Brain Function in Old Age

Evaluation of Changes and Disorders

  • Friedrich Hoffmeister
  • Christian Müller
Conference proceedings

Part of the Bayer-Symposium book series (BAYER-SYMP, volume 7)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Foreword and Welcome

    1. F. Hoffmeister
      Pages 1-4
  3. Opening Remarks

    1. C. Müller
      Pages 5-8
  4. Characterization of Behavioral Changes and Disorders in Old Age

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Back Matter
      Pages 68-79
  5. Quantitative Evaluation of Old Age Related Changes and Disorders. Vigilance

  6. Performance, Learning and Memory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-133
    2. K. W. Schaie, E. Zelinski
      Pages 135-150
    3. Back Matter
      Pages 160-161
  7. Cognitive Functions

  8. Affect

  9. Assessment of Regional Cerebral Circulation

  10. The Significance of Experimental Studies in Man

  11. The Significance of Experimental Studies in Animals

  12. A Critical Review of Therapy of Changes and Disorders in Old Age

About these proceedings


Experimental gerontopsychology attempts to test causal hypotheses about old age-related behavioral changes by the manipulation of age-differences. An experimental treatment is introduced with the purpose of equating different age-groups with respect to a potentially relevant function. If the treatment results in an assimilation of the behavior of the different age-groups (age­ by-treatment interaction), differences in this function are con­ sidered as causal for the normally observed behavioral differ­ ence. If it does not result in an assimilation of the behavior of the different age-groups (main effect of treatment), differ­ ences in this function are considered as irrelevant for the nor­ mally observed behavioral difference. The different interpretations of age-by-treatment interactions and main effects of treatment in this kind of research are reasonable only if the experimental treatment actually results in an equalization of the age-groups with respect to the func­ tion of interest. As is shown, such a functional equalization can neither be demonstrated nor assumed in many cases. In such cases, studies with either age-group can be used to investigate hypotheses about potential causes for old age-related behavioral changes, studies with young subjects having important advantages over studies with old subjects. A test of causal relationships by age-by-treatment interactions is possible in cases where the experimental treatment evidently results in an equalization of the age groups with respect to the function in question. Unfortunately, the field of application for this kind of approach is rather limited.


Alterskrankheit Brain Hirnerkrankung age gerontopsychology

Editors and affiliations

  • Friedrich Hoffmeister
    • 1
  • Christian Müller
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Pharmakologie der Bayer AGWuppertal 1Fed. Rep. of Germany
  2. 2.Hôpital de CeryClinique Psychiatrique Universitaire de LausannePrillySwitzerland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1979
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-67306-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-67304-7
  • Series Print ISSN 0067-4672
  • Buy this book on publisher's site