This edition: Late Adulthood: Cognitive Development
This lesson focuses on cognition during late adulthood. It looks at information processing, short-term memory, and long-term memory. The biological declines that characterize normative aging include declines in brain functioning that are normal and not necessarily serious. Many adults find ways to adjust to this cognitive decline. One approach is selective optimization with compensation, a strategy of using existing abilities to compensate for cognitive losses. In some cases, such as dementia, cognitive decline is serious and often irreversible, and older adults may no longer be able to function independently. The lesson ends by addressing the many ways in which cognitive abilities can be enhanced in late adulthood, particularly by keeping physically and cognitively active.