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Psychophysiological investigations on changes of cognitive capacities during working life under consideration of individual cognitive reserves

Project number: F 2312 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) / Dr. Peter Ullsperger Status: Completed Project


The modern world of work makes great demands on the cognitive abilities of employees. Knowledge about work-related and personal factors affecting cognitive abilities positively during the working life is essential for the development of measures which aim at promotion and maintainance of cognitive skills. The theory of cognitive reserve provides a conceptual framework for this issue. Cognitive reserves refer to mental potentials, which are used to compensate for age-related performance decrements.

In this research project, psychophysiological studies of changes in cognitive performance will be carried out with special consideration of cognitive reserve. In particular, the following research questions will be examined:? What is the relationship between indicators of cognitive reserve, cognitive performance and indicators of the bioelectrical brain activity?, What is the relationship between indicators of cognitive reserve, work ability and functional capacity?, What is the impact of indicators of cognitive reserve on the maintainance and development of cognitive functions, work ability and functional capacity during the project period?, How to assess the predictive validity of indicators of the bioelectrical brain activity with respect to changes in cognitive performance of employees?

The results will be used for the development and implementation of measures of work design and cognitive Training. These measures will be directed to the development of cognitive reserve and training of effective strategies of information processing.


Unit 3.2 "Mental Workload and Mental Health"

Phone: +49 231 9071-1971 Fax: +49 231 9071-2070

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