About this Research Topic
Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to understand nutrition’s impact on human cognition and brain health across the life span. Research in this burgeoning field demonstrates that many aspects of nutrition – from entire diets to specific nutrients – affect brain structure and function, and therefore have profound implications for understanding the nature of psychological health, aging, and disease. The aim of this Research Topic in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience is to examine recent empirical and theoretical contributions from Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience, with an emphasis on the following primary areas of inquiry.
Nutrition and Brain Health
An enduring aim of research in the nutritional sciences is to discover specific nutrients and dietary patterns that enhance cognitive function and brain health in the elderly. Although an abundance of evidence supports a single or a few nutrients for the promotion of cognitive performance and brain health, clinical trials using nutritional supplementation have been predominately unsuccessful. Further research is therefore needed to better characterize the contributions of specific nutrients and nutrient combinations to cognitive performance and brain health.
Moderators of Nutrition’s Impact on the Brain
A second major area of research in Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience investigates the mechanisms that underlie the effects of nutrition on brain health at the cellular, molecular, and circuit levels. Accumulating evidence indicates that the effects of nutrition on brain health are complex and multifactorial, reflecting the influence of particular nutrient combinations on specific brain networks and taking into account several moderating factors. Considerably more research is needed to elucidate the complex interactions between nutrition and known moderating variables – including age, nutritional status, genes, environment, and lifestyle – in determining nutrition’s impact on cognitive function and brain health.
Research at the frontiers of Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience establishes a personalized approach to nutritional intervention that takes into account individual variability in nutritional status, brain health, genes, environment, and lifestyle. The goal of personalized nutrition is to enhance the precision of nutritional intervention and to enable novel applications to psychological health, aging, and disease.
We welcome original empirical work, review and opinion papers, and methodological papers that promote our understanding of nutrition’s impact on brain and cognition in the elderly. This Research Topic is designed to promote an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the nutritional foundations of cognitive neuroscience, setting the stage for major advances in understanding the functional significance of nutrition on brain health and cognitive performance in older adults.
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.