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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

Bache, C., Springer, A., Noack, H., Stadler, W., Kopp, F., Lindenberger, U., & Werkle-Bergner, M. (2017). 10-month-old infants are sensitive to the time course of perceived actions: Evidence from a study combining eye-tracking and EEG. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:1170. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01170

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, 28, 967–978. doi: 10.1177/0956797617699838

Garrett, D. D., Lindenberger, U., Hoge, R., & Gauthier, C. J. (in press). Age differences in brain signal variability are robust to multiple vascular controls. Scientific Reports.

Hertzog, C., Lövdén, M., Lindenberger, U., & Schmiedek, F. (2017). Age differences in coupling of intraindividual variability in mnemonic strategies and practice-related associative recall improvements. Psychology and Aging. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/ pag0000177

Keresztes, A., Bender, A. R., Bodammer, N. C., Lindenberger, U., Shing, Y. L., & Werkle-Bergner, M. (in press). Hippocampal maturity promotes memory distinctiveness in childhood and adolescence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Kleinert, M.-L., Szymanski, C., & Müller, V. (in press). Frequency-unspecific effects of θ-tACS related to a visuospatial working memory task. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience.

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

Pannunzi, M., Wenger, E., Lisofsky, N., Martensson, J., Butler, O., Filevich, E., ... Lindenberger, U., Kühn, S., & Deco, G. (2017). Resting-state fMRI correlations: From link-wise unreliability to whole brain stability. NeuroImage, 157, 250–262. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.06.006

Perdikis, D., Volhard, J., Müller, V., Kaulard, K., Brick, T. R., Wallraven, C., & Lindenberger, U. (in press). Brain synchronization during perception of facial emotional expressions with natural and unnatural dynamics. PLoS ONE.

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

Research Report

Research Report 2014 bis 2016
© MPIB

The Institute's Research Report provides more information on the Center for Lifespan Psychology.

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.

Cover Programmheft
© 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