The Handbook of Aging and Cognition

The Handbook of Aging and Cognition

The Handbook of Aging and Cognition

The Handbook of Aging and Cognition

Synopsis

Cognitive aging is a flourishing area of research. A significant amount of new data, a number of new theoretical notions, and many new research issues have been generated in the past 10 years. This second edition reviews new findings and theories, enables the reader to assess where the field is today, and evaluates its points of growth.

The chapters are organized to run from a consideration of the neural correlates of age-related changes in cognition, through the "mainstream" topics of perception, attention, memory, and language, to more applied areas, and finally to reviews of cognitive changes in the contexts of emotion, motivation, and personality. This edition has a broader scope than the first, progressing from structural changes in the brain to a consideration of changes in the self concept and in social cognition.

Excerpt

The first edition of this handbook was published in 1992. Our idea at that time was to bring together a set of chapters on various topics in the field of cognitive aging, with the further notion that each chapter would be long enough to be able to treat its subject in some depth. So we settled on a modest number of chapters (10) and encouraged the authors to present a critical review of current findings and conceits in their specific area. The book was organized around some core topics in cognition -- attention, memory, language, and reasoning -- with additional sections on neuropsychology and on real-world applications. We were very pleased with the resulting collection, and this positive reaction was generally shared by researchers in the field.

Cognitive aging is a flourishing research area at present, with a growing number of journals and well-attended meetings. This activity has generated a lot of new data in the last 8 to 10 years, a number of new theoretical notions, and even some new research topics. In fact, the field is in some danger of emulating the flustered nobleman in Stephen Leacock's story and is beginning to "ride madly off in all directions"! So, two obvious purposes of the second edition are first, to review new findings and theories, and second, to enable the reader to assess where the field "is at" these days and to evaluate its points of growth.

To do this, we invited a completely new set of authors to review topics in the field. This is not in any sense an update or revision of the first edition but rather a completely new volume. The only exceptions to this principle were ourselves -- exercising a sort of droit des éditeurs -- but even here the topics have changed from the first edition, with Salthouse contributing a chapter on methodological assumptions in cognitive aging research and Salthouse and Craik providing a final chapter of closing comments. This latter contribution was an effort to respond to some reviewers of the first edition who liked the individual chapters, but criticized the absence of an overview chapter to provide some general . . .

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