Cognitive and electrophysiological empowerment in healthy aging: clinical and EEG evidences

Davide Crivelli, Ylenia Canavesio, Francesca Pala, Roberta Finocchiaro, Giovanni Lecci, Maria Grazia Inzaghi, Michela Balconi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


It is widely accepted that physiological aging is a dynamic process and that cognitive and brain reserves act as protective factors against cognitive decline. The re-activation of networks mediating cognitive functions by cognitive and electrophysiological interventions may then lead to an improvement of functional profile. The research aims at investigating the efficacy of a prefrontal transcranial Direct Current Stimulation protocol (tDCS) and a computerized cognitive protocol (Cogn) in empowering cognitive functions and automatic attention responses in healthy elderly people. Thirty-two volunteers took part to the study and were divided into the tDCS, Cogn or control group. The experimental design included an initial assessment session (T0) and a 3-months re-test (T1), with standardized neuropsychological tests and Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) recording. Both intervention protocols lasted 8 weeks and included 3 sessions per week. Comparison of T0 and T1 data highlighted an increasing profile for specific post-intervention performances at neuropsychological tests in tDCS and Cogn groups. In addition, we also observed a modulation of ERPs responses to a challenging attention task. Finally, participants qualitatively reported subjective increases in everyday functioning. Our findings suggest that structured intervention protocols may help in empowering cognitive abilities in healthy aging people and hint at interesting implication for prevention and early intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgram of «The 14th European Congress of Psychology»
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventThe 14th European Congress of Psychology - Milano
Duration: 7 Jul 201510 Jul 2015


ConferenceThe 14th European Congress of Psychology


  • Cognition
  • Empowerment
  • Healthy aging
  • tDCS


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