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Cognitive reserve and emotional stimuli in older individuals: level of education moderates the age-related positivity effect.

Bruno, D and Brown, AD and Kapucu, A and Marmar, CR and Pomara, N (2014) Cognitive reserve and emotional stimuli in older individuals: level of education moderates the age-related positivity effect. Experimental Aging Research, 40 (2). pp. 208-223. ISSN 1096-4657

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Abstract

UNLABELLED: BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: A frequently observed age-related effect is a preference in older individuals for positive stimuli. The cognitive control model proposes that this positivity effect may be mediated by executive functions. We propose that cognitive reserve, operationally defined as years of education, which tempers cognitive decline and has been linked to executive functions, should also influence the age-related positivity effect, especially as age advances. METHODS: An emotional free recall test was administered to a group of 84 cognitively intact individuals aged 60 to 88, who varied in years of education. As part of a larger test battery, data were obtained on measures of executive functioning and depression. RESULTS: Multiple regression and moderation analyses were performed, controlling for general cognitive function, severity of depressive symptoms, and executive function. In our data, years of education appeared to moderate the effect of age on the positivity effect; age was negatively associated with recall of positive words in participants with fewer years of education, whereas a nonsignificant positive correlation was observed between age and positivity in participants with more education. CONCLUSION: Cognitive reserve appears to play a role in explaining individual differences in the positivity effect in healthy older individuals. Future studies should investigate whether cognitive reserve is also implicated in the ability to process a wide range of emotional stimuli and whether greater reserve is reflected in improved emotional regulation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1117 Public Health And Health Services, 1701 Psychology, 1103 Clinical Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 15:05
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2016 15:05
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/0361073X.2014.882212
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3046

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