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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Normal cognitive and brain aging are a set of interconnected and complex biological phenomena that can be understood from a multidisciplinary and integrative approach combining studies in animals and humans. This chapter summarizes some of the key facets involved in these phenomena from an individual differences approach and highlights episodic memory as a key area of rich investigation. Cognitive and biological changes with age are discussed with specific emphasis on the factors associated with selective vulnerabilities and resiliencies to the aging process. Factors associated with modifiable risk are discussed alongside strategies to reduce such risk and maintain intact cognitive function in older adulthood. The power of the individual differences approach as well as caveats and methodological limitations to neurocognitive aging research are discussed with the goal of delineating key gaps in understanding the aging brain and paving the path for future investigations.

Keywords: normal cognitive aging, normal brain aging, cognitive reserve, resilience, episodic memory, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease

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