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Older Brain gets big picture Faster
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tee
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Older Brain gets big picture Faster - 03-24-2005, 07:16 PM

Check this out youngsters!



aging process: young may need drugs to think like old people.

by Joanne Laucuis

Ottawa: the aging process means the older brain is better and faster at grasping the big picture the the younger brain, a team of Canadian psychology researchers has concluded.

the McMaster University research, published last week in the journal Neuron, found that while young subjects were better at picking out details, older people were better at seeing the whole thing.

this may go a long way to explain why older people might find it more difficult to find their car keys in a jumble on a counter, but are good at perceiving the entire jumble. young people may be better at "where's waldo", but older people are better at making snap judgements, said researcher Allison Sekuler.

scientists believe that as we age, the ability of one brain cell to "inhibit" another erodes. inhibiting ability allows the young brain to cut through the clutter to find "waldo" or the car keys. but the older brain finds it easier to tune into the clutter itself.

in general, we think the lack of inhibition is not a good thing, said Sekuler. but there are always trade offs in life.

a young person watching a hockey game, for example, is better able to pick out one player and track his performance. the older spectator is better at following the movement of the entire team.

a previous study has shown that older people see numerous connections in the events that young people haven't though of, said Sekuler. the older brain isn't necessarily worse. it's just different, said Sekuler, who, coincidentally, was one of the 15 young Canadian scientists honoured at the national symposium in the fall as a "leader of tomorrow."

in the two recent experiments, the research subjects~young subjects were in their 20's and older subjects were in their 60's~were asked to look at moving bars on a screen and say which direction the bars moved.

when the bars were small and their contrast was low, the young people did a better job, said researcher. curiusly, when the bars were large and the contrast was stronger, the older subjects did a better job.

brain scans show that older brains recruit new areas to help them compensate for the abilities they have lost, said Sekules.

the McMaster researchers meet this week to discuss their next step. they want to collect data using MRI scans to track inhibition and how sgnals are processed in the brain of different ages. there may even one day be drugs that allow young brains to think like old brains and old brains to think like young brains, said Sekuler.

we know almost nothing about what's going on in the aging brain, said Sekuler. which is pathetic because we have an aging population.
   
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03-24-2005, 07:34 PM

i always figured there was something positive about getting old but untill now didnt know what it was thanks for cluing me in on the big picture LOL
   
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03-24-2005, 07:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pincrusher
i always figured there was something positive about getting old but untill now didnt know what it was thanks for cluing me in on the big picture LOL
Smart ass kids!
   
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03-24-2005, 08:06 PM

That's great, but I still don't like getting older.


"If the mind can believe it, then the body can acheive it"
   
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03-24-2005, 08:10 PM

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Originally Posted by tee
Smart ass kids!
do is still qualify as a kid at 39?
im still a kid at heart though
   
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03-24-2005, 09:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pincrusher
do is still qualify as a kid at 39?
im still a kid at heart though
Your OLD! lol.

Im older though
   
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