Research Topic

Perception and Cognition: Interactions in the Aging Brain

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Healthy aging can lead to declines in both perceptual and cognitive functions. Impaired perception, such as that resulting from hearing loss or reduced visual or tactile resolution, increases demands on ‘higher-level’ cognitive functions to cope or compensate. It is possible, for example, to use focused ...

Healthy aging can lead to declines in both perceptual and cognitive functions. Impaired perception, such as that resulting from hearing loss or reduced visual or tactile resolution, increases demands on ‘higher-level’ cognitive functions to cope or compensate. It is possible, for example, to use focused attention to overcome perceptual limitations. Unfortunately, cognitive functions also decline in old age. This can mean that perceptual impairments are exacerbated by cognitive decline, and vice versa, but also means that interventions aimed at one type of decline can lead to improvements in the other. Just as improved cognition can ameliorate perceptual deficits, improving the stimulus can help offset cognitive deficits. For example, making directions and routes easy to follow can help compensate for declines in navigation abilities.

Contributions to this topic are encouraged from different research methodologies (including neuroscientific, psychophysical, behavioural, and applied) and across all perceptual modalities. Contributions might address the following questions (but are not limited to these): How do changes in sensory tuning influence cognitive change, and to what extent does cognitive function offset perceptual impairment? How can theories of ageing incorporate perceptual decline? Can cognitive training ameliorate the effect of age-related perceptual deficits, and conversely, can improved perception or stimuli reduce the effects of cognitive decline? Does age change the way signals are separated from noise? Does cognitive change interact with all senses in the same way? Submissions that address both cognitive and perceptual factors are particularly encouraged.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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