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Dorbath, Lara; Hasselhorn, Marcus; Titz, Cora:

Effects of education on executive functioning and its trainability

In: Educational Gerontology, 39 (2013) 5 , 314-325


Document type
3a. Beiträge in begutachteten Zeitschriften; Aufsatz (keine besondere Kategorie)

Alter, Arbeitsgedächtnis, Bildung, Bildungsbiografie, Bildungsniveau, Kognitive Entwicklung, Kognitive Kompetenz, Kognitive Prozesse, Test, Training, Wirkung

Age-related changes in executive functioning are a main source of cognitive aging. High cognitive reserve, as well as training interventions, have been shown to protect against age-related decline in executive functions. Whether education as one prominent marker of cognitive reserve has a protective effect is, however, ambiguous. Furthermore, little is known about a potential interplay of cognitive reserve and training interventions. The present study, therefore, examines (a) the influence of education on focus-switching as a recently identified executive control process and (b) the impact of education on its trainability. To this end, extreme groups of high- and low-educated younger (age 19-35) and older (age 59-80) adults were selected from a larger training study on focus-switching. Results show that whereas education influences older adults' cognitive performance in focus-switching in a protective way, no effect of education emerged in younger age participants. Training gains, however, are not affected by educational level in either age group.

Education and Human Development