Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 24
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Bielak, Allison A. M. 2016. Different perspectives on measuring lifestyle engagement: a comparison of activity measures and their relation with cognitive performance in older adults. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, p. 1.

    Carlson, M.C. 2016. Developing Therapeutics for Alzheimer's Disease.

    Lee, Haein Park, Sunhee Lim, Kyounjoo Lim, Kyoungmi Park, Younghye and Jang, Jungsook 2016. Association between lifestyle and cognitive impairment among women aged 65 years and over in the Republic of Korea. Educational Gerontology, Vol. 42, Issue. 3, p. 198.

    Palta, P. Snitz, B. and Carlson, M.C. 2016. Neuroepidemiology.

    Seider, Talia R. Fieo, Robert A. O’Shea, Andrew Porges, Eric C. Woods, Adam J. and Cohen, Ronald A. 2016. Cognitively Engaging Activity Is Associated with Greater Cortical and Subcortical Volumes. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Vol. 8,

    Varma, Vijay R. Tang, Xiaoying and Carlson, Michelle C. 2016. Hippocampal sub-regional shape and physical activity in older adults. Hippocampus, Vol. 26, Issue. 8, p. 1051.

    Wong, Wee Ping Hassed, Craig Chambers, Richard and Coles, Jan 2016. The Effects of Mindfulness on Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Protocol for a Mixed-Methods Longitudinal Study. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Vol. 8,

    Yates, Lauren A Ziser, Shier Spector, Aimee and Orrell, Martin 2016. Cognitive leisure activities and future risk of cognitive impairment and dementia: systematic review and meta-analysis. International Psychogeriatrics, p. 1.

    Ballesteros, Soledad Kraft, Eduard Santana, Silvina and Tziraki, Chariklia 2015. Maintaining older brain functionality: A targeted review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Vol. 55, p. 453.

    Hill, Nikki L. Lin, Feng Parisi, Jeanine M. and Kolanowski, Ann 2015. The Moderating Effect of Personality Type on the Relationship Between Leisure Activity and Executive Control in Older Adults. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, Vol. 39, Issue. 2, p. 153.

    Parisi, Jeanine M. Kuo, Julie Rebok, George W. Xue, Qian-Li Fried, Linda P. Gruenewald, Tara L. Huang, Jin Seeman, Teresa E. Roth, David L. Tanner, Elizabeth K. and Carlson, Michelle C. 2015. Increases in Lifestyle Activities as a Result of Experience Corps® Participation. Journal of Urban Health, Vol. 92, Issue. 1, p. 55.

    Puente, Antonio Nicolas Lindbergh, Cutter A. and Miller, L. Stephen 2015. The Relationship Between Cognitive Reserve and Functional Ability is Mediated by Executive Functioning in Older Adults. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, Vol. 29, Issue. 1, p. 67.

    Schultz, Stephanie A. Larson, Jordan Oh, Jennifer Koscik, Rebecca Dowling, Maritza N. Gallagher, Catherine L. Carlsson, Cynthia M. Rowley, Howard A. Bendlin, Barbara B. Asthana, Sanjay Hermann, Bruce P. Johnson, Sterling C. Sager, Mark LaRue, Asenath and Okonkwo, Ozioma C. 2015. Participation in cognitively-stimulating activities is associated with brain structure and cognitive function in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Brain Imaging and Behavior, Vol. 9, Issue. 4, p. 729.

    Szanton, Sarah L. Walker, Rachel K. Roberts, Laken Thorpe, Roland J. Wolff, Jennifer Agree, Emily Roth, David L. Gitlin, Laura N. and Seplaki, Christopher 2015. Older adults' favorite activities are resoundingly active: Findings from the NHATS study. Geriatric Nursing, Vol. 36, Issue. 2, p. 131.

    Bielak, A. A. M. Cherbuin, N. Bunce, D. and Anstey, K. J. 2014. Preserved Differentiation Between Physical Activity and Cognitive Performance Across Young, Middle, and Older Adulthood Over 8 Years. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Vol. 69, Issue. 4, p. 523.

    de Frias, C. M. and Dixon, R. A. 2014. Lifestyle Engagement Affects Cognitive Status Differences and Trajectories on Executive Functions in Older Adults. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, Vol. 29, Issue. 1, p. 16.

    Dixon, Roger A. and de Frias, Cindy M. 2014. Cognitively elite, cognitively normal, and cognitively impaired aging: Neurocognitive status and stability moderate memory performance. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, Vol. 36, Issue. 4, p. 418.

    Parisi, Jeanine M. Xia, Jin Spira, Adam P. Xue, Qian-Li Rieger, Marin L. Rebok, George W. and Carlson, Michelle C. 2014. The Association Between Lifestyle Activities and Late-Life Depressive Symptoms. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, Vol. 38, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Smith, Jacqui Ryan, Lindsay H. Queen, Tara L. Becker, Sandra and Gonzalez, Richard 2014. Snapshots of Mixtures of Affective Experiences in a Day: Findings from the Health and Retirement Study. Journal of Population Ageing, Vol. 7, Issue. 1, p. 55.

    Stephan, Yannick Boiché, Julie Canada, Brice and Terracciano, Antonio 2014. Association of personality with physical, social, and mental activities across the lifespan: Findings from US and French samples. British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 105, Issue. 4, p. 564.

  • Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Volume 18, Issue 2
  • March 2012, pp. 286-294

Lifestyle Activities and Memory: Variety May Be the Spice of Life. The Women's Health and Aging Study II

  • Michelle C. Carlson (a1) (a2), Jeanine M. Parisi (a1), Jin Xia (a2) (a3), Qian-Li Xue (a2) (a3), George W. Rebok (a1) (a2), Karen Bandeen-Roche (a2) (a4) and Linda P. Fried (a5)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 15 December 2011

This study examined whether participation in a variety of lifestyle activities was comparable to frequent participation in cognitively challenging activities in mitigating impairments in cognitive abilities susceptible to aging in healthy, community-dwelling older women. Frequencies of participation in various lifestyle activities on the Lifestyle Activities Questionnaire (LAQ) were divided according to high (e.g., reading), moderate (e.g., discussing politics), and low (e.g., watching television) cognitive demand. We also considered the utility of participation in a variety of lifestyle activities regardless of cognitive challenge. Immediate and delayed verbal recall, psychomotor speed, and executive function were each measured at baseline and at five successive exams, spanning a 9.5-year interval. Greater variety of participation in activities, regardless of cognitive challenge, was associated with an 8 to 11% reduction in the risk of impairment in verbal memory and global cognitive outcomes. Participation in a variety of lifestyle activities was more predictive than frequency or level of cognitive challenge for significant reductions in risk of incident impairment on measures sensitive to cognitive aging and risk for dementia. Our findings offer new perspectives in promoting a diverse repertoire of activities to mitigate age-related cognitive declines. (JINS, 2012, 18, 286–294)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Michelle C. Carlson, Department of Mental Health, Center on Aging and Health, The Johns Hopkins University, 2024 E. Monument Street, Suite 2-700, Baltimore, MD 21205. E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M.J. Aartsen , C.H. Smits , T. van Tilberg , K.C. Knipscheer , D.J. Deeg (2002). Activity in older adults: Cause or consequence of cognitive functioning? A longitudinal study of everyday activities and cognitive performance in older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 57, P153P162.

T.Y. Arbuckle , U. Maag , D. Pushkar , J. Chaikelson (1998). Individual differences in trajectory of intellectual development over 45 years of adulthood. Psychology & Aging, 13, 663675.

P.B. Baltes , S.L. Willis (1982). Plasticity and enhancement of intellectual functioning in old age: Penn State's Adult Development and Enrichment Project (ADEPT). In F.I.M. Craik, & S. Trehub (Eds.), Aging and cognitive processes. New York: Plenum Press.

R.H.B. Benedict , D. Schretlen , L. Groninger , J. Brandt (1998). Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised: Normative data and analysis of inter-form and test-retest reliability. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 12, 4355.

J. Brandt (1991). The Hopkins Verbal Learning Test: Development of a new memory test with six equivalent forms. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 5, 125142.

M.C. Carlson , J.S. Saczynski , G.W. Rebok , T. Seeman , T.A. Glass , S. McGill , L.P. Fried (2008). Exploring the effects of an “everyday” activity program on executive function and memory in older adults: Experience Corps. The Gerontologist, 48, 793801.

S.J. Colcombe , A.F. Kramer , K.I. Erickson , P. Scalf , E. McAuley , N.J. Cohen , S. Elavsky (2004). Cardiovascular fitness, cortical plasticity, and aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101, 33163321.

M. Crowe , R. Andel , N.L. Pedersen , B. Johansson , M. Gatz (2003). Does participation in leisure activities lead to reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease? A prospective study of Swedish twins. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Review, 58, 249255.

M.F. Folstein , S.E. Folstein , P.R. McHugh (1975). Mini-Mental State: A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12, 189198.

L.P. Fried , J.D. Kasper , J.M. Guralnik , E.M. Simonsick (1995). The Women's Health and Aging Study: An introduction. In J.M. Guralnik, L.P. Fried, E.M. Simonsick, J.D. Kasper, & M.E. Lafferty (Eds.), The Women's Health and Aging Study: Health and social characteristics of older women with disability. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Aging, NIH Pub. No. 95-4009.

R.P. Friedland , T. Fritsch , K.A. Smyth , E. Koss , A.J. Lerner , C. Hsiun , S.M. Debannes (2001). Patients with Alzheimer's disease have reduced activities in midlife compared with healthy control-group members. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98, 34403445.

E. Gould , A. Beylin , P. Tanapat , A. Reeves , T.J. Shors (1999). Learning enhances adult neurogenesis in the hippocampal formation. Nature Neuroscience, 2, 260265.

W.T. Greenough , N.J. Cohen , J.M. Juraska (1999). New neurons in old brains: Learning to survive? Nature Neuroscience, 2, 203205.

K. Gribbin , K.W. Schaie , I.A. Parham (1980). Complexity of life style and maintenance of intellectual abilities. Journal of Social Issues, 36, 4761.

D.Z. Hambrick , T.A. Salthouse , E.J. Meinz (1999). Predictors of crossword puzzle proficiency and moderators of age-cognition relations. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 128, 131164.

A.R. Herzog , M.M. Franks , H.R. Markus , D. Holmberg (1998). Activities and well-being in old age: Effects of self-concept and educational attainment. Psychology and Aging, 13, 179185.

A.R. Herzog , J.S. House , J.N. Morgan (1991). Relation of work and retirement to health and well-being in older age. Psychology and Aging, 6, 202211.

D.F. Hultsch , M. Hammer , B.J. Small (1993). Age differences in cognitive performance in later life: Relationships to self-reported health and activity life style. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 48, 111.

D.F. Hultsch , C. Hertzog , B.J. Small , R.A. Dixon (1999). Use it or lose it: Engaged lifestyle as a buffer of cognitive decline in aging? Psychology and Aging, 14, 245263.

R.J. Ivnik , J.F. Malec , G.E. Smith , E.G. Tangalos , R.C. Petersen (1996). Neuropsychological tests’ norms above age 55: COWAT, BNT, MAE Token, WRAT-R Reading, AMNART, Stroop, TMT, and JLO. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 10, 262278.

J.B. Jobe , D.M. Smith , K. Ball , S.L. Tennstedt , M. Marsiske , S.L. Willis , K. Kleinman (2001). ACTIVE: A cognitive intervention trial to promote independence in older adults. Controlled Clinical Trials, 22, 453479.

A. Karp , S. Paillard-Borg , H.X. Wang , M. Silverstein , B. Winblad , L. Fratiglioni (2006). Mental, physical, and social components in leisure activities equally contribute to decrease dementia risk. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 21, 6573.

A. Mackinnon , H. Christensen , S.M. Hofer , A.E. Korten , A.F. Jorm (2003). Use it and still lose it? The association between activity and cognitive performance established using latent growth techniques in a community sample. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 10, 215229.

K.E. Mobily , J.H. Lemke , G.J. Gisin (1991). The idea of leisure repertoire. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 10, 208223.

R.S. Newson , E.B. Kemps (2006). The influence of physical and cognitive activities on simple and complex cognitive tasks in older adults. Experimental Aging Research, 32, 341362.

L.J. Podewils , E. Guallar , L.H. Kuller , L.P. Fried , O.L. Lopez , M.C. Carlson , C.C. Lyketsos (2005). Physical activity, APOE genotype, and dementia risk: Findings from the Cardiovascular Health Cognition Study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 161, 639651.

D. Pushkar , J. Etezadi , D. Andres , T. Arbuckle , A.E. Schwartzman , J. Chaikelson (1999). Models of intelligence in late life: Comment on Hultsch et al. Psychology and Aging, 14, 528534.

D. Pushkar-Gold , T. Arbuckle , M. Conway , J. Chaikelson , U. Maag (1997). Everyday activity parameters and competence in older adults. Psychology and Aging, 12, 600609.

R.M. Reitan (1958). The validity of the Trail Making Test as an indicator of organic brain damage. Perception and Motor Skills, 8, 271276.

T.A. Salthouse , D.E. Berish , J.D. Miles (2002). The role of cognitive stimulation on the relations between age and cognitive functioning. Psychology and Aging, 17, 548557.

N. Scarmeas , G. Levy , M.-X. Tang , J. Manly , Y. Stern (2001). Influence of leisure activity on the incidence of Alzheimer's disease. Neurology, 57, 22362242.

C. Schooler , M. Mulatu (2001). The reciprocal effects of leisure time activities and intellectual functioning in older people: A longitudinal analysis. Psychology and Aging, 16, 466482.

C. Schooler , M.S. Mulatu , G. Oates (1999). The continuing effects of substantively complex work on the intellectual functioning of older workers. Psychology and Aging, 14, 483506.

Y. Stern , S. Albert , M.-X. Tang , W.-Y. Tsai (1999). Rate of memory decline in Alzheimer's disease is related to education and occupation: Cognitive reserve?. Neurology, 53, 19421947.

P. Verhaeghen , A. Marcoen , L. Goossens (1992). Improving memory performance in the aged through mnemonic training: A meta-analytic study. Psychology and Aging, 7, 242251.

H.-X. Wang , A. Karp , B. Winblad , L. Fratiglioni (2002). Late-life engagement in social and leisure activities is associated with a decreased risk of dementia: A longitudinal study from the Kungsholmen Project. American Journal of Epidemiology, 155, 10811087.

R.S. Wilson , D.A. Bennett (2003). Cognitive activity and risk of Alzheimer's Disease. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12, 8791.

R.S. Wilson , C.F. Mendes de Leon , L.L. Barnes , J.A. Schreider , J.L. Bienias , D.A. Evans , D.A. Bennett (2002). Participation in cognitively stimulating activities and risk of incident Alzheimer's disease. Journal of the American Medical Association, 287, 742748.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-international-neuropsychological-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *