Project Title

Cognitive decline in a social context: Have we done it to ourselves?

Presenters

David PosadaFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

Psychology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Mari-Amanda Dyal

No human subjects

Project Type

Event

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Cognitive decline in a social context: Have we done it to ourselves?

1. Background and Research Question/Purpose of Research

There has been much discussion about cognitive decline in older individuals as a result of the natural aging process. These discussions have been focused on memory, attention, and executive function. Moreover, these discussions have, to some degree, captured social cognition and interaction as a preventive factor in overall cognitive decline. However, social cognition and interaction as a preventive factor have primarily been discussed in the traditional sense ignoring the presence and impact of the digital experience.

2. Research Methods

The current research seeks to review the state of the literature to determine to what extent social cognition and interaction in the digital domain impacts cognitive decline. More specifically, does social cognition and interaction retain its protective nature against cognitive decline in digital environments, or has it become a risk factor? Given the uptick of social media in the past decade and virtual communication during the pandemic, the social context has changed, and its impact on cognitive decline may have as well. All age brackets will be included in the review in order to determine rather than assume vulnerable populations.

The review of literature will require accessing several databases to ensure that the related literature, specifically primary sources of data, are reviewed to the fullest extent possible, such as PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsychINFO. Keyword generation will include select terms to capture the breadth and depth of the areas of interest: cognitive decline, social cognition, social interaction, digital age, social media, pandemic, risk factor, and protective factor.

3. Results/Findings (completed or expected if work is still in progress)

A comprehensive review will reveal the state of the literature as it relates to the research question. It is hypothesized that there are critical gaps in the understanding of social cognition and interaction in the digital age as a protective factor against cognitive decline.

4. Conclusions & Implications for future research, if applicable

The review will inform future practice and research recommendations to 1) better understand cognitive decline in the social context that currently has very strong digital roots and 2) guide best practices and research priorities to reduce risk and strengthen what protective properties still exist.

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Cognitive decline in a social context: Have we done it to ourselves?

Cognitive decline in a social context: Have we done it to ourselves?

1. Background and Research Question/Purpose of Research

There has been much discussion about cognitive decline in older individuals as a result of the natural aging process. These discussions have been focused on memory, attention, and executive function. Moreover, these discussions have, to some degree, captured social cognition and interaction as a preventive factor in overall cognitive decline. However, social cognition and interaction as a preventive factor have primarily been discussed in the traditional sense ignoring the presence and impact of the digital experience.

2. Research Methods

The current research seeks to review the state of the literature to determine to what extent social cognition and interaction in the digital domain impacts cognitive decline. More specifically, does social cognition and interaction retain its protective nature against cognitive decline in digital environments, or has it become a risk factor? Given the uptick of social media in the past decade and virtual communication during the pandemic, the social context has changed, and its impact on cognitive decline may have as well. All age brackets will be included in the review in order to determine rather than assume vulnerable populations.

The review of literature will require accessing several databases to ensure that the related literature, specifically primary sources of data, are reviewed to the fullest extent possible, such as PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsychINFO. Keyword generation will include select terms to capture the breadth and depth of the areas of interest: cognitive decline, social cognition, social interaction, digital age, social media, pandemic, risk factor, and protective factor.

3. Results/Findings (completed or expected if work is still in progress)

A comprehensive review will reveal the state of the literature as it relates to the research question. It is hypothesized that there are critical gaps in the understanding of social cognition and interaction in the digital age as a protective factor against cognitive decline.

4. Conclusions & Implications for future research, if applicable

The review will inform future practice and research recommendations to 1) better understand cognitive decline in the social context that currently has very strong digital roots and 2) guide best practices and research priorities to reduce risk and strengthen what protective properties still exist.