Navigation Links
Youth adapt faster than seniors to unexpected events
Date:1/18/2011

This release is available in French.

Montreal, January 18, 2011 Does experience give seniors an edge in reacting to sudden change or are younger people quicker to respond? A new study from Concordia University shows that when a routine task is interrupted by an unexpected event, younger adults are faster at responding. Published in the Journal of Gerontology, the findings have implications for educators and for older adults in situations where performance is crucial.

"When we frequently perform a task, our reactions become automatic," says Kevin Trewartha, first author and a PhD student in Concordia's Department of Psychology and a researcher at the Centre for Research in Human Development. "For example, experienced drivers are often 'on autopilot' when they're behind the wheel, but they do just fine, unless something unexpected happens. We're interested in reaction speeds in different age groups when something unexpected does occur while someone is performing a routine task."

Some 40 participants took part in the study: half were 19 to 36 years old, while the other half were 60 to 75 years old. Each participant was asked to follow visual cues on a computer screen and press corresponding keys on a piano keyboard. Some sequences were repeated frequently so that participants learned to expect them, while other sequences were randomly added at intervals to create unexpected sequences.

Reaction in older adults

"Older adults were less able to overcome their habitual responses when unexpected sequences arose," says Trewartha. "They were also slower in learning to adapt. They didn't improve as much as younger adults when they were asked to vary their learned routine on multiple occasions."

The study is one of the first to use 3D motion capture technology, the same tool used in film and animation, to link age-related cognitive changes to motor control. In short, the research sought to break down the reaction time of participants before they undertook a movement and the time they required to complete that movement. This breakdown produced unexpected results.

The research team found older adults tended to take less time to plan movements but more time to execute them perhaps because they felt uncertain about their reactions. Trewartha and colleagues are already planning follow-up research to study the brain activity linked with the performance of learned and new movement patterns.

These results suggest that focus is even more important for older adults than for younger individuals. "When they really need to perform well at a given task, older adults should probably seek out an environment where they can focus on the task at hand without distractions," says senior author Karen Z.H. Li, a professor in Concordia's Department of Psychology and a researcher at the Centre for Research in Human Development.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
s-j.desjardins@concordia.ca
514-848-2424 x5068
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Healthy Habits in Youth Tied to Better Adult Cholesterol Levels
2. Drug use and discrimination among Phoenix area Mexican heritage youth
3. UCSF fountain of youth pill could restore aging immune system
4. Research tackles drug use, HIV in South African youth
5. Researchers Assess Gay Youths Mental Health
6. Youth report favorable impressions of community street outreach workers
7. Youth Sports Injuries Reaching Epidemic Levels, Experts Report
8. Study finds family acceptance of LGBT youth protects against depression, substance abuse, suicide
9. Prescriptions for Stimulants, Painkillers Soaring Among Youth
10. Past Abuse Puts Homeless Youth at Risk for Early Sex: Study
11. Community rallies to fight obesity in Clevelands urban youth
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Stephanie Hebert Insurance Agency, serving families of ... charity campaign. As part of their ongoing community involvement program, funds are now ... children deserve a voice, and in the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors in ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... A man who has struggled to quit smoking, ... Laser Therapy , was determined to find solutions to his problems – and he did. ... Digest is ready to introduce his breakthrough inventions to the world and better people's ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... are too much to handle, you are not alone. According to the Center for ... include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Hilton Head Island, SC (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... Head and surrounding areas with a vital new community enrichment program, has teamed up ... to local women and children suffering from intimate abuse. To support all those victimized ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Local ... the greater Venice, FL area, has initiated a fundraiser for a two year ... just four days after Christmas. To support this beautiful child who is facing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... Cardiovascular Surgery Devices - Medical Devices Pipeline Assessment, ... report, "Cardiovascular Surgery Devices - Medical Devices Pipeline ... Devices currently in pipeline stage. ... comprehensive information on the pipeline products with comparative ... development. The report reviews major players involved in ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016  Labvantage Lx, a newcomer to the ... sexual enhancement product, EnduramenT. Setting a new standard ... a patented biomedical breakthrough molecule that promotes the ... responsible for many biological functions including erectile function. ... Forgoing the use of prescription medications, scientists working ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... TOKYO and FAIRFIELD, N.J. ... (Otsuka) and Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Medimetriks) today announced that ... exclusive development and commercialization rights for OPA-15406 in the ... agreement also provides manufacturing rights.  OPA-15406 is a topical, ... for atopic dermatitis. --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: