Medicine:Cognitive deficit

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Cognitive deficit
Other namesCognitive impairment

Cognitive deficit is an inclusive term to describe any characteristic that acts as a barrier to the cognition process.[1]

The term may describe


It usually refers to a durable characteristic, as opposed to altered level of consciousness, which may be acute and reversible. Cognitive deficits may be inborn or caused by environmental factors such as brain injuries, neurological disorders, or mental illness.[4][5]


Screening for cognitive impairment in those over the age of 65 without symptoms is of unclear benefit versus harm as of 2020.[6] In a large population-based cohort study included 579,710 66-year-old adults who were followed for a total of 3,870,293 person-years (average 6.68 ± 1.33 years per person), subjective cognitive decline was significantly associated with an increased risk of subsequent dementia.[7]


Older people with cognitive impairment appear to improve somewhat with light therapy.[8]

Other findings

Although one would expect cognitive decline to have major effects on job performance, it seems that there is little to no correlation of health with job performance. With the exception of cognitive-dependent jobs such as air-traffic controller, professional athlete, or other elite jobs, age does not seem to impact one's job performance. This obviously conflicts with cognitive tests given, so the matter has been researched further. One possible reason for this conclusion is the rare need for a person to perform at their maximum. There is a difference between typical functioning, that is – the normal level of functioning for daily life, and maximal functioning, that is – what cognitive tests observe as our maximum level of functioning. As the maximum cognitive ability that we are able to achieve decreases, it may not actually affect our daily lives, which only require the normal level.[9]

Some studies have indicated that childhood hunger might have a protective effect on cognitive decline. One possible explanation is that the onset of age-related changes in the body can be delayed by calorie restriction. Another possible explanation is the selective survival effect, as the study participants who had a childhood with hunger tend to be the healthiest of their era.[10]

See also


  1. Coren, Stanley; Lawrence M. Ward; James T. Enns (1999). Sensation and Perception. Harcourt Brace. p. 9. ISBN 0-470-00226-3. 
  2. Belanoff, Joseph K.; Gross, Kristin; Yager, Alison; Schatzberg, Alan F. (2001). "Corticosteroids and cognition.". J Psychiatr Res 35 (3): 127–45. doi:10.1016/s0022-3956(01)00018-8. PMID 11461709. 
  3. Kalachnik, JE.; Hanzel, TE.; Sevenich, R.; Harder, SR. (Sep 2002). "Benzodiazepine behavioral side effects: review and implications for individuals with mental retardation". Am J Ment Retard 107 (5): 376–410. doi:10.1352/0895-8017(2002)107<0376:BBSERA>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0895-8017. PMID 12186578. 
  4. Hockenbury, Don and Sandy (2004). Discovering Psychology. Worth Publishers. ISBN 0-7167-5704-4. [page needed]
  5. Fried, Yehuda; Joseph Agassi (1976). Paranoia: A Study in Diagnosis. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 50. ISBN 90-277-0704-9. [page needed]
  6. US Preventive Services Task, Force.; Owens, DK; Davidson, KW; Krist, AH; Barry, MJ; Cabana, M; Caughey, AB; Doubeni, CA et al. (25 February 2020). "Screening for Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement.". JAMA 323 (8): 757–763. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.0435. PMID 32096858. 
  7. Lee, YC; Kang, JM; Lee, H; Kim, K; Kim, S; Yu, TY; Lee, EM; Kim, CT et al. (6 May 2020). "Subjective cognitive decline and subsequent dementia: a nationwide cohort study of 579,710 people aged 66 years in South Korea.". Alzheimer's Research & Therapy 12 (1): 52. doi:10.1186/s13195-020-00618-1. PMID 32375880. 
  8. Chiu, HL; Chan, PT; Chu, H; Hsiao, SS; Liu, D; Lin, CH; Chou, KR (October 2017). "Effectiveness of Light Therapy in Cognitively Impaired Persons: A Metaanalysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.". Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 65 (10): 2227–2234. doi:10.1111/jgs.14990. PMID 28734045. 
  9. Salthouse, Timothy (10 January 2012). "Consequences of Age-Related Cognitive Declines". Annual Review of Psychology 63 (1): 201–226. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100328. PMID 21740223. 
  10. Barnes, L. L.; Wilson, R. S.; Everson-Rose, S. A.; Hayward, M. D.; Evans, D. A.; Mendes de Leon, C. F. (26 October 2015). "Effects of early-life adversity on cognitive decline in older African Americans and whites". Neurology 79 (24): 2321–7. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e318278b607. PMID 23233682. 

Further reading

  • Das, J.P.; Naglieri, J.A.; Kirby, J.R. (1994). Assessment of Cognitive Processes. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 0-205-14164-1. 
  • Das, J.P. (2002). A better look at intelligence. Current Directions in Psychology, 11, 28–32.
  • Goldstein, Gerald; Beers, Susan, eds (2004). Comprehensive Handbook of Psychological Assessment: Volume I: Intellectual and Neurological Assessment. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Kaufman, Alan S. (2000). "Chapter 20: Tests of Intelligence". in Sternberg, Robert J.. Handbook of Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 445–476. ISBN 978-0-521-59648-0. 
  • Naglieri, Jack A.; Otero, Tulio M. (2012). "Chapter 15: The Cognitive Assessment System: From Theory to Practice". in Flanagan, Dawn P.; Harrison, Patti L.. Contemporary Intellectual Assessment: Theories, tests, and issues (Third ed.). New York: Guilford Press. pp. 376–399. ERIC ED530599. ISBN 978-1-60918-995-2. 
  • Sattler, Jerome M. (2008). Assessment of Children: Cognitive Foundations. La Mesa (CA): Jerome M. Sattler, Publisher.
  • Urbina, Susana (2004). Essentials of Psychological Testing. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-41978-5. 
  • Urbina, Susana (2011). "Chapter 2: Tests of Intelligence". in Sternberg, Robert J.; Kaufman, Scott Barry. The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 20–38. ISBN 978-0-521-73911-5. 

External links

External resources