Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 493598, 12 pages
Research Article

Dynamic Associations of Change in Physical Activity and Change in Cognitive Function: Coordinated Analyses of Four Longitudinal Studies

1Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science and Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 300, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
2Department of Psychology and Neurology, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
3General Internal Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, 325 Ninth Avenue, P.O. Box 359780, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
4Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, ENRM Bedford VA Hospital, 200 Springs Road, Bedford, MA 01730, USA
5Center for Biomedical Imaging, Medical University of South Carolina, 68 President Sreet, MSC 120, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
6Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3050 STN CSC, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 3P5
7Department of Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032, USA
8Andrus Gerontology Center, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
9Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, 180 Nickerson, Suite 206, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
10Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 100, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
11Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E9 , Canada
12Davis Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center, University of California, 4860 Y Street, Ste 0100, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA

Received 29 March 2012; Revised 26 June 2012; Accepted 24 July 2012

Academic Editor: Alan J. Gow

Copyright © 2012 Magnus Lindwall et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study used a coordinated analyses approach to examine the association of physical activity and cognitive change in four longitudinal studies. A series of multilevel growth models with physical activity included both as a fixed (between-person) and time-varying (within-person) predictor of four domains of cognitive function (reasoning, memory, fluency, and semantic knowledge) was used. Baseline physical activity predicted fluency, reasoning and memory in two studies. However, there was a consistent pattern of positive relationships between time-specific changes in physical activity and time-specific changes in cognition, controlling for expected linear trajectories over time, across all four studies. This pattern was most evident for the domains of reasoning and fluency.