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Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN)

Cam-CAN is a large-scale collaborative research project, launched in October 2010, with substantial funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The Cam-CAN project is using epidemiological, behavioural, and neuroimaging data to understand how individuals can best retain cognitive abilities into old age.

Cam-CAN will help change our perspectives on ageing

Although the popular view of ageing is as a process of decline and decay, new scientific discoveries suggest a very different view - one in which the brain remains flexible and adaptable across the lifespan, with many cognitive abilities being preserved. A major aim of our research is to understand the nature of these brain-cognition relationships across the lifespan, and to change the perspective of ageing in the 21st century by highlighting the importance of abilities that are maintained into old age.

Cam-CAN will examine lifelong development, not just old age

Our research takes a lifespan perspective to understanding how the mind and brain develop across the adult lifespan in order to preserve cognitive function. This research will include participants across the entire adult lifespan, aged 18 and up. Our aim is to understand how changes in the brain across the adult lifespan impact on cognitive functions like memory and attention. Our emphasis will be on determining the extent of neural flexibility and the potential for neural reorganisation to preserve cognitive functions.

Cam-CAN brings together researchers across diverse disciplines

This research requires the cooperation of researchers and collaborators across the UK to provide an interdisciplinary view of the ageing mind and brain. Our core research teams include members of research groups in Cambridge including the Departments of Psychology, Public Health and Primary Care, Psychiatry, Clinical Neurosciences, and Engineering in the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. Over 30 project researchers and collaborators will contribute to a new view of adult development that incorporates demographic, psychological, physical, and neural measures.

Read more about the different research topics here, or visit our people page for information on individual researchers.

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