Tatia Lee Mei Chun
May Professor in Neuropsychology; Head and Chair Professor, Department of Psychology, HKU
As longevity rises, population ageing is a world trend. There has been increasing attention on elderly services
and care. To ensure the quality of life when we are getting old, we must consider ways to promote brain health. While training and monitoring of our physical status has become common knowledge, rarely do we consider exercising our brain to ensure that we stay cognitively smart and healthy. Apart from coping with the changing physical health and cognitive function, there are many life challenges as we age, including loss of independence and the death of friends/loved ones leading to the sense of loneliness, all of which are detrimental to our mental wellbeing. We have implemented studies to understand the effect of and factors contributing to perceived loneliness among older people. Perceived loneliness has a strong relationship with depression, which is in turn a proven causative factor for health deterioration among older people. Findings of our research will advance our knowledge on the neurobiological basis of the cognitive and affective mechanisms of ageing, which is important insight for devising cost-effective intervention protocols targeted at improving mental health of older people.