Wie das Gehirn die Welt im Alter mit allen Sinnen wahrnimmt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleContributedpeer-review


  • Jan Peter Thomas - , St. Johannes Municipal Hospital (Author)
  • Christiane Völter - , St. Elisabeth Hospital Leipzig (Author)
  • Rainer Wirth - , Marien Hospital Herne - University Medical Center of Ruhr-University Bochum (Author)
  • Rainer Guthoff - , University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden (Author)
  • Martin Grunwald - , Haptik-Forschungslabor (Author)
  • Thomas Hummel - , Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (Author)


BACKGROUND: Aging is a multidimensional process that may lead to physical, psychological and social changes. This is predominantly due to a decline of sensory functions and their central processing.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Selective literature search in Medline and the Cochrane Library.

RESULTS: In addition to specific disorders of the sensory organs, unspecific age-related degenerative processes are responsible for the high prevalence of sensory limitations in older people. This can lead to a significant reduction in the quality of life. Balance impairment, decreasing function of hearing, vision, smell and the somatosensory system are associated with an increased risk of falling and an increased mortality in older people. Furthermore, there is evidence for a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. In addition to the functional ability of every sense on its own, the integration of multiple sensory perceptions plays an increasing role in age-related sensory limitations.

CONCLUSION: Sensory impairments have to be considered when working with older people. Early detection and an interdisciplinary therapeutic approach can reduce the negative consequences. Multimodal stimulation appears to stimulate brain plasticity which helps to compensate age-related changes.

Translated title of the contribution
How the brain perceives the world in old age with all senses


Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)611-620
Number of pages10
JournalZeitschrift fur Gerontologie und Geriatrie
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

External IDs

Scopus 85114378348
ORCID /0000-0001-9713-0183/work/146645454



  • Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Aging, Brain, Hearing Loss, Humans, Quality of Life