Networking (Dortmund Vital Study)

apple on a desk with words next to the appleThe Dortmund Vital Study is a large-scale longitudinal study on the physiological background of cognition, its modulation by mental strain (at the workplace) and factors contributing to healthy ageing over the life span.

In this comprehensive long-term project, the influences of a wide range of modulating factors (e.g., work conditions, stress, lifestyle, physical fitness, infections, personality traits, genetics) on cognitive functions and their neurophysiological correlates will be tested, but also upon the immune system and other physiological functions.

The Dortmund Vital Study started in 2016. A cohort of up to 800 participants between 20 and 70 years old (equally distributed across all age groups) undergoes an extensive test battery. It will allow us to develop and evaluate highly specific hypotheses on the mechanisms of healthy aging, by follow-up measurements (every 5 years) and the combination of elaborated experimental paradigms reflecting basic cognitive functions (such as attention, executive control, memory updating), modern EEG methodology, and the analysis of relevant biochemical data. Work-related human factors (e.g. type of work) and the role of work conditions (like stress or job satisfaction) will be of particular interest.

Principle investigators:
Patrick GajewskiStephan GetzmannEdmund Wascher

Embedding on Site:
The study is a cooperative project of all departments of the IfADo.

External Cooperation/partners:
Christian Beste (Uni-Klinikum Dresden), Edward J. Golob (UTSA University of Texas), Nikolai Axmacher, Robert Kumsta, Sebastian Ocklenburg (Ruhr-Universität Bochum).


  • Bierbrauer, A., Kunz, L., Gomes, C.A., Luhmann, M. Deuker, L., Getzmann, S. Wascher, E., Gajewski, P.D., Hengstler, J.G., Fernandez-Alvarez, M. Atienz, M. Cammisuli, D.M., Bonatti, F., Pruneti, C., Percesepe, A., Bellaali, Y., Hanseeuw, B., Strange, B.A., Cantero, J.L., Axmacher, N. (2020). Unmasking selective path integration deficits in Alzheimer’s disease risk carriers. Science Advances 6, (35) eaba1394 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba1394
  • Gajewski, P.D., Hanisch, E., Falkenstein, M. Thönes, S., Wascher E. (2018). What does the n-back task measure as we get older? Relation between working-memory measures and other executive functions as a function of age. Frontiers in Psychology 9:2208. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02208.