Brain aging—and human aging more broadly—has long been seen as a process of slow, and inevitable, deterioration and decline. Today, this view has been challenged with research demonstrating a more complex set of changes - growth, decline, adaptation, selectivity, and reorganization - in brain structure and function across adulthood. In fact, research in both behavioral and brain science shows that not all cognitive processes decline with age, that in fact some improve over the course of adulthood, and those that improve can often compensate for those that decline. It turns out that the aging brain is very much alive, a remarkable example of life’s ability to survive and adapt in increasingly challenging environments.
Chapters in this multidisciplinary volume examine structural and related functional changes in the aging brain, and the neural mechanisms underlying such changes; age-related changes in learning and episodic memory; risk and protective factors; and the assessment and prevention of cognitive decline.