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A watershed model for age-related differences in executive functions.

Detail Summary
Date 29 April 2016
Time 16:00 - 17:00

Fluid intelligence is a crucial cognitive ability that predicts key life outcomes across the lifespan. Strong empirical links exist between fluid intelligence and processing speed on the one hand, and white matter integrity and processing speed on the other hand.

We propose a watershed model that integrates these three explanatory levels in a principled manner in a single structural equation model, with processing speed and white matter figuring as intermediate endophenotypes. We fit this model in a large (N=562) adult lifespan cohort of the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience study (Cam-CAN, using multiple measures of processing speed, white matter health and fluid intelligence.

The model fit the data well, outperforming competing models, providing evidence for a many-to-one mapping between white matter integrity, processing speed and fluid intelligence, and naturally explains several age-related changes and differences commonly observed.

The watershed model can be naturally extended to integrate other cognitive domains, endophenotypes and genotypes.


Roeterseilandcampus - gebouw J/K
Roeterseilandcampus - gebouw J/K

Valckenierstraat 65-67
1018 XE Amsterdam