Daily Fluctuations in Everyday Cognition: Is It Meaningful?

Alyssa A. Gamaldo, Jason C. Allaire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined whether there are daily fluctuations in everyday cognition that are consistent with daily fluctuations often observed in traditional measures of basic cognitive abilities. Method: Two hundred six independently living older adults (age range = 60-91 years) were asked to complete a computerized cognitive battery over eight occasions within a 2- to 3-week period. Results: Using multilevel model, significant within-person variability was observed across the Daily Everyday Cognition Assessment (DECA; 46%), with 54% between-person variability. At each occasion, better performance on the DECA was significantly associated with better performance on simple reaction time (p <.01) and memory (Auditory Verbal Learning Task, p <.01) even after accounting for time, age, education, and performance on other cognitive measures. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that within-person performance fluctuations can be observed for everyday cognition tasks, and these fluctuations are consistent with daily changes in basic cognitive abilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-849
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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