30: Emotions, Attention, and Decision Making in the Aging Brain (with Mara Mather)
Despite the common stereotype of ‘older and crankier,’ psychologists suggest we become more positive as we age. Why? Do our aging brains become worse at detecting threats in the environment? Do we choose to focus on more positive aspects of our experience as we age? And what does the latest scientific research say about one of the major dangers of older age — Alzheimer’s disease? Mara Mather joins Igor and Charles to discuss the neuroscience of emotional aging, the role of the locus coeruleus in memory and attention, emotion-induced blindness, and the parallels between Cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Igor digs into the different roles of culture and the lack of good longitudinal studies of aging, Mara reveals how intense emotions can sharpen some aspects of our memories of an event while blunting others, and Charles learns that he and many others may be on the Alzheimer’s spectrum. Welcome to Episode 30.
Special Guest: Mara Mather.
- Emotion & Cognition Lab - Emotion & Cognition Lab
- Point-and-Shoot Memories: The Influence of Taking Photos on Memory for a Museum Tour - L. Henkel (2013)
- Preferences for emotional information in older and younger adults: A meta-analysis of memory and attention tasks. - PsycNET
- Meta-Analysis of the Age-Related Positivity Effect: Age Differences in Preferences for Positive Over Negative Information
- Optimism for the Future in Younger and Older Adults - K Durbin, S Barber, M Brown, M Mather (2017)
- A Cultural Perspective on Emotional Experiences Across the Life Span - Grossmann, Karasawa, Kitayama (2014)
- The Locus Coeruleus: Essential for Maintaining Cognitive Function and the Aging Brain - M Mather, C Harley (2017)
- Rostral locus coeruleus integrity is associated with better memory performance in older adults - M Dahl, M Mather, S Düzel, N Bodammer, U Lindenberger, S Kühn, M Werkle-Bergner (2019)
- Arousal increases neural gain via the locus coeruleus–noradrenaline system in younger adults but not in older adults - T Lee, S Greening, T Ueno, D Clewett, A Ponzio, M Sakaki, M Mather (2018)
- Iowa Gambling Task
- Balloon Analog Risk Task - Conduct Science