Cognitive reserve and emotional stimuli in older individuals: Level of education moderates the age-related positivity effect

Bruno, Davide and Brown, Adam and Kapucu, Aycan and Marmar, Charles and Pomara, Nunzio (2014) Cognitive reserve and emotional stimuli in older individuals: Level of education moderates the age-related positivity effect. Experimental Aging Research, 40. pp. 208-223.

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"BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: A frequently observed age-related effect is a preference in older individuals for positive stimuli. The cognitive control model proposes that this positivity effect may be mediated by executive functions. We propose that cognitive reserve, operationally defined as years of education, which tempers cognitive decline and has been linked to executive functions, should also influence the age-related positivity effect, especially as age advances.
An emotional free recall test was administered to a group of 84 cognitively intact individuals aged 60 to 88, who varied in years of education. As part of a larger test battery, data were obtained on measures of executive functioning and depression.
Multiple regression and moderation analyses were performed, controlling for general cognitive function, severity of depressive symptoms, and executive function. In our data, years of education appeared to moderate the effect of age on the positivity effect; age was negatively associated with recall of positive words in participants with fewer years of education, whereas a nonsignificant positive correlation was observed between age and positivity in participants with more education.
Cognitive reserve appears to play a role in explaining individual differences in the positivity effect in healthy older individuals. Future studies should investigate whether cognitive reserve is also implicated in the ability to process a wide range of emotional stimuli and whether greater reserve is reflected in improved emotional regulation."

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: "This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Experimental Aging Research, March 2014, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at:”
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Philippe Chassy
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2015 14:39
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2016 11:28

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