Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Reviews in the Neurosciences

Editor-in-Chief: Huston, Joseph P.

Editorial Board Member: Topic, Bianca / Adeli, Hojjat / Buzsaki, Gyorgy / Crawley, Jacqueline / Crow, Tim / Eichenbaum, Howard / Gold, Paul / Holsboer, Florian / Korth, Carsten / Lubec, Gert / McEwen, Bruce / Pan, Weihong / Pletnikov, Mikhail / Robbins, Trevor / Schnitzler, Alfons / Stevens, Charles / Steward, Oswald / Trojanowski, John

IMPACT FACTOR 2015: 3.198
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 3.546
Rank 97 out of 256 in category Neurosciences in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Science Edition

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 1.605
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.912
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 3.325

See all formats and pricing


Select Volume and Issue


Impoverished environment, cognition, aging and dementia

1 / Erik J.A. Scherder1

1Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Corresponding author

Citation Information: Reviews in the Neurosciences. Volume 22, Issue 3, Pages 259–266, ISSN (Online) 2191-0200, ISSN (Print) 0334-1763, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rns.2011.026, May 2011

Publication History

Published Online:


Animals living in an impoverished environment, i.e., without the possibility of physical and social activity, perform worse on cognitive tests compared to animals in an enriched environment. The same cognitive difference is also observed in humans. However, it is not clear whether this difference is caused by a decrease in cognition due to an impoverished environment or an increase due to an enriched environment. This review discusses the impact of an impoverished environment on cognition in animal experimental studies and human experimental studies with community-dwelling and institutionalized older people. Results show that the cognitive functioning of old rats is more affected by an impoverished environment than young rats. Similarly, sedentary and lonely people (impoverished environment) have worse cognitive functioning and show a faster cognitive decline than physically and socially active people. Institutionalization further aggravates cognitive decline, probably due to the impoverished environment of nursing homes. In institutions, residents spend an unnecessary and excessive amount of time in bed; out of bed they show mainly sedentary or completely passive behavior. In conclusion, older people, especially those that have been institutionalized, have poor levels of physical and social activity, which in turn has a negative impact on cognitive functioning.

Keywords: aging; dementia; elderly; impoverished environment; isolation; loneliness; physical activity

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Irene León, Laura Tascón, and José Manuel Cimadevilla
Behavioural Brain Research, 2016
Maria A. Fiatarone Singh, Nicola Gates, Nidhi Saigal, Guy C. Wilson, Jacinda Meiklejohn, Henry Brodaty, Wei Wen, Nalin Singh, Bernhard T. Baune, Chao Suo, Michael K. Baker, Nasim Foroughi, Yi Wang, Perminder S. Sachdev, and Michael Valenzuela
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2015
Roxane Anthea Francesca Weijenberg and Frank Lobbezoo
BioMed Research International, 2015, Volume 2015, Page 1
Elena Cavallini, Sara Bottiroli, Emanuela Capotosto, Rossana De Beni, Giorgio Pavan, Tomaso Vecchi, and Erika Borella
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2014, Page n/a
Magali González-Colaço Harmand, Céline Meillon, Laetitia Rullier, José-Alberto Avila-Funes, Valérie Bergua, Jean-François Dartigues, and Hélène Amieva
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2014, Volume 15, Number 7, Page 504
K. M. Volkers and E. J. A. Scherder
BioMed Research International, 2014, Volume 2014, Page 1
Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Catarina Freitas, Lindsay Oberman, Jared C. Horvath, Mark Halko, Mark Eldaief, Shahid Bashir, Marine Vernet, Mouhshin Shafi, Brandon Westover, Andrew M. Vahabzadeh-Hagh, and Alexander Rotenberg
Brain Topography, 2011, Volume 24, Number 3-4, Page 302

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.