Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

ERC

AGESPACE Report Summary

Project ID: 335090
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Germany

Mid-Term Report Summary - AGESPACE (SPATIAL NAVIGATION – A UNIQUE WINDOW INTO MECHANISMS OF COGNITIVE AGEING)

The European population is ageing at an unprecedented rate. By 2040, the number of people aged over 60 is set to rise to 290 million, a significant proportion of whom will have to cope with normative or pathological cognitive decline. In particular, problems with spatial navigation can severely restrict the mobility of elderly people and affect (physical) activity and social participation. Moreover, getting lost is often one of the earliest signs of dementia disorders, hence indicators of navigational functioning could potentially serve as cognitive biomarkers to identify those at risk of developing dementias.

The goal of the ERC Starting Grant AGESPACE is to characterise the change of navigational functions in old age and to identify the underlying neuronal mechanisms. Using ultra-high resolution brain imaging and cutting edge virtual environment technology, we have first characterised navigational computations in the human brain that were previously only shown in animals. Moreover, we have begun to demonstrate how changes in neural computations can impair spatial navigation in older adults, even when their performance in other cognitive domains is normal. In addition, we have started to explore how theoretically motivated interventions can help to improve navigational abilities. This research is the foundation for finding ways to improve the quality of life of the elderly and to detect people at risk of losing their independence or even developing dementia.

Contact

Katrin Buerger, (Officer for Third Party Funding)
Tel.: +49 228 43302 122
Fax: +49 228 43302 169
E-mail
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top