Vieillissement cognitif et différences individuelles

CR 751337

Programme des cours | Moodle course


Spring semester 2023

Cours en bloc: Saturday March 25 and Saturday April 29, 2023 (9.15am -5.00pm, rooms according to course program)

An information session will be held on February 22, 2023, at 6:30pm (zoom).


While the Bachelor course on cognitive aging has introduced average trends of age-related changes in cognitive functioning and has reviewed theories describing and explaining how people age in general, this course will give an advanced introduction to research focusing on differences between individuals in the way they age.


Why are some individuals relatively impaired already in early phases of old adulthood and some individuals manage to maintain high levels of functioning until very old age? In the first part of the course, the concepts of individual differences and variability in aging will be introduced. Then, major theories describing and explaining individual differences in cognitive aging will be discussed, such the concept of reserve capacity, Selective Optimization and Compensation (SOC), the disuse hypothesis along with research on the role of lifestyle and intellectual activities for successful cognitive aging. In a final part, resting on the findings introduced before, intervention and training programs (both cognitive and physical) will be examined that have shown to positively affect cognitive aging. Besides discussing the relevant original literature, students will have the possibility to develop and practically explore a concept for improving individual levels of cognitive functioning across the lifespan.


Hertzog, C. (2008). Theoretical approaches to the study of cognitive aging: An individual-differences perspective. In S. M. Hofer & D. F. Alwin (Eds.), Handbook of cognitive aging: Interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 34-49). Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications. 

Willis, S. L., & Schaie, K. W. (2009). Cognitive training and plasticity: Theoretical perspective and methodological consequences. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 27(5), 375-389.


Oral presentation and written work