Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 410–416 | Cite as

An approach to studying the neural correlates of reserve

  • Yaakov Stern
SI: Resilience/Reserve in AD


The goal of this paper is to review my current understanding of the concepts of cognitive reserve (CR), brain reserve and brain maintenance, and to describe our group’s approach to using imaging to study their neural basis. I present a working model for utilizing data regarding brain integrity, clinical status, cognitive activation and CR proxies to develop analyses that can explore the neural basis of cognitive reserve and brain maintenance. The basic model assumes that the effect of brain changes on cognition is mediated by task-related activation. We treat CR as a moderator to understand how task-related activation might vary as a function of CR, or how CR might operate independently of these differences in task-related activation. My hope is that this presentation will spark discussion across groups that study these concepts, allowing us to come to some common agreement on definitions, methodology and approaches.


Cognitive reserve Brain reserve Brain maintenance fMRI 



This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (RO1 AG26158).

Compliance with ethical standards


This study was funded by National Institute on Aging (RO1 AG26158).

Conflict of interest

Dr. Stern declares that he has no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cognitive Neuroscience Division, Department of NeurologyColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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