Other Functional Changes Associated with Aging

While verbal tests generally appear more resistant to aging than visuospatial tasks, aging may be associated with benign changes in language functions such as word-finding difficulties, comprehension problems, difficulties with naming, and reduced verbal fluency (although these findings could indicate prodromal dementia or be a function of limited education as well). Behavioral changes such as a decrease in drive, decreased novelty- and challenge-seeking, decreased goal setting, and a tendency to rely more strongly on first impressions in interpersonal situations also accompany normal aging (Cavanaugh and Blanchard-Fields, 2002). These changes may represent a more general example of the specific cognitive changes noted above, especially reduced speed of information processing and less proficient executive abilities.

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