few studies in the scientific literature that take into account the effects of experience in the design of the study. The results of this research study extend our knowledge by providing evidence for the effects of experience, among other factors, on cognitive test performance.
The results of this study have a number of important implications. One implication is that an initial cognitive test may not be fair for the elderly and those with lower cognitive abilities. These people saw the greatest benefit from having previous experience with cognitive tests, as they had the largest increases in cognitive performance scores from an initial test to a second cognitive test.
Reports of previous scientific studies on the effects of cognitive ability on cognitive performance over shorter time intervals have been inconsistent. A number of studies have reported an increase in cognitive performance over short periods of time in individuals with high cognitive abilities. Some reports have found no association between cognitive ability and cognitive performance, and some studies have observed improvement in cognitive performance over short intervals of time in participants with poor ability.
Try Synaptitude's Lifestyle Assessment Today for a free brain health report. Find out how you stack up against your peers on five pillars of brain health; Exercise, sleep, nutrition, stress and cognition.
click here to discover more
BrainHQ is your online headquarters for sérieux out your brain. Think of it as a personal gym, where you exercise your memory, attention, brain speed, people skills, intelligence and navigation instead of your abs, delts, and quads. Just as our bodies require care and exercise over the course of life, so do our brains—especially as we age. BrainHQ provides the exercise your brain needs to be at its sharpest.
The BrainHQ brain-training program represents the culmination of 30 years of research in neurological technique and related medicine. It was designed by an international team of neuroscientists, led by Michael Merzenich—a professor emeritus in neurophysiology, member of the National Academy of Sciences, co-inventor of the cochlear implant, and Kavli Prize laureate.
Changing your brain takes some work—so while the BrainHQ exercises are sometimes fun, they can also be difficult. But they always give a useful, meaningful workout to your unique brain. Using a special algorithm, each exercise adapts in difficulty as you work so that you always train at the optimum level for you—where you are most likely to improve your performance.
It takes less than five minutes to do each BrainHQ level, so you can use it in tiny bites or long blocks, depending on your schedule. Plus you can use BrainHQ on almost any computer or mobile device, so you can take it on the go. If you want, you can set up personal training goals and have BrainHQ send you training reminders when you want them.
BrainHQ has 29 online exercises that work out attention, brain speed, memory, people skills, navigation, and intelligence. If you want, you can have BrainHQ tell you exactly which exercises to do, and in which order : the personalized se reproduire feature, designed by scientists, continually measures your résultat optimal and serves up the exercises that are right for you.. Or if you prefer, you can design your own program, choosing exercises and workouts that meet your personal interests, mood, and schedule.
More than 100 published scientific papers show the benefits of BrainHQ exercises and assessments. Most of these were independently conducted by scientists at respected universities, such as the University of California, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins. Of course, every study is conducted on a different group of people, and individual results vary. Click any benefit below to learn more about the studies behind the benefit.
From staplers to shelves to software, Demco supplies libraries with what they need to run. In 2015, they added BrainHQ to that mix. Through Demco, libraries can purchase BrainHQ to offer to their cardholders. People “check out” BrainHQ for free, like they would a book. Right now, it’s available in many public and military libraries across the U. S. —with more on the way.
Brain fitness has basic principles : variety and curiosity. When anything you do becomes deuxième nature, you need to make a change. If you can do the crossword puzzle in your sleep, it’s time for you to move on to a new challenge in order to get the best workout for your brain. Curiosity about the world around you, how it works and how you can understand it will keep your brain working fast and efficiently. Use the ideas below to help attain your quest for esprit fitness.
Brain fitness programs and games are a wonderful way to tease and challenge your brain. Suduko, crosswords and electronic games can all improve your brain’s speed and memory. These games rely on logic, word skills, math and more. These games are also fun. 1
You’ll get benefit more by doing these games a little bit every day. Spend 15 minutes or so, not hours.
Daily meditation is perhaps the solo greatest thing you can do for your mind/body health. Meditation not only relaxes you, it gives your brain a workout. By creating a different esprit state, you engage your brain in new and interesting ways while increasing your brain sport.
Your brain needs you to eat saine fats. Focus on fish oils from wild salmon, nuts such as walnuts, seeds such as flax seed and olive oil. Eat more of these foods and less saturated fats. Eliminate transfats completely from your diet.
Stories are a way that we solidify memories, interpret events and share instants. Practice telling your stories, both new and old, so that they are interesting, compelling and fun. Some basic storytelling techniques will go a long way in keeping people’s interest both in you and in what you have to say.