Aging means change. Changes in sensory function, motor function and cognition are multifaceted and extend over the entire lifespan. However, they are only the endpoints of complex processes that are influenced by a multitude of factors. Lifestyle, working conditions, stress, but also infections and genes are to be mentioned here. The task of aging research is to elucidate the interactions of these factors and their changes over (life) time.
Aging is not only accompanied by a loss of functions. Compensation, experience, lifelong learning and training can efficiently counteract a decline in functions. Against the background of demographic change and its impact on the labor market, the preservation of mental abilities, well-being and work ability is an important task for the future.
The group investigates changes in mental functions in middle-aged and older people from a developmental perspective. Using behavioral and neurophysiological methods, the researchers assess and model the interplay of endogenous and environmental factors as well as their influences on everyday life and work of older people. Examples are the Dortmund Vital Study on healthy aging as well as our projects on speech perception and the use of audio-visual VR technologies in human-machine interaction in real and VR environments.
In addition, they are researching how healthy aging can be actively promoted. Technology-based, human-centered approaches will increasingly support older people in the future. The development of such solution is the focus of our projects to improve occupational safety and health of older people.
IfADo offers a broad spectrum of expertise in aging research, from the biochemical to the behavioral level. The institute combines these research expertise and thereby achieves synergy effects in aging research. The researchers are active in Leibniz Research Alliances, in the Masterplan 2.0 of the City of Dortmund and support the European Cognitive Aging Society (EUCAS).