The human brain is incredibly complex, performing countless tasks at any one time, allowing us to go about our daily lives. The word “cognitive” is used to describe the brain’s health as it functions. Our mental processes change as we age, and the PROTECT Study is trying to understand and track this process.
The PROTECT Study uses a set of cognitive assessments to record core brain functions including attention, memory, reasoning and processing. Participants are asked to complete tests once a year.
Key Cognitive Processes Assessed by the PROTECT Study
|Brain Function ||What is it? ||Example of how we test it |
|Short-term/Working Memory ||Information is encoded, stored & retrieved ||You remember where shapes are on a grid or a sequence of numbers |
|Perception ||Sensory information like smells, sounds and tastes are recognised and interpreted ||You recognise a round shape in a grid, interpret it as a football and then perceive it again later |
|Attention ||Concentrating on particular information whilst ignoring other non-related information ||You demonstrate awareness of a type of object shown in a box and where the box is on a grid but ignore the object’s colour |
|Problem Solving ||Recognising a problem and finding the correct answer ||You work out a rule and apply it to remember where an object appears on a grid |
|Language ||Skill to translate sounds into words to communicate with other people ||You distinguish between words and their location in a sentence to determine the meaning of the sentence |