Navigation Links
Brain atrophy in elderly leads to unintended racism, depression and problem gambling
Date:9/21/2007

As we age, our brains slowly shrink in volume and weight. This includes significant atrophy within the frontal lobes, the seat of executive functioning. Executive functions include planning, controlling, and inhibiting thought and behavior. In the aging population, an inability to inhibit unwanted thoughts and behavior causes several social behaviors and cognitions to go awry.

In a study appearing in the October issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, University of Queensland psychologist, Bill von Hippel, reports that decreased inhibitory ability in late adulthood can lead to unintended prejudice, social inappropriateness, depression, and gambling problems.

Regarding prejudice, von Hippel and colleagues found that older white adults showed greater stereotyping toward African Americans than younger white adults did, despite being more motivated to control their prejudices. Von Hippel suggests that because prejudice toward African Americans conflicts with prevailing egalitarian beliefs, older adults attempt to inhibit their racist feelings, but fail.

Age-related inhibitory losses have also been implicated in social appropriateness. Von Hippel found that older adults were more likely than younger adults were to inquire about private issues (e.g. weight gain, family problems) in public settings. Furthermore, these age differences emerged even though older and younger adults both agreed that it is inappropriate to inquire about such issues in public settings. The older adults seemed to know the social rules but failed to follow them, which is consistent with diminished frontal lobe functioning.

In late-onset depressed older adults, poor inhibition predicted increased rumination, which in turn predicted increased depression. This finding suggests that people who struggle to control their rumination begin to lose that battle as they age, with the end result being the emergence of depression late in life.

Von Hippel also found that a penchant for gambling can be toxic for older adults, as those with poor executive functioning are particularly likely to have gambling problems. Interestingly, these problems are exacerbated in the afternoon, when older adults are less mentally alert. Older adults were more likely to get into an unnecessary argument and were also more likely to gamble all their money away later rather than earlier in the day. These findings suggest a possible avenue for intervention, by scheduling their important social activities or gambling excursions earlier in the day.

While social changes commonly occur with age, they are widely assumed a function of changes in preferences and values as people get older. Von Hippel argues that there may be more to the story and that some of the changes may be unintended and brought about by losses in executive control.


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine West
cwest@psychologicalscience.org
202-783-2077
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Use of Cellular Phones associated with Increased risk of Brain Tumors
2. Brain death – How to cope with it
3. Multi billion-dollar suit filed against cell phone firm for causing brain tumours
4. “Brain fingerprinting”- The new lie detectr
5. Nasal Spray Could Take Drugs Direct to Brain.
6. Two doctors suspended for wrong brain surgery
7. The brain loves a surprise
8. Virus Combats Brain Tumour
9. Increase in sugar...decrease in brain function!!!
10. Alcohol shrinks brain
11. Roller coaster takes brain for a big ride!!
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... ... a fine examination of how God handles sin, including how to let go of ... who, for over ten long years has been waiting to release this powerful insight about ... has been serving the Lord for over twenty years, and he has been preaching and ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... “Knowledge is God’s Lighthouse”: a ... “Knowledge is God’s Lighthouse” is the creation of published author, Gene Gaapf, a retired ... collections. , “I have been writing since high school and have many different ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... an On-demand E-learning system for Clinical and Regulatory education for Physicians, Physician ... on Aerolib`s successful education methodology of Disease Specific Documentation Improvement. , The ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Beach, Florida (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... J.D., LCSW, announced that the name of their drug rehab center in Delray Beach, ... time we recognize that not only stars such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Chris ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... ... Cosmetic Town, an online plastic surgery community, begins 2017 with an update ... their readers to get the information they desire. The procedures are now listed according ... on those particular areas. , “We are excited to streamline our listings in a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017 Report Details ... Alzheimer,s Disease ... Companies – our new study reveals trends, R&D progress, ... events affecting the Alzheimer,s disease therapeutics and diagnostics market. ... key questions: - How is the Alzheimer,s disease therapeutics ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 Many patients don,t ... their medication when a pharmacy just a few blocks ...  To alleviate this problem Medicationdiscountcard.com has created ... see exactly how much their medication will cost at ... Easy Medicationdiscountcard.com takes ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , January 19, 2017 Incretin Mimetics/GLP-1 ... and Others The global anti-obesity drugs market ... first half of the forecast period and CAGR of 38.7% in ... to grow at a CAGR of 32.8% from 2016 to 2027. ... in 2021, and $24,063 million in 2027. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: