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postgraduate thesis: Cognitive functioning of the aging brain

TitleCognitive functioning of the aging brain
Authors
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Tam, M. H. [譚敏堅]. (2013). Cognitive functioning of the aging brain. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5435569
AbstractThis thesis contains two studies which examined the cognitive functioning of the aging brain. Specifically, age-related changes in processing speed and its remediation via cognitive training were studied. In study 1, younger adults (n = 34) and older adults (n = 39) were recruited to investigate the age-related differences in the relationships between processing speed and general cognitive status (GCS). Their performance in GCS (as measured by The Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Hong Kong Version), cognitive processing speed (as measured by Processing Speed Index, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale), cognitive inhibition (as measured by Stroop Color-Word Test), and divided attention (as measured by Color Trails Test) was examined. Current findings indicated that processing speed predicted GCS in older but not younger adults. In older adults, processing speed as a predictor accounted for an additional 13% of variance in GCS. This study further verified the relationship between processing speed and prefrontal abilities, including verbal fluency, cognitive inhibition and divided attention in aging. Findings revealed that despite the abovementioned prefrontal abilities were significantly correlated with processing speed, verbal fluency had remained the strongest predictor, accounting for 21% of variance in processing speed in older adults. Based on findings in study 1, it was anticipated that training cognitive skills including processing speed and prefrontal abilities in older adults would improve cognitive functioning in general. Therefore, in study 2, elderly people at risk of progressive cognitive decline (n = 70) were recruited to investigate the training effect of computerized cognitive training programs that aimed to improve cognitive processing speed, cognitive inhibition and divided attention. Findings indicated that cognitive processing speed and divided attention improved post-training. Results obtained from the two studies implied potential intervention through training cognitive processing speed in elderly people at risk of progressive cognitive decline. Future studies should focus on training specific effect and examining the optimal effect by modification of the training paradigms, particularly the design of the contents and level of difficulty.
DegreeDoctor of Psychology
SubjectCognition in old age
Dept/ProgramClinical Psychology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/209669

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTam, Man-kin, Helena-
dc.contributor.author譚敏堅-
dc.date.accessioned2015-05-12T23:13:38Z-
dc.date.available2015-05-12T23:13:38Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationTam, M. H. [譚敏堅]. (2013). Cognitive functioning of the aging brain. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5435569-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/209669-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis contains two studies which examined the cognitive functioning of the aging brain. Specifically, age-related changes in processing speed and its remediation via cognitive training were studied. In study 1, younger adults (n = 34) and older adults (n = 39) were recruited to investigate the age-related differences in the relationships between processing speed and general cognitive status (GCS). Their performance in GCS (as measured by The Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Hong Kong Version), cognitive processing speed (as measured by Processing Speed Index, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale), cognitive inhibition (as measured by Stroop Color-Word Test), and divided attention (as measured by Color Trails Test) was examined. Current findings indicated that processing speed predicted GCS in older but not younger adults. In older adults, processing speed as a predictor accounted for an additional 13% of variance in GCS. This study further verified the relationship between processing speed and prefrontal abilities, including verbal fluency, cognitive inhibition and divided attention in aging. Findings revealed that despite the abovementioned prefrontal abilities were significantly correlated with processing speed, verbal fluency had remained the strongest predictor, accounting for 21% of variance in processing speed in older adults. Based on findings in study 1, it was anticipated that training cognitive skills including processing speed and prefrontal abilities in older adults would improve cognitive functioning in general. Therefore, in study 2, elderly people at risk of progressive cognitive decline (n = 70) were recruited to investigate the training effect of computerized cognitive training programs that aimed to improve cognitive processing speed, cognitive inhibition and divided attention. Findings indicated that cognitive processing speed and divided attention improved post-training. Results obtained from the two studies implied potential intervention through training cognitive processing speed in elderly people at risk of progressive cognitive decline. Future studies should focus on training specific effect and examining the optimal effect by modification of the training paradigms, particularly the design of the contents and level of difficulty.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshCognition in old age-
dc.titleCognitive functioning of the aging brain-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5435569-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Psychology-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineClinical Psychology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5435569-

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