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Working memory and fluid intelligence are differentially related to categories of urban fabric in older adults: results from the Berlin aging study

Mascherek, Anna, Düzel, Sandra, Eibich, Peter, Krekel, Christian, Goebel, Jan, Gallinat, Jürgen, Wagner, Gert G., Lindenberger, Ulman and Kühn, Simone (2024) Working memory and fluid intelligence are differentially related to categories of urban fabric in older adults: results from the Berlin aging study. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 93. ISSN 0272-4944

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2023.102224

Abstract

Urbanization is Globally increasing at a rapid rate but its consequences for mental health, including cognitive functioning, are not well understood. In particular, little is known about the effects of different morphological features associated with urban development, such as variations in the densities of urban fabric (i.e., degrees of ground sealing). We investigated associations of episodic memory, working memory, and fluid intelligence with different densities of urban fabric, obtained from the European Urban Atlas, in a structural equation model framework. We used data on 1053 healthy participants aged 61–88 years (mean age 70.33; SD = 3.75; 51% female) drawn from the Berlin Aging Study II. All participants were living within the city of Berlin, Germany. Our data include the precise geographical coordinates of every household, thereby permitting the calculation of the share of each density type of urban fabric within a 1-km radius around the household. We found these types to be significantly related to working memory and fluid intelligence. No significant association emerged for episodic memory. All results were robust against the inclusion of a set of covariates known to be related to cognitive performance. We discuss the idea of enrichment effects due to morphological features of urban development as one possible mechanism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-e...
Additional Information: © 2023 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2024 12:03
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 17:51
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/121368

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