About this Research Topic
Aging usually goes along with declined cognitive abilities due to various neuronal pathologies and neurophysiological changes, leading aged people in the so-called ‘geriatric syndrome’ to be at high risk of getting lost, and of falling, due to declined attention levels, memorization, visuospatial processing, and judgments.
It is known that a physically and mentally active lifestyle may enable us to experience successful brain aging. In this view, a longer life, that we are experiencing worldwide due to higher life expectancy, must be accompanied by health maintenance, social and intellectual participation, and individual security. In order to achieve a better quality of life, various social programs promoting physical exercises for older adults are widely organized depending on the social backgrounds and cultures in each country. However, the outcomes of cognitive and physical interventions have been controversial among behavioral studies because of instability and reduced capacity of cognitive functions under progressive cognitive decline.
Since physical and cognitive intervention protocols are designed considering the popularity of the activity and physical potential of the subject group, the response to the interventions may vary among subjects, rendering an objective evaluation very complex and prone to evaluation errors due to the high intra-variability levels.
Thus, we need to develop an objective approach to extract and classify significant factors to maintain in order to support cognitive reserve and physical activity. In this respect, functional and structural neuroimaging will be an excellent tool to objectively evaluate and measure specific factors such as plastic change, i.e. compensation, reorganization, and remodeling of aging brains, under potential cognitive and physical decline. Integration of different types of information, such as fMRI, DTI, EEG, or NIRS, as well as neuro-feedback from performance or physiological monitoring to optimize learning procedure will enhance the preciseness.
The goal of this Research Topic is to explore the role of functional and structural neuroimaging together with neuroinformatics instruments, to accomplish a ‘successful brain aging’ and further develop an emerging field, ‘aging neuroinformatics’.
This multidisciplinary field will merge the application of neuroimaging techniques and information technologies with an eye of focus and aiming to objectivize the following:
• neuro-cognitive / physiological investigation of age-dependent change (geriatric syndrome)
• longitudinal cohort studies of aging population
• methodological development and evaluation of physical and cognitive interventions outcomes in older adults
• development of assisting systems or devices to compensate for cognitive and physical decline
Initial application of information technologies such as artificial intelligence, brain-computer/machine interfaces, neural network modeling, and neuroimaging analytical methods for “successful aging” is welcome. We also welcome research articles addressing this theme not only with neuro-rehabilitation approaches but also from sports science, or educational engineering will be noted to enhance this new field. Reviews and meta-analysis articles are also welcome.
The Guest Editors would like to express their profound gratitude to Dr. Huong Thi Thanh Ha, a young and valuable researcher representing her country in the BrainConnects community.
Dr. Huong Thi Thanh Ha has participated in the preparation and development of this Research Topic providing her input.
Keywords: Aging, Functional Neuroimaging, Cognitive Intervention, Neurotechnology, Cognitive Reserve
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