The science of ageing
Cam-CAN is a large-scale collaborative research project,
launched in October 2010, with substantial funding from the
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
The Cam-CAN project is using epidemiological, behavioural, and
neuroimaging data to understand how individuals can best retain
cognitive abilities into old age.
Although the popular view of ageing is as a process of decline
and decay, new scientific discoveries suggest a very different
view - one in which the brain remains flexible and adaptable
across the lifespan, with many cognitive abilities being
preserved. A major aim of our research is to understand the nature
of these brain-cognition relationships across the lifespan, and to
change the perspective of ageing in the 21st century by
highlighting the importance of abilities that are maintained into
Our research takes a lifespan perspective to understanding how
the mind and brain develop across the adult lifespan in order to
preserve cognitive function. This research will include
participants across the entire adult lifespan, aged 18 and up. Our
aim is to understand how changes in the brain across the adult
lifespan impact on cognitive functions like memory and attention.
Our emphasis will be on determining the extent of neural
flexibility and the potential for neural reorganisation to
preserve cognitive functions.
This research requires the cooperation of researchers and
collaborators across the UK to provide an interdisciplinary view
of the ageing mind and brain. Our core research teams include
members of research groups in Cambridge including the Departments
of Psychology, Public Health and Primary Care, Psychiatry,
Clinical Neurosciences, and Engineering in the University of
Cambridge and the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain
Sciences Unit. Over 30 project researchers and collaborators will
contribute to a new view of adult development that incorporates
demographic, psychological, physical, and neural measures.
Read more about the different research topics here,
or visit our
people page for information on individual researchers.
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