How neuroplasticity and cognitive reserve protect cognitive functioning.

Academic Article


  • Overall cognitive status can vary across an individual's life span in response to factors that promote either positive or negative neuroplasticity. Positive neuroplasticity refers to he physiological ability of the brain to form and strengthen dendritic connections, produce beneficial morphological changes, and increase cognitive reserve. Negative neuroplasticity refers to the same physiological ability of t he brain to atrophy and weaken dendritic connections, produce detrimental morphological changes, and decrease cognitive reserve. Factors that promote positive neuroplasticity include physical activity, education, social interaction, intellectual pursuits, and cognitive remediation. Factors that promote negative neuroplasticity include poor health, poor sleep hygiene, poor nutrition, substance abuse, and depression and anxiety. Implications for promoting positive neuroplasticity and avoiding negative neuroplasticity across the life span are emphasized to facilitate optimal cognitive health and ensure successful cognitive aging.
  • Keywords

  • Age Factors, Anxiety Disorders, Brain, Cognition Disorders, Cognitive Reserve, Dementia, Depressive Disorder, Educational Status, Health Behavior, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Leisure Activities, Neuronal Plasticity, Substance-Related Disorders
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Vance DE; Roberson AJ; McGuinness TM; Fazeli PL
  • Start Page

  • 23
  • End Page

  • 30
  • Volume

  • 48
  • Issue

  • 4