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Lifespan Psychology

Founded in 1981 by the late Paul B. Baltes, the Center for Lifespan Psychology (LIP) at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development has helped to establish lifespan psychology as a distinct conceptual approach within developmental psychology. Since 2004, the Center has extended its research program into developmental behavioral neuroscience. Work at the Center is guided by three propositions:

  • to study lifespan changes in behavior as interactions among maturation, learning, and senescence;
  • to develop theories and methods that integrate empirical evidence across domains of functioning, timescales, as well as behavioral and neural levels of analysis;
  • to identify mechanisms of development by exploring age-graded differences in plasticity.

The Center continues to pay special attention to the age periods of late adulthood and old age, which offer unique opportunities for innovation, both in theory and practice. At the same time, it has continuously increased its research on behavioral development during earlier periods of life.

A Philosopher of the Enlightenment Era: Tetens

Tetens

"But ... its eminent modifiability, and its predisposition to self-initiated action, may it develop little or much, and may it differ in amount between different individuals, is among the immutable features of humankind, which can be found whereever humans exist."

Johann Nicolaus Tetens (1736-1807), philosopher of the Enlightenment Era

The Center's Projects

The Center for Lifespan Psychology's eight projects follow its guiding propositions and examine different facets of human development across the lifespan. Further information is available under Projects.

Selected Recent Publications

Brod, G., Bunge, S. A., & Shing, Y. L. (2017). Does one year of schooling improve children's cognitive control and alter associated brain activation? Psychological Science. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0956797617699838

Kleemeyer, M. M., Polk, T. A., Schaefer, S., Bodammer, N. C., Brechtel, L., & Lindenberger, U. (2017). Exercise-induced fitness changes correlate with changes in neural specificity in older adults. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11:123. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00123

Lindenberger, U., Wenger, E., & Lövdén, M. (2017). Towards a stronger science of human plasticity. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 18, 261–262. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2017.44

Lövdén, M., Bäckman, L., & Lindenberger, U. (2017). The link of intellectual engagement to cognitive and brain aging. In R. Cabeza, L. Nyberg, & D. Park (Eds.), Cognitive neuroscience of aging (2nd ed., pp. 461–484). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Papenberg, G., Lindenberger, U., & Bäckman, L. (2017). Genetics and cognitive neuroscience of aging. In R. Cabeza, L. Nyberg, & D. Park (Eds.), Cognitive neuroscience of aging (2nd ed., pp. 415–438). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Szymanski, C., Pesquita, A., Brennan, A. A., Perdikis, D., ... Brick, T. R., ... Müller, V., & Lindenberger, U. (2017). Teams on the same wavelength perform better: Inter-brain phase synchronization constitutes a neural substrate for social facilitation. NeuroImage, 152, 425–436. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.03.013

Wenger, E., Kühn, S., Verrel, J., Mårtensson, J., Bodammer, N. C., Lindenberger, U., & Lövdén, M. (2017). Repeated structural imaging reveals non-linear progression of experience-dependent volume changes in human motor cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 27, 2911–2925. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw141

See also here.

Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research

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Cooperation With University College London (UCL)

The Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research was launched in April 2014. It is based on an initiative by scientists from the Max Planck Society and UCL targeting the development and application of computational methods that reorganize and improve our understanding of mental illness and behavioral aging.

Further information

Contact

Director:
Ulman Lindenberger
Ulman Lindenberger Porträt
seklindenberger [at] mpib-berlin [dot] mpg [dot] de

COGITO Conference 2016

An international conference entitled "The COGITO Study: Looking at 100 Days Ten Years After“ took place in October 2016. Various world-leading behavioral scientists participated. More information can be found here.

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© Foto: David Ausserhofer

LIFE

LIFE is a graduate program of the Max Planck Society. Human development across the lifespan is its research topic.

More information on LIFE

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In Memoriam

Paul B. Baltes Porträt

Paul B. Baltes
(1939–2006)

 
 
 
 
 
1980–2004 Director of the Center for Lifespan Psychology

Further information