The Berlin Aging Studies (BASE)

Dynamic Modeling of Longitudinal Change and Mortality

During the 20th century, average life expectancy nearly doubled. More and more individuals in current cohorts of older individuals experience additional years of life between the ages of 70 and 100+. What do these added years mean in terms of levels of functional capacity and quality of life? What are the constraints on mental and physical capacities in the last years of life? Given the heterogeneity of aging trajectories and outcomes, longitudinal studies of individual development are crucial in providing answers to these questions. Since 1989, members of the Center for Lifespan Psychology have been investigating age- and death-related changes in psychological functioning from age 70 to 100+ in the context of the Berlin Aging Study I (BASE). Recently, a new focus has been added by establishing BASE-II to address antecedents of healthy aging. Both BASE and BASE-II are collaborative, multidisciplinary studies that involve collaborators from other institutions inside and outside Berlin. In the following, we summarize recent developments in both studies.

© Karl Groß


Liefebrain Logo

A healthy brain is essential to enjoy a productive human life. Many environmental, social, occupational, and lifestyle factors influence brain health. The Lifebrain project aims to identify these factors and understand how they influence brain development, cognitive function and mental health at different stages of life.

Lifebrain integrates data from 6000 research participants collected in 11 European brain-imaging studies in 7 countries. BASE and BASE-II are participating in this project.

Lifebrain is an international research project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.


Ulman Lindenberger, Simone Kühn, Andreas Brandmaier, Sandra Düzel, & Ylva Köhncke

Website: www.lifebrain.uio.no


Walhovd, K. B., Fjell, A. M., Westerhausen, R., Nyberg, L., Ebmeier, K. P., Lindenberger, U., ... for Lifebrain Consortium. (2018). Healthy minds from 0–100 years: Optimising the use of European brain imaging cohorts ("Lifebrain"). European Psychiatry, 50, 47–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2017.12.006


Logo Berliner Altersstudie | Berliner Altersstudie / Berlin Aging Study

You can find more information about the Berlin Aging Study (BASE) here and at www.base-berlin.mpg.de.


Logo BASE II | Berli Aging Study II

You can find more information about the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) here and at www.base2.mpg.de.

Recent Publications

Hensel, C., Becker, M., Duezel, S., Demuth, I., Norman, K., Steinhagen-Thiessen, E., ... Kühn, S. (2019). Influence of nutritional tyrosine on cognition and functional connectivity in healthy old humans. NeuroImage, 193, 139–145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.03.005

Kozik, P., Drewelies, J., Düzel, S., Demuth, I., Steinhagen-Thiessen, E., Gerstorf, D., & Hoppmann, C. A. (2019). Future time perspective: Dimensions of opportunities, life, and time are differentially associated with physical health, cognitive functioning, and well-being in old age. Aging & Mental Health. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2019.1594159

Davies, G., Lam, M., Harris, S. E., Trampush, J., Luciano, M., ... Lindenberger, U., ... Deary, I. J. (2018). Study of 300,486 individuals identifies 148 independent genetic loci influencing general cognitive function. Nature Communications, 9: 2098. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04362-x

Düzel, S., Buchmann, N., Drewelies, J., Gerstorf, D., Lindenberger, U., Steinhagen-Thiessen, E., ... Demuth, I. (2018). Validation of a single factor representing the indicators of metabolic syndrome as a continuous measure of metabolic load and its association with health and cognitive function. PLoS ONE, 13(12): e0208231. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0208231

Düzel, S., Drewelies, J., Kühn, S., Gerstorf, D., & Lindenberger, U. (2018). Facets of subjective health horizons are differentially linked to brain volume. GeroPsych, 31, 127–136. https://doi.org/10.1024/1662-9647/a000191

Düzel, S., & Gerstorf, D. (2018). The (domain-differentiated) nature of future time perspective and its antecedents, correlates, and consequences [Editorial]. GeroPsych, 31, 101. https://doi.org/10.1024/1662-9647/a000195

Düzel, S., & Gerstorf, D. (Eds.). (2018). Special issue: Future time perspectives. GeroPsych, 31(3).

Hertzog, C., Hülür, G., Gerstorf, D., & Pearman, A. M. (2018). Is subjective memory change in old age based on accurate monitoring of age-related memory change? Evidence from two longitudinal studies. Psychology and Aging, 33, 273–287. https://doi.org/10.1037/pag0000232

Köhncke, Y., Papenberg, G., Jonasson, L., Karalija, N., Wåhlin, A., Salami, A., ... Lövdén, M. (2018). Self-rated intensity of habitual physical activities is positively associated with dopamine D2/3 receptor availability and cognition. NeuroImage, 181, 605–616. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.07.036

König, M., Drewelies, J., Norman, K., Spira, D., ... Lindenberger, U., ... Demuth, I. (2018). Historical trends in modifiable indicators of cardiovascular health and self-rated health among older adults: Cohort differences over 20 years between the Berlin Aging Study (BASE) and the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II). PLoS ONE, 13(1): e0191699. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0191699

Mueller, S., Wagner, J., Voelkle, M. C., Smith, J., & Gerstorf, D. (2018). The interplay of personality and functional health in old and very old age: Dynamic within-person interrelations across up to 13 years. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 115, 1127–1147. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000173

Notthoff, N., Drewelies, J., ... Steinhagen-Thiessen, E., Norman, K., Düzel, S., ... Lindenberger, U., ... Gerstorf, D. (2018). Feeling older, walking slower—but only if someone's watching: Subjective age is associated with walking speed in the laboratory, but not in real life. European Journal of Ageing, 15, 425–433. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-017-0450-3

Walhovd, K. B., Fjell, A. M., Westerhausen, R., Nyberg, L., Ebmeier, K. P., Lindenberger, U., ... for Lifebrain Consortium. (2018). Healthy minds from 0–100 years: Optimising the use of European brain imaging cohorts ("Lifebrain"). European Psychiatry, 50, 47–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2017.12.006

Kühn, S., Düzel, S., Colzato, L., Norman, K., ... Brandmaier, A. M., Lindenberger, U., & Widaman, K. F. (2017). Food for thought: Association between dietary tyrosine and cognitive performance in younger and older adults. Psychological Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-017-0957-4



Julia Delius
Sandra Düzel
Ulman Lindenberger
Gert G. Wagner

Caroline Beese
Ylva Köhncke (postdocs)

Sarah Polk (predoctoral fellow)

Katrin Schaar (BASE-II coordinator)

Kirsten Becker (BASE-II research assistant)

Martin Becker (database management)
Berndt Wischnewski (BASE-II programming)

BASE Website

Logo Berliner Altersstudie | Berliner Altersstudie / Berlin Aging Study

Berlin Aging Study (BASE)


BASE-II Website

Logo BASE II | Berli Aging Study II

Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II)


Key References


Delius, J. A. M., Düzel, S., Gerstorf, D., & Lindenberger, U. (2017). Berlin Aging Studies (BASE and BASE-II). In N. A. Pachana (Ed.), Encyclopedia of geropsychology (pp. 386–395). New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-082-7_44

Berlin Aging Study (BASE)

Baltes, P. B., & Mayer, K. U. (Eds.). (2001). The Berlin Aging Study: Aging from 70 to 100 (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press. Table of Content

Lindenberger, U., Smith, J., Mayer, K. U., & Baltes, P. B. (Hrsg.). (2010). Die Berliner Altersstudie (3. erw. Aufl.). Berlin: Akademie Verlag. Inhaltsverzeichnis

Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II)

Bertram, L., Böckenhoff, A., Demuth, I., Düzel, S., Eckardt, R., Li, S.-C., Lindenberger, U., Pawelec, G., Siedler, T., Wagner, G. G., & Steinhagen-Thiessen, E. (2014). Cohort profile: The Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II). International Journal of Epidemiology, 43, 703–712. doi: 10.1093/ije/ dyt018

Gerstorf, D., Bertram, L., Lindenberger, U., Pawelec, G., Wagner, G. G., & Steinhagen-­Thiessen, E. (Eds.). (2016). The Berlin Aging Study II: An overview [Special section]. Gerontology, 62, 311–370.