Cognitive and neural mechanisms of learning and interventions for improvement across the adult lifespan: A systematic review protocol


There continues to be growing interest in the Science of Learning including identifying applications for findings from this work outside the laboratory to support learning. Presently, there exists a gap in our understanding of learning during healthy adulthood as well as effective ways in which that learning can be improved. Developing a more comprehensive understanding of learning during adulthood, and effective ways of improving that learning, are crucial goals given the impact of a rapidly aging global population. The main objective of the proposed systematic review is to identify and synthesize all recent cognitive and brain research investigating learning across the adult lifespan.

Searches will be performed across Scopus, Web of Science, and ProQuest databases. Both published and unpublished literature will be screened for inclusion. Included articles will be limited to research in healthy adult samples reporting measures of learning-related cognition, brain structure or function and their relationship with age, or the impact of interventions to improve learning. All steps of the review will be performed by three trained reviewers. Tabular, narrative, and quantitative syntheses will be provided based on the characteristics of included studies.

Findings from the proposed review will contribute to our understanding of learning in adulthood. Additionally, this review will identify research gaps in need of further investigation and relevant findings for translation, informing the scope of future funding priorities in the Science of Learning.

PLoS One
Adam John Privitera
Adam John Privitera
Research Fellow

Dr. Adam John Privitera is a cognitive scientist and currently a Research Fellow in the Centre for Research and Development in Learning (CRADLE).

Annabel Chen
Annabel Chen
Professor of Psychology
Lab Director

Dr. SH Annabel Chen is a clinical neuropsychologist, and currently a Faculty member of Psychology at the School of Social Sciences.