Aging cognition: From neuromodulation to representation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleContributedpeer-review


  • Shu Chen Li - , Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Author)
  • Ulman Lindenberger - , Saarland University (Author)
  • Sverker Sikström - , Stockholm University (Author)


Basic cognitive functions, such as the abilities to activate, represent, maintain, focus and process information, decline with age. A paradigm shift towards cross-level conceptions is needed in order to obtain an integrative understanding of cognitive aging phenomena that cuts across neural, information-processing, and behavioral levels. We review empirical data at these different levels, and computational theories proposed to enable their integration. A theoretical link is highlighted, relating deficient neuromodulation with noisy information processing, which might result in less distinctive cortical representations. These less distinctive representations might be implicated in working memory and attentional functions that underlie the behavioral manifestations of cognitive aging deficits.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-486
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in cognitive sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0001-8409-5390/work/142254968