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Creative Living and Aging through Cross-disciplinary Utilization of Data

Mission and objectives

This Working Group’s objective is to explore data issues for the purpose of developing technology to help people live and age well, with special focus on maintaining cognitive functions until the very end of life. To tackle this challenge on cognitive aging, we need to develop new data-intensive science utilizing multiple domain data and knowledge. We will discuss the following topics: What are the data issues in relation to studying cognition? What data is gathered, what issues of access and interoperability are there? What are the issues of combining multiple data sources? How can cognition be understood from various data sources?  How does lifestyle affect cognition and vice-versa?


Worldwide, people are living longer than ever before in history. Today, most people can expect to live into their sixties and beyond. Aging, however, brings social, economical, and healthcare challenges. Detrimental health conditions in older age include cognitive decline and dementia. Today, around 50 million people globally suffer from dementia and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year. Mastering the challenges associated with aged societies in general, and those associated with age-related brain disabilities, is therefore of outstanding global importance. The aim of the present project is to leverage the potential of data collection and utilization to foster cognitively healthy aging.

Impact and Achievements

By 2023, we will have developed an overview of data issues focusing on cognition for healthy aging including but not limited to: 

  • required and available data, 
  • data types, both quantitative and qualitative, 
  • data collection and sharing practices and its challenges, 
  • ethical guidelines and values that are specific to aging data. 

We will present perspectives on data-intensive science for maintaining cognitive health and investigating its underlying mechanisms. 

Planned activities and outputs for 2021-2023

We will organise workshops involving colleagues in aging and data specialists. We will examine issues around data relating to cognition. Domain specialists will be invited and share the state of the art of the issues.

The workshop was held online in September 2022.

Topics to be addressed in the workshops, include:

  1. Is there a platform for sharing data on this topic (data standards, ethical issues)? What is going on in relation to cognitive data in different countries?  Currently there does not appear to be such a platform.  Many databases related to cognitive function are available, but these are based in specific institutes and not accessed or combined (interoperable).  Some focus on full lifespan development of cognition, not just in aging population.
  2. We will include qualitative data such as linguistic corpus data as well as quantitative data. Issues of how to combine qualitative data in the research and feedback on cognition, improvement of quality of life would be discussed.

As a result of the workshops, we will develop reports and advice papers, focusing on issue of cognition. It includes summary of research questions, landscape of data, issues of data availability and interoperability, themes of ethics, of combining qualitative data, of topics like lifestyle which may be useful proxies.

We will propose a Task Group for the year 2023-2025 based on the advice papers to focus the tasks for the upcoming two years in the middle of the year 2023.

We will participate and have a presentation at International Data Week 2023 in October (24-28) to advertise the advice papers and to involve data specialists in order to explore domain specific as well as domain general topics.

Planned outputs:

The planned outputs are:

  • Reports on the workshops on issues around data relating to cognition
  • Advice papers based on the discussion of workshops
  • Task Group Proposal for the year 2023-2025
  • Presentation at International Data Week 2023 in October (24-28) 



Mihoko Otake-Matsuura, Center for Advanced Intelligence Project, RIKEN, Japan
Mike Martin, Department of Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland

WG Secretary: Mihoko Otake-Matsuura, Center for Advanced Intelligence Project, RIKEN, Japan