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Aging - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780120400010, 9781483260051


1st Edition

Biology and Behavior

Editors: James L McGaugh Sara B. Kiesler
eBook ISBN: 9781483260051
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st January 1981
Page Count: 428
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Aging: Biology and Behavior addresses behavioral changes in aging related to biological processes, focusing on the nature of changes in brain plasticity, factors influencing life-span, and environmental and social influences on health in the elderly. This book is divided into four main topics—longevity, aging, and mortality; aging brain and behavior; cognitive and social functioning; and health. In these topics, this publication specifically discusses the longevity in primates, life-span extension, environment and biology in aging, and some economic implications of life-span extension. The neurobiological basis of age-related changes in neuronal connectivity, aging and brain plasticity, and cognitive functioning in the elderly are also elaborated. This text likewise covers the life changes and disease in elderly populations, social stress and mental disorders in the elderly, and perspective of social epidemiology. This volume is a useful source to clinicians and students examining possible social and behavioral science research perspectives on aging.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors



1 Overview on Aging: Some Biomedical, Social, and Behavioral Perspectives

Stability and Change in the Family

The Elderly of the Future

Biology and Behavior of the Elderly


I Longevity, Aging, and Mortality

2 Longevity in Primates

Length of Life in Primates

Human Evolution: The Last Four Million Years


3 Life-Span Extension

Defining Life-Span

Distribution of Aging

Biology of General Health Maintenance: A Unique Role for Biological Gerontology

Biological Nature of Aging

Genetic Complexity of General Health Maintenance

Summary and Conclusions


4 Environment and Biology in Aging: Some Epidemiological Notions

Differentiation of Levels of Organization

Separation of History and the Life-Cycle

Maternal Age and Trisomy

Spontaneous Abortion and Aging


5 Some Economic Implications of Life-Span Extension

Per Capita Output and Economic Welfare Assuming a Fixed Stock of Capital

Capital Stock, Capital Intensity, and Output per Worker

The Skill Composition of the Labor Force

The Social Security System and other Economic Institutions


6 Old Age in Tzintzuntzan, Mexico

Tzintzuntzan, Michoacân, Mexico

The View of Old Age in Tzintzuntzan

Life for the Aged

To Be Old in Tzintzuntzan: The Pros and Cons


II Aging Brain and Behavior

7 The Neurobiological Basis of Age-Related Changes in Neuronal Connectivity

Changes in the Number of Synapses

Changes in the Organization of the Brain

Changes in the Microenvironment of Neurons

Changes in the Metabolism of Neurons


8 Experience and the Changing Brain

Experience and Selective Preservation in Early Development

Experience and Plasticity in the Adult Brain

Changes in the Aging Brain and Behavior

Conceptual Views of Losses in Synaptic Connectivity

Experience and the Aging Brain


9 Aging and Brain Plasticity

Theories of Aging and Their Application to the Central Nervous System

Approaching the Problem of Brain Aging

Age-Related Changes in Hippocampal Physiology and Function

Anatomical Plasticity in the Hippocampus: Changes over the Life-Span and Some Possible Regulatory Factors

Summary and Conclusions


III Cognitive and Social Functioning

10 Cognitive Functioning in the Elderly: Influence of Physical Health

Research Designs

Patterns of Cognitive Functioning

Health Status and Cognitive Functioning

Cardiovascular Disease and Cognitive Functioning

Cognitive Functioning and Survivorship



11 Old Age: An Artifact

The Elderly and Perceived Control


Negative Consequences for the Elderly

Implications of Mindlessness for the Elderly



12 The Function of Denial in Stress, Coping, and Aging

The Sustaining Function of Illusions

Denial, Illusion, and Other Related Processes

Research of Denial-Like Processes

Summary of the Adaptational Costs and Benefits of Denial-Like Processes


IV Health

13 Life Changes and Disease in Elderly Populations: Coping with Change

Life Changes and Disease

Social Relationships and Health

Conclusions and Recommendations


14 Social Stress and Mental Disorders in the Elderly

Defining the Dependent Variable

Defining the Independent Variable

Study Design





15 Some Psychosocial Influences on the Health Status of the Elderly: The Perspective of Social Epidemiology

Choosing Indicators of Health Status

The Changing Risk Factor Picture with Age

The Impact of Selected Social Experiences on the Health of the Elderly

Medical Care Behavior of the Elderly



Appendix A Biology and Behavior of the Elderly, June 22-24, 1979, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Appendix B Reviewers

Author Index

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1981
1st January 1981
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

James L McGaugh

Sara B. Kiesler

Ratings and Reviews