Lothian Birth Cohorts




The Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936 are follow-up studies of the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947. The surveys had, respectively, tested the intelligence of almost every child born in 1921 or 1936 and attending school in Scotland in the month of June in those years. Therefore, tracing, recruiting and re-testing people who had taken part in the Surveys offered a rare opportunity to examine the distribution and causes of cognitive ageing across most of the human life course. The studies described here were initially set up to study determinants of non-pathological cognitive ageing; i.e. the ageing of cognitive functions largely in the normal range, and not principally dementia or other pathological cognitive disorders.


Please use the menu to the left to find out more about the studies.

Additionally the publication ’Cohort profile: The Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936’  in the International Journal of Epidemiology can be accessed here.


Latest News



Brain Imaging: Discover some of the ways in which the LBC study team use MRI brain data.







Looking at the living brain in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 study




LBC Studies in new MRC Cohort Directory:  


'A new online directory of the UK’s largest population cohorts has been created by the MRC to help researchers and policy-makers to find and use them more easily.'

MRC news story can be found here on the MRC Website.




Fast Facts at Your Fingertips


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The DMind study is highly complex. It has a compelling background. It has achieved a large number of highly noteworthy outputs for both scientific and lay audiences, has run across decades and multiple waves, and still has a huge amount of potential. Explaining all this to someone who has never heard of it before can be no mean feat. In order to make it easier to convey the scope of the study, we have developed a Fast Facts Card; a credit card-sized concertina leaflet containing study information over 12 panels, appropriate for interested scientists and lay-people.


If you would like copies of the Fast Facts Card to distribute at conferences or public engagement events, please get in touch by email: lbc1936 at ed.ac.uk


A Fast Facts PDF file is also available for download: