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The Ageing Lab

Exploring interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of older people


Register for our Interventions in Cognitive Ageing 2018 seminar

Interventions in Cognitive Ageing 2018 seminar PosterThe Ageing Lab at Heriot-Watt University is hosting its second annual seminar exploring intervention research in cognitive ageing. Dr Christina Röcke (University of Zurich) and Dr Ruth Peters (Neuroscience Research Australia) will deliver keynote presentations, and Christine Bell will showcase the work of Cycling Without Age Scotland (

Updates on the Ageing Lab’s current research project, The Intervention Factory, will also be included.

The seminar is being held in the James Watt Centre (JW2) at Heriot-Watt’s Riccarton Campus on 29th June 2018, from 1.30-5.30pm including poster sessions and refreshments. All are welcome to attend. To register for the event, please email

You can download a poster here; please circulate the details to any colleagues and networks you think might be interested.

May 2018

UK survey reveals beliefs about staying sharp

What Keeps You Sharp Report coverPeople across the UK expect their memory to worsen in their 50s, according to new research from Heriot-Watt University.

The results from the “What Keeps You Sharp?” survey, released today, reveals the majority of those asked believe lifestyle and genetics are equally important contributors to the changes they might experience.

Almost nine out of 10 people are of the opinion that there are things they can do to maintain or improve their thinking skills; however, when asked if they knew what those things were, less than six in 10 were sure. More than 3000 people aged between 40 to 98 years-old responded to the study from across the UK.


You can view and download the "What Keeps You Sharp?" report here; printed copies can also be requested by contacting the research team.

Age UK blog: New UK survey reveals our beliefs about staying sharp in later life

Irish Examiner: Brain smart: How to age-proof your memory

April 2018

Attractive attractions for older people

Senior VisitorsIt’s not uncommon for visitor attractions to create tailored programmes for different groups, often focussing on something that’s expected to be particularly appealing to that demographic. But when it comes to older people, provision is often targeted towards being dementia-friendly. However, what about those people in their 70s, 80s or older with no specific impairment…might there be a way to create a programme to suit their needs and interests within our museums and heritage attractions?


March 2018

Ageing Lab on the airwaves

BBC Radio Scotland Personal Best, presented by Gillian Russell: Couples' Coaching Cards & Growth Mindset (broadcast 12 and 17 February 2018), listen at

BBC Radio Scotland Brainwaves, presented by Pennie Latin: How To Stay Sharp (broadcast 7 and 11 February 2018), listen at You can also read a summary of the piece at

February 2018

Starting a new activity could help major research study

Volunteers from the Edinburgh and Lothians are being sought as part of a major research study examining how thinking and memory skills change as we age.

The study will include 300 adults aged 65 and over who will undergo a range of cognitive and psychological assessments before they start their new activity.

The activities chosen will vary in terms of the mental, social or physical engagement, but might include participating in language classes, taking up a sport or meeting new people in social clubs. After following their activity for 2-3 months, the volunteers will return for repeat assessments.


Participant recruitment posterNew activity? Can taking up a new activity help improve our thinking skills as we age?

If you’re aged 65 or over and would like to help us find out, please get in touch.

If you know anyone who might be interested in getting involved in our research, you can also download and share a poster and flyer.

January 2018

You can read older news items in the News archive: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014.