Navigation Links
Study Reveals Why Elderly Often Vulnerable to Scams

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults are less able to spot people with untrustworthy faces, which may help explain why they're more likely to be victims of fraud, according to new research.

Older adults have reduced activity in a brain region called the anterior insula, which is linked to disgust and is important for discerning untrustworthy faces, the researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found.

"The older adults do not have as strong an anterior insula early warning signal; their brains are not saying, 'Be wary,' as the brains of the younger adults are," researcher Shelley Taylor, a psychology professor and senior author of the research, said in a UCLA news release.

Her team conducted two studies. One found that 119 older adults (aged 55 to 84, with an average age of 68) and 24 younger adults (average age 23) had similar reactions to pictures of trustworthy and neutral faces. But compared to younger adults, older adults were more likely to regard untrustworthy faces as trustworthy and approachable.

In the second study, brain scans were conducted while older adults (aged 55 to 80 with an average age of 66) and younger adults (average age 33) looked at pictures of faces. The younger adults showed anterior insula activation both when rating the photos and especially when viewing untrustworthy faces. In contrast, the older adults showed little activation in that brain region.

The findings were published Dec. 3 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We wanted to find out whether there are differences in how the brain reacts to these faces, and the answer is: Yes, there are," Shelley Taylor, a psychology professor and senior author of the research, said in a UCLA news release.

"We found a strong anterior insula response both to the task of rating trustworthiness and also to the untrustworthy faces among the younger adults -- but the response is much more muted among the older adults," Taylor said. "

What makes a face untrustworthy? "The smile is insincere, the eye contact is off," said Taylor, whose own father and aunt both lost money in financial scams.

Some people may be targeted as they reach their 70s, when they begin to take required 401k account distributions, the news release noted.

"A recent study estimates that adults over age 60 lost at least $2.9 billion in 2010 to financial exploitation, ranging from home-repair scams to complex financial swindles," Taylor said. "This figure represents a 12 percent increase from 2008. Older adults seem to be particularly vulnerable to interpersonal solicitations, and their reduced sensitivity to cues related to trust may partially underlie this vulnerability."

More information

The FBI has more about seniors and fraud.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of California, Los Angeles, news release, Dec. 3, 2012

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Antiseptic Products Can Be Contaminated: Study
2. Naturecast Pet Products Furthers Study on Dog Fleas
3. Flesh-Eating Fungal Infection Can Follow Natural Disasters, Study Finds
4. Childless People Die Sooner, Study Says
5. 10 Years of Tamoxifen Better Than 5: Study
6. Kids With HIV at Risk of Heart Disease, Study Says
7. Study: Treating Sleep Disorder May Thwart Heart Disease
8. Scripps Florida scientist awarded $2.5 million to study inner workings of memory formation
9. Sperm Counts Dropping for French Men: Study
10. Studying marrow, URMC researchers accelerate blood stem cells
11. Protected Power Naps Could Help Keep Medical Interns Alert: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Study Reveals Why Elderly Often Vulnerable to Scams
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... December 1, 2015 -- InstantLabs ... company’s growing product line of food safety and seafood fraud prevention tools. , ... – allow InstantLabs to offer fast, reliable species identification for the four most ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... It’s official: Tattoo taboo is a thing of ... greater among Millennials (a whopping one in three aged 18 to 25 is inked). ... dissatisfied with their ink. In fact, RealSelf , the world’s largest community for ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The importance ... imaging is the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation here, at the ... Nine abstracts highlight the use of Volpara Solutions’ quantitative breast imaging software ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Visage accelerates mobile imaging ... owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced they are demonstrating ... North America (RSNA) 2015 annual meeting through December 3 in Chicago, Illinois, at ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... today announced it has been awarded a fixed price per sprint agile development ... contract, valued at $34 million over five years, provides software engineering, infrastructure, as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Colo. , Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... ) today announced that its Chief Executive ... at the Oppenheimer Annual Healthcare Conference in ... participate in the conference through a webcast ... , --> ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 Pharma Tech ... Top 10 Clinical Data Management Solution Providers - ... a distinguished panel comprising CEOs, CIOs, VCs, analysts, and ... the illustrious list of top 10 clinical data management ... article on pages 14 and 36 respectively). ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... de diciembre de 2015  AccuTEC Blades, ... de precisión, develó hoy un nuevo logo ... marca. El nuevo logo destaca la experiencia ... ingeniería de productos con cuchillas donde "el ... --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: