Cognitive decline is a normal part of aging. In fact, by the age of 45, the average person’s memory decreases to a level below what it was in their twenties. As Canada Research Chair in Cognition and Wellness, Dr. John Anderson is trying to identify what complex set of circumstances could lead to optimal cognitive performance in older age.
Anderson and his research team are examining how contextual factors (such as time of day, caffeine consumption, sleep deprivation and mood) as well as lifelong experiential factors (such as exercise, bilingualism and education) can delay age-related cognitive decline. Using behavioural and neuroimaging methods, they are studying the impact of these and other key factors to optimize the cognitive potential of older adults.