Navigation Links
Older brains make good use of 'useless' information
Date:1/20/2010

Toronto A new study has found promising evidence that the older brain's weakened ability to filter out irrelevant information may actually give aging adults a memory advantage over their younger counterparts.

A long line of research has already shown that aging is associated with a decreased ability to tune out irrelevant information. Now scientists at Baycrest's world-renowned Rotman Research Institute have demonstrated that when older adults "hyper-encode" extraneous information and they typically do this without even knowing they're doing it they have the unique ability to "hyper-bind" the information; essentially tie it to other information that is appearing at the same time.

The study, which appears online this week in the journal Psychological Science, was led by Karen Campbell, a PhD student in psychology at the University of Toronto, with supervision from Rotman senior scientist Dr. Lynn Hasher, a leading authority in attention and inhibitory functioning in younger and older adults.

"We found that older brains are not only less likely to suppress irrelevant information than younger brains, but they can link the relevant and irrelevant pieces of information together and implicitly transfer this knowledge to subsequent memory tasks," said Campbell.

In the study, 24 younger adults (17 29 years) and 24 older adults (60 73 years) participated in two computer-based memory tasks that were separated by a 10-minute break. In the first task, they were shown a series of pictures that were overlapped by irrelevant words (e.g. picture of a bird and the word "jump"). They were told to ignore the words and concentrate on the pictures only. Every time they saw the same picture twice in a row, they were to press the space bar. After completing this task and following a 10-minute break, they were tested on a "paired memory task" which essentially challenged them to recall how the pictures and words were paired together from the first task. They were shown three kinds of paired pictures preserved pairs (pictures with overlap words that they saw in the first task), disrupted pairs (pictures they saw in the first task but with different overlap words) and new pairs (new pictures and new words they hadn't seen before).

The older adults showed a 30% advantage over younger adults in their memory for the preserved pairs (the irrelevant words that went with the pictures in the first task) relative to the new pairs.

"This could be a silver lining to aging and distraction," said Dr. Hasher, senior scientist on the study. "Older adults with reduced attentional regulation seem to display greater knowledge of seemingly extraneous co-occurrences in the environment than younger adults. As this type of knowledge is thought to play a critical role in real world decision- making, older adults may be the wiser decision-makers compared to younger adults because they have picked up so much more information."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kelly Connelly
kconnelly@baycrest.org
416-785-2432
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Southridge Funds Facilitate Special Capital Distribution for Technest Shareholders
2. Smart Balance to Hold Special Meeting of Stockholders on January 21, 2010
3. HelpAge Staff Mobilizes for Older People Despite Challenges in Haiti
4. NUCRYST Announces Distribution of Supplemental Information In Connection with Special Meeting of Shareholders
5. AARP Foundation Establishes Relief Fund for Older Victims of Haiti Disaster
6. Hypertension linked to dementia in older women
7. United American Healthcare Corporation Announces Meeting Date and Record Date for Annual Meeting of Shareholders
8. Healthy older adults with subjective memory loss may be at increased risk for MCI and dementia
9. Older Antidepressant May Treat Heart Failure
10. Study links restless leg syndrome with erectile dysfunction in older men
11. NUCRYST Announces Further Adjournment of Special Shareholder Meeting
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... A man who has struggled to quit smoking, a ... Therapy , was determined to find solutions to his problems – and he did. Now ... is ready to introduce his breakthrough inventions to the world and better people's lives. ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Minn. (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... the BantamPro L top-load case packer for pouches, bags, and flow wrapped products ... to help co-packers and specialty product manufacturers step up to semi-automatic or fully-automatic ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... If you are ... to handle, you are not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control and ... stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... and clothing, announced expansion into Canada to provide its range of unique and ... sales office in Quebec City that will provide bilingual customer service and marketing ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... Steve Helwig & ... a vital new community enrichment program, has teamed up with Citizens Opposed to Domestic ... suffering from intimate abuse. To support all those victimized by the fear of violence ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016 Velano Vascular, a ... for hospitalized patients and their practitioners, announced today that ... funding. Velano will use the proceeds from this financing, ... completed in January 2015, to support the development and ... and pediatric populations. Philadelphia ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016 ... the addition of the "Label-Free Detection ... Forecasts to 2020" report to their ... announced the addition of the "Label-Free ... Global Forecasts to 2020" report to ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ORLANDO, Fla. , Feb. 8, 2016 ... and marketing high performance apparel for healthcare and other ... Bold Chief Executive Officer. He replaces Dale ... and remains Chairman. Mr. Bold is also joining Vestagen,s ... in a new class of active barrier technologies that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: