The Lothian Birth Cohort

 The Lothian Birth Cohorts are two groups of people born in 1921 and 1936 who took a test of mental ability at school when they were 11 years old.  The test was set by the Scottish Council for Research in Education to help develop education policy.  Those who organised the test could not have anticipated that it would have important repercussions several decades later in a completely different field, as researchers baceme interested in cognitive ageing.

Professor Ian Deary and his team at the University of Edinburgh contacted the people who took the original tests and enrolled the respondents into the two Lothian Birth Cohorts: LBC1921 and LBC1936.  Members of the cohorts have participated in a wide variety of investigations including cognitive tests, lifestyle questionnaires, medical examinations, blood tests and brain scans.

The results are being analysed by the Human Cognitive Ageing research group here at CCACE in order to determine the social, psychological, medical and genetic factors that determine cognitive changes.  Studies of the Lothian Birth Cohorts have generated over 75 research publications.

LBC1936: the Art of Ageing

In 2010, four members of LBC 1936 were captured on film by artist Linda Kosciewicz-Fleming for an exhibition about ageing called 'Transformations – Life Protraits' at the Inspace Gallery, Edinburgh.