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Does plasticity contribute to adult cognitive development, and if so, in what ways? The vague and overused concept of plasticity makes these controversial questions difficult to answer. In this article, we refine the notion of adult cognitive plasticity and sharpen its conceptual distinctiveness. According to our framework, adult cognitive plasticity is(More)
Effects of cognitive activities on walking variability are poorly understood. We parametrically manipulated working-memory load by using an n-back task in 32 younger adults and 32 older adults walking on a treadmill at self-selected speed. We found no dual-task costs for cognitive performance. Stride-to-stride variability was lower when participants(More)
Recent evidence indicates experience-dependent brain volume changes in humans, but the functional and histological nature of such changes is unknown. Here, we report that adult men performing a cognitively demanding spatial navigation task every other day over 4 months display increases in hippocampal N-acetylaspartate (NAA) as measured with magnetic(More)
We investigated dual-task performance of cognitive (semantic fluency) and sensorimotor tasks (walking) in 120 children and adults from four age groups (9-year olds, M=9.52 years; 11-year olds, M=11.51 years; young adults, M=25.34 years; older adults, M=64.28 years; N=30 per group). Distances walked during 90 s and numbers of category exemplars generated in(More)
It is unknown whether lifestyle, including mental stimulation, and appropriate training interventions, may directly improve spatial navigation performance and its underlying neural substrates. Here we report that healthy younger and older men performing a cognitively demanding spatial navigation task every other day over 4 months display navigation-related(More)
A widespread network involving cortical and subcortical brain structures forms the neural substrate of human spatial navigation. Most studies investigating plasticity of this network have focused on the hippocampus. Here, we investigate age differences in cortical thickness changes evoked by four months of spatial navigation training in 91 men aged 20-30 or(More)
Reaching late adulthood is accompanied by losses in physical and mental resources, but lifestyle choices seem to have a considerable influence on the aging trajectory. This review deals with the interplay between cognitive and motor functioning in old age, focusing on two different lines of research, namely (a) dual-task studies requiring participants to(More)
Task prioritization can lead to trade-off patterns in dual-task situations. The authors compared dual-task performances in 9- and 11-year-old children and young adults performing a cognitive task and a motor task concurrently. The motor task required balancing on an ankle-disc board. Two cognitive tasks measured working memory and episodic memory at(More)
We investigated effects of concurrent cognitive task difficulty (n-back) on the regularity of whole-body movements during treadmill walking in women and men from 3 age groups (20-30, 60-70, and 70-80 years old). Using principal component analysis of individual gait patterns, we separated main (regular) from residual (irregular) components of whole-body(More)
We investigated how 9-year-olds and young adults performed a working memory task under different difficulty conditions while walking on a treadmill. Stride-length and stride-time variability tended to decrease with cognitive load in young adults, whereas children showed an increase in walking variability when cognitive load was very high. Participants in(More)