4/2010 – Measurement of Cognitive Ability in Aging Populations

In April 2010, as a part of her sabbatical year at the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, Laura Carstensen convened a launch conference on the subject of measuring cognitive ability in large-scale surveys of aging populations. Participants were drawn from Stanford as well as from peer institutions of higher education, the National Institutes of Health, and think tanks such as RAND. The meeting had three main goals:

  • To critically examine what is known about the role of cognitive ability in important decision about health and finances;
  • To consider whether the relevant dimensions of cognition are assessed in standard online batteries; and
  • To identify decision aids that may improve decision quality in older adults.

Related to this conference, the Center collaborated with Stanford faculty affiliate Sam McClure (Department of Psychology) on a grant application to the NIH to create a national research network on decision neuroscience and aging. The five-year grant was awarded in the summer of 2010, and will began in FY 10 – 11.