The capacities for learning and memory are behind the most remarkable achievements of humankind. For the individual, these abilities are of great importance for well-being and health throughout life. The aims of our research are therefore to discover the principal mechanisms that govern human learning across the life span, uncover the changes in the brain that affect learning and memory in older age, and understand the role that learning plays in development and aging. Ultimately, we hope that the knowledge we gain will aid humans to learn and develop more successfully throughout life.

Learning and brain plasticity in aging and neurodegenerative disease

Using a mixture of behavioral experiments, behavioral genetics, functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, and statistical modeling, we aim to uncover the cognitive and brain processes involved in learning and to describe the brain changes that affect learning and memory in aging and neurodegenerative disease.

Lindenberger, U., & Lövdén, M. (2019). Brain plasticity in human lifespan development: The exploration-selection-refinement model. Annual Review of Developmental Psychology, 1, 197-222.

The effects of education on cognitive performance and health

Education improves human cognitive performance and is the major way through which individuals in modern societies acquire complex skills. Using natural experiments of educational attainment and complementary behavioral experiments, our ongoing work aims to understand the pathways through which education relates to cognitive performance, well-being, and health over the lifespan.

Lövdén, M., Fratiglioni, L., Glymour, M., Lindenberger, U., & Tucker- Drob, E. (2020). Education and cognitive functioning across the lifespan. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 21, 6-41.