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Compensation of age-related changes in cognitive ability - "physiological costs"

Project number: F 2152 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Status: Completed Project


In the modern world of work, cognitive ability is required incrisingly. Particularly in elderly employees this can result in cognitive overload when work demands exceed cognitive abilities. The plasticity of the human brain enables individuals approaching the end of their working lives to compensate cognitive deficits and losses. This makes up for performance deficits and allows the maintenance of a stable functional state. Almost open is the question of "physiological costs" accompanying processes of compensation. Analysis of parameters of the bioelectrical brain activity (e.g. investigation of modified strategies of information processing, of psycho-mental strain) and vegetative parameters (e.g. blood pressure, heart rate variability, baroreceptor sensitivity) can give information about this.

Within this project, modified strategies of information processing, psycho-mental strain and accompanying processes of central nervous and vegetative activation are investigated in younger (20-35 years) and elderly (50-65 years) employees. Results may contribute to prevention of age-related changes in cognitive ability.


Unit 3.4 "Mental Health and Cognitive Capacity"

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