Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II)

One of the most salient aspects of aging is its heterogeneity. Some individuals maintain their health and preserve their cognitive abilities into advanced ages, whereas others show precipitous and early decline. To understand the mechanisms that produce this diversity of outcomes, we need to follow the trajectories of aging individuals over time. With this goal in mind, researchers from Berlin and Tübingen initiated the Berlin Aging Study II (Bertram et al., 2014). Like BASE, BASE-II was set up as a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional longitudinal study that captures a wide range of different functional domains. Geriatrics and internal medicine as well as immunology, psychology, genetics, sociology, and economics are among the disciplines involved. The study received financial support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The recruitment of the BASE-II cohort, which was completed in 2013, resulted in a consolidated baseline sample of 1,600 older adults aged 60 to 80 years and of 600 younger adults aged 20 to 35 years (Bertram et al., 2014). Data from this baseline sample can be linked to the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), a longitudinal panel survey that is representative of the German population, to estimate sample selectivity. See BASE-II in SOEP.

Testing at the Center for Lifespan Psychology

Cognitive Battery of BASE-II
© MPI fuer Bildungsforschung

After extensive piloting, a comprehensive battery of cognitive tests and a psychological questionnaire were added to the baseline protocol in March 2013. The cognitive test battery is distributed across two testing sessions. It includes various facets of episodic memory as well as measures of working memory, cognitive control, fluid intelligence, reading skills, and decision making. It also includes a newly developed measure of subjective health, the subjective health horizon (SHH), to assess participants’ motivation to engage in explorative and novel activities (Düzel et al., 2016). The psychological questionnaire contains measures of self-reported health, well-being, personality, stress, coping, and of attitudes toward aging.

Steering Group

Denis Gerstorf (Speaker)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & German Institute for Economic Research

Lars Bertram (Co-Speaker) University of Lübeck
Ulman Lindenberger (Co-Speaker)

Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Graham Pawelec (Co-Speaker) University of Tübingen
Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen (Co-Speaker) Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Gert G. Wagner (Co-Speaker) German Institute for Economic Research & Max Planck Institute for Human Development


Katrin Schaar Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Sandra Düzel
Ulman Lindenberger
Gert G. Wagner

Julia Schröder

Kirsten Becker
Anke Klingebiel (research assistants)
Martin Becker (database management)
Berndt Wischnewski (programming)

External cooperation partners: see overview to the left

Key References

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

Delius, J. A. M., Düzel, S., Gerstorf, D., & Lindenberger, U. (in press). Berlin Aging Studies (BASE and BASE-II). In N. A. Pachana (Ed.), Encyclopedia of geropsychology. New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978- 981-287-080-3_44-1

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.

BASE-II Website

Logo BASE II | Berli Aging Study II



Recent Publications

Düzel, S., Voelkle, M. C., Düzel, E., Gerstorf, D., Drewelies, J., Steinhagen-Thiessen, E., Demuth, I., & Lindenberger, U. (2016). The Subjective Health Horizon Questionnaire (SHH-Q): Assessing the future time perspective for facets of an active lifestyle. Gerontology, 62, 345–353. doi: 10.1159/000441493

Eibich, P., Buchmann, N., Kroh, M., Wagner, G. G., Steinhagen-Thiessen, E., Demuth, I., & Norman, K. (2016). Exercise at different ages and appendicular lean mass and strength in later life: Results from the Berlin Aging Study II. Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 71A, 515–520. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glv171

Eibich, P., Krekel, C., Demuth, I., & Wagner, G. G. (2016). Associations between neighborhood characteristics, well-being and health vary over the life course. Gerontology, 62, 362–370. doi: 10.1159/ 000438700

Hülür, G., Drewelies, J., Eibich, P., Düzel, S., Demuth, I., Ghisletta, P., Steinhagen-­Thiessen, E., Wagner, G. G., Lindenberger, U., & Gerstorf, D. (2016). Cohort differences in psychosocial function over 20 years: Current older adults feel less lonely and less dependent on external circumstances. Gerontology, 62, 354–361. doi: 10.1159/ 000438991