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:12/7/2016)... Ill. (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... Levels ... early-stage brain damage, according to a study appearing online in the journal Radiology. , ... is expected to increase significantly due to the rapidly aging population. Damage to both ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... is now promoting to the US market its advanced highly customizable contact technology ... and ODU TURNTAC®. These advanced technologies are ideal for a wide range of ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... offering insurance and financial planning services to families and business owners in the ... funds on behalf of the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation. , Established in 2009 ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... , ... A. Kevin Spann Insurance, a New York-based firm offering insurance and ... a charity drive to raise funds that will benefit the Marine Corps League. , ... Navy FMF Corpsmen. Working closely with the MCL, the A. Kevin Spann team plans ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... to announce that its fully redesigned website, which launched October 17, 2016, features ... sleek responsive design and easy-to-navigate layout. Visitors and patients can discover the latest ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... India , December 7, 2016 According to ... (Services, Software), Delivery Mode, Product Type (Integrated, Standalone), Model (Knowledge-Based), Type (Therapeutic, ... MarketsandMarkets, The CDSS Market is expected to reach USD 1,519.2 Million by ... Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7,2016  Based on ... delivery industry, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Nemaura ... & Sullivan Award for Enabling Technology Leadership. ... the loopholes in traditional drug delivery technologies, ... liquid microneedle-based drug delivery technologies, Memspatch and ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS ), the leader in antisense therapeutics, ... BMO Capital Markets Prescriptions for Success Healthcare Conference on Wednesday, December ... A live webcast of the presentation will be available on the ... be available within 48 hours and will be archived for a ... , , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: