The role of cognitive reserve as mediator for addition and multiplication skills in late adulthood

Mulas I.
First
;
Ruiu M.
Second
;
Fastame M. C.
Last
2021

Abstract

Background: The role played by cognitive reserve for the maintenance of numeracy skills in late adulthood is still not sufficiently explored. Aims: This study mainly investigated whether cognitive reserve (i.e., vocabulary) mediates on the relationship between non-verbal reasoning and addition and multiplication skills of older individuals. Moreover, the impact of schooling and gender on written calculation was examined, controlling for the effect of cognitive decline. Methods: One hundred and six 68–94-year-old participants completed a battery of tests assessing numeracy, executive functions, and cognitive reserve skills. Results: Significant correlations were found between age, cognitive reserve, numeracy, and executive functions measures. Besides, mediation analyses indicated that cognitive reserve and non-verbal reasoning explain 23% and 29% of the variance in written addition and multiplication conditions, respectively. Finally, more educated individuals performed better numeracy tasks, whereas the solution of additions and multiplications was not impact by gender. Conclusions: Cognitive reserve impacts numeracy in late adulthood.
Aging; Cognitive reserve; Executive functions; Numeracy; Written calculation
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