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:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... In honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports ... who share their fitness journey on social media. , The foot care company, ... a $100 product voucher each week during May to one winner. , “Whether the ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... East Los Angeles dentist , Dr. Ramin Assili, ... Assili to receive any dental extraction treatment for $40 off the regular price. This ... With the lower price, patients can more easily afford extractions to eliminate teeth that ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Dr. Rassouli, dentist ... and cognitive decline. According to the research, which was published in the “Journal of ... cognitive decline, and about 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Pregnancy Awareness Month offers a great time ... , “If you are ready to have a baby, it’s best to get ... Journal Babies is your Personal Conception & Pregnancy Organizer, written for women who plan ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... ... Kulbersh of Carolina Facial Plastics isn’t surprised that Charlotte, NC, the city where he and ... Cities with the Highest Plastic Rates .” The other cities that made the list ... a survey by RealSelf and combining that data with the number of board-certified ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... Florida , April 28, 2016 ... the development of innovative peptide and gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines ... it will be presenting at the 3rd Annual Growth ... - 5 th , 2016 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, ... 8.00 am on Wednesday, May 4 th by Dr. ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... April 27, 2016  Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... results for the fiscal second quarter ended March ... of $0.24 increased 41.2%, and non-GAAP diluted EPS ... increased 5.8% on a reported basis, and 6.3% ... "We posted another good quarter, highlighted by 14.6% ...
(Date:4/27/2016)...   , ... le trimestre, soutenu par une croissance de +42% ... de +16% des ventes aux hôpitaux et cliniques  ... (Euronext : MKEA, FR0010609263 ; OTCQX : MKEAY), inventeur de Cellvizio®, ... chiffre d,affaires pour le premier trimestre clos au ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: