Interindividual differences in cognitive aging may be explained by differences in cognitive reserve (CR) that are built up across the life span. A plausible but underresearched mechanism for these differences is that CR helps compensating cognitive decline by enhancing motivation to cope with challenging cognitive situations. Theories of motivation on cognition suggest that perceived capacity and intrinsic motivation may be key mediators in this respect.
In 506 older adults, we assessed CR proxies (education, occupation, leisure activities), motivation (perceived capacity, intrinsic motivation), and a global measure of cognitive functioning.
Perceived capacity, but not intrinsic motivation, significantly mediated the relation between CR and cognitive performance.
Complementary with neurobiological and cognitive processes, our results suggest a more comprehensive view of the role of motivational aspects built up across the life span in determining differences in cognitive performance in old age.
|Journal||The Journals Of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences And Social Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
- Cognitive performance
- Cognitive reserve
- Perceived capacity