Navigation Links
Memory decline linked to an inability to ignore distractions
Date:3/25/2010

Milan, Italy, 25 March 2010 - One of the most common complaints among healthy older adults relates to a decline in memory performance. This decline has been linked to an inability to ignore irrelevant information when forming memories. In order to ignore distracting information, the brain should act to suppress its responses to distractions, but it has been shown that in older adults there is in fact an increase in brain activity at those times. In a new study published in the April 2010 issue of Elsevier's Cortex (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/cortex) researchers at the University of California San Francisco have shown that even prior knowledge of an impending distraction does not help to improve the working memory performance of older adults.

Drs. Theodore Zanto and Adam Gazzaley studied 21 adults aged between 60 and 80 years while they performed a working memory task in which they were shown random sequences of pictures containing faces and scenes. From a given sequence, participants were asked to remember either only the faces (ignoring scenes) or only the scenes (ignoring faces). In a second round of testing, the participants were given prior information about which specific pictures in the sequence would be relevant and which to ignore. The participants' brain activity during the tasks was recorded using electroencephalograms (EEGs).

Previous research from this laboratory has indicated that the increase in brain activity in response to distractions occurs very soon (within 200 milliseconds) after the distraction appears. Since there is only a very short amount of time allotted for the brain to identify an item as irrelevant and suppress any further neural processing, it was suggested that older adults might benefit from prior knowledge of the impending distraction. However, results from the new study have proved that this is not the case.

Interestingly, the researchers found that later stages of neural processing (500-650 milliseconds after item presentation) do show signs of suppression, confirming that the "suppression deficit" is related to early stages of neural processing. The findings suggest that a working memory decline in older adults is indeed due to an inability to ignore distracting information, which furthermore cannot be improved with preparedness.


'/>"/>

Contact: Valeria Brancolini
v.brancolini@elsevier.com
39-028-818-4260
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. iPhone Memory Aid for Scatterbrains, Aging Baby Boomers and Busy, Forgetful People
2. Rapamycin rescues learning, memory in Alzheimers mouse model
3. Bioethics memory aid can help assess patient decision-making capacity in medical emergencies
4. Memory Loss Supplement Manufacturer Partners With Nationally-Syndicated Radio Host John Tesh
5. To Boost Your Memory, Take a Break
6. Immune memory formation seen in early stages of viral infection
7. Brain scientists extend map of fear memory formation
8. Discovery of epigenetic memory during breast cancer
9. The Run for the Memory Marathon Team Getting in Shape and Fighting Alzheimers
10. €1.6 million ($2.32 million) grant awarded to Prof. Kobi Rosenblum for brain and memory research
11. Healthy older adults with subjective memory loss may be at increased risk for MCI and dementia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/5/2016)... , ... December 05, 2016 ... ... interoperability, today announced that the company will provide alerting technology to Central ... been recently awarded $1.7 million in federal funds as the sole sub-recipient ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... , ... U.S. Apple Association (USApple) begins the holiday giving season by donating ... for Education: Buy an Apple, Help a Student fundraising campaign. , ... home to their families; solar technology to efficiently process compost; and iPads to enhance ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... , ... “Life Will Never Be The Same” is a fictional tale about ... Be The Same” is the creation of published author, Kim T. Briggs, a self-described ... degree in Christian religion and philosophy from Judson University in Elgin, Illinois. Having written ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... The new knee compression sleeves come ... buy neoprene knee sleeves for lifting and any sport that requires knee ... two main aspects to provide a higher quality knee sleeve performance. Firstly it is ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... Z-Medica, LLC, a leading developer ... The American College of Surgeons (ACS) to provide basic bleeding control instructor training ... Basic” course is a pilot program that fulfills the intent of the White ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/4/2016)... 3, 2016 Johnson & Weaver, LLP announces that ... of Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ZBH ) ... 31, 2016 (the "Class Period"). Zimmer Biomet provides ... orthopaedic reconstructive products, such as knee and hip reconstructive products. ... , , ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... , Dec. 3, 2016  Results from the ... SelG1), an anti-P-selectin antibody, reduced the median annual rate ... to placebo (1.63 vs 2.98, p=0.010) in patients with ... that the data are being featured in the official ... of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and presented during the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... SPRING, Md. , Dec. 2, 2016 ... new indication for Jardiance (empagliflozin) to reduce the risk ... diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. "Cardiovascular ... with type 2 diabetes mellitus," said Jean-Marc Guettier ... and Endocrinology Products in FDA,s Center for Drug Evaluation ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: