Designing brain healthy environments for intergenerational programs

Elizabeth Larkin, Matthew S. Kaplan, Stephen Rushton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Intergenerational relationships are at the center of programs designed to bring younger and older populations together for their mutual benefit. The physical spaces used for intergenerational interactions should be designed in such a way as to promote the development of positive relationships among people of different ages. Research in the neurosciences provides a basis for creating environments that are conducive to intergenerational interactions that stimulate cognitive interest and rewarding social engagement. This article will bring elements of environmental design together with brain research principles to outline appropriate applications for intergenerational programming, including arranging spaces and planning activities with a participant-centered approach. The goal is to provide a scientifically based rationale for organizing environments that are safe and welcoming for all age groups and also support multisensory experiences that stimulate positive human interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-176
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Intergenerational Relationships
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Archaeology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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