Research Topic

Work and Brain Health Across the Lifespan

About this Research Topic

Most adults spend half of their waking time at work. An aging population and its related economic pressures has contributed to a gradual increase in the retirement age world-wide – a trend only set to continue. This means that people will be spending even more of their adult lifespan at work, increasing their exposure to occupational factors. At the same time, there is increasing evidence that the timing of retirement can affect cognitive trajectories, and possibly the development of dementia.

Whilst the effects of work on our physical and mental health are well documented, our understanding of how occupational factors affect brain health and cognition is limited. For example, very little is known about the neural mechanisms linking occupational exposures and adult cognitive performance, or why retirement age and cognitive function may be related.

A better understanding of occupational factors and how they affect cognition and brain aging will be necessary to develop better work-related practices. This has the potential to optimize neurocognitive function and hence boost productivity, while helping to prevent or postpone cognitive impairment.

The aim of this Research Topic is therefore to encourage and focus the efforts in the emerging field of “occupational neuroscience”. This Research Topic will appraise/reflect the current state of research in basic, translational, and clinical areas.

As such, we welcome articles that employ neuroimaging, histological or epidemiological methods to better understand the links between different occupational exposures and adult brain health. These can include (but are not limited to): occupational attainment, complexity, managerial level, intellectual challenges, exposure to novelty, physical demands, interpersonal stress, burnout, job insecurity, routinization, mental flexibility, exposure to toxins, shift working and work-life balance.

Studies linking occupational characteristics with risk of (or neural pathology) of dementia or cognitive impairment are also within the scope of this Research Topic.


Keywords: occupation, work, dementia, brain health, cognition, neuroimaging, epidemiology, aging


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.

Most adults spend half of their waking time at work. An aging population and its related economic pressures has contributed to a gradual increase in the retirement age world-wide – a trend only set to continue. This means that people will be spending even more of their adult lifespan at work, increasing their exposure to occupational factors. At the same time, there is increasing evidence that the timing of retirement can affect cognitive trajectories, and possibly the development of dementia.

Whilst the effects of work on our physical and mental health are well documented, our understanding of how occupational factors affect brain health and cognition is limited. For example, very little is known about the neural mechanisms linking occupational exposures and adult cognitive performance, or why retirement age and cognitive function may be related.

A better understanding of occupational factors and how they affect cognition and brain aging will be necessary to develop better work-related practices. This has the potential to optimize neurocognitive function and hence boost productivity, while helping to prevent or postpone cognitive impairment.

The aim of this Research Topic is therefore to encourage and focus the efforts in the emerging field of “occupational neuroscience”. This Research Topic will appraise/reflect the current state of research in basic, translational, and clinical areas.

As such, we welcome articles that employ neuroimaging, histological or epidemiological methods to better understand the links between different occupational exposures and adult brain health. These can include (but are not limited to): occupational attainment, complexity, managerial level, intellectual challenges, exposure to novelty, physical demands, interpersonal stress, burnout, job insecurity, routinization, mental flexibility, exposure to toxins, shift working and work-life balance.

Studies linking occupational characteristics with risk of (or neural pathology) of dementia or cognitive impairment are also within the scope of this Research Topic.


Keywords: occupation, work, dementia, brain health, cognition, neuroimaging, epidemiology, aging


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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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2019 Manuscript
31 March 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2019 Manuscript
31 March 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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