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ERIC Number: ED566479
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2372-7322
The Potential for Literacy to Shape Lifelong Cognitive Health
Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A. L.; Hussey, Erika K.; Ng, Shukhan
Grantee Submission, Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences v2 n1 p92-100 Oct 2015
In light of population aging, an understanding of factors that promote lifelong cognitive resilience is urgent. There is considerable evidence that education early in the life span, which promotes the development of literacy skills, leads to cognitive health and longevity, but the ways in which activity engagement in later adulthood affects long-term cognitive health is not well understood. The literature on cognitive training focusing on ability and skill training has not only demonstrated the existence of plasticity into late life but also shows that improvements are very tightly tied to the abilities trained. The rush to apply ability training to promote cognitive health has produced a vibrant "brain training" industry that neglects the very limited evidence for transfer to significant functional outcomes. Recent evidence on the neural substrates of reading, language comprehension, and discourse processing, as well as on the lifelong effects of literacy engagement in special populations, hints that reading may well be a "whole-brain exercise" with the potential to promote cognitive health. Such findings suggest promise for education-based approaches to promote lifelong cognitive health, calling for (a) societal investment in science at the interface of education and health, in particular to understand the mechanisms through which literacy engagement affects mind, brain, and physical health through the life span, and (b) innovation in developing models of life span education. [This article was published in "Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences," v2 n1 p92-100 Oct 2015.]
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A130448