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OLD AGE AND INFORMATION OVERLOAD

 
 
Wed 26 Nov, 2008 01:32 pm
complete article :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7749690.stm

Quote:
Distractions 'hit old-age memory'
Mental slowing down in old age can be blamed partly on being more easily distracted, research suggests.

The Canadian team asked young and old people to attempt a memory test while in a scanner showing which bits of their brain were working.

The older subjects did worse at the tests, and their brains responded more to the background buzzing and banging from the scanner itself.

Other researchers have suggested that mental decline may be due to a decreasing ability to "tune out" irrelevant information from their senses.

This has been shown for both sound and vision, where older subjects were more likely to focus on the landscape in a picture rather than the figure within it.
.
.
However, when the older subjects failed, there was also increased activity in two other parts of the brain, the auditory cortex and the pre-frontal cortex, which are responsible for processing signals from the external environment.

Unnecessary information

Dale Stevens, who led the study, said that that brains of the older people were processing too much unnecessary information - in this case the normal knocking and rattling sounds that an MRI machine produces.

"The old brains showed increased activation in certain regions that should normally be quieter or turned down."

He said that the poorer performance overall of the older people might be due to an inability to "tune out" this noise while their brains were trying to form new memories of the faces.


i agree , there is probably too much unnecessary information .
my problem - or luck ! - is that i often "tune out" all information - i'll just stop listening . particulrly when someone on the phone just drones on , i'll sometimes just go : "ahem ... i see ... yes, yes ..." , and have no idea what the other person talked about . the interesting thing is , that the other person seems just happy to have had sometime who "lend an ear' - they often don't want an answer at all .
hbg
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 4,843 • Replies: 16
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Diane
 
  1  
Wed 26 Nov, 2008 02:32 pm
TMI, too much information, has always bothered me, I guess because I don't like lots of noise. I like quiet conversations with people who don't always interupt or try to talk over the conversation. When I'm listening to music, that is all I want to hear and I resent interuptions. At big, noisy parties, I arrive, make the obligatory greetings then head for the nearest door leading outside. Mostly, I avoid big, noisy parties.

Something that crossed my mind about older people losing their ability to drown out other noises, is that we no longer have to because we are retired and no longer have to multi-task or take in several conversations at once.

Ah, the silence. Sometimes silence is best for collecting thoughts and letting my mind wander in any direction. Sometimes silence is all I want to hear.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Wed 26 Nov, 2008 02:41 pm
@hamburger,
"This has been shown for both sound and vision, where older subjects were more likely to focus on the landscape in a picture rather than the figure within it."

Huh. Perhaps older people have already seen thousands of photos of people standing in front of ruins, important buildings, old cars, etc. I've long been interested in landscape, natural or man made. I might find the person in a photo with landscape gives a sense of scale for the larger picture, rather than be interested in what someone is wearing this week. Of course, sometimes I am interested in the person as well, but I don't think not being interested is a sign of diminished facility.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Wed 26 Nov, 2008 02:41 pm
@hamburger,
"This has been shown for both sound and vision, where older subjects were more likely to focus on the landscape in a picture rather than the figure within it."

Huh. Perhaps older people have already seen thousands of photos of people standing in front of ruins, important buildings, old cars, etc. I've long been interested in landscape, natural or man made. I might find the person in a photo with landscape gives a sense of scale for the larger picture, rather than be interested in what someone is wearing this week. Of course, sometimes I am interested in the person as well, but I don't think not being interested is a sign of diminished faculty.
hamburger
 
  1  
Wed 26 Nov, 2008 03:27 pm
@ossobuco,
to ossobucco :

we did get your message the first time !!!
we were not trying to ignore you ! Wink Laughing
and did notice that your second post was slightly different - we definetely are paying attention !
Cool
hbg
roger
 
  1  
Wed 26 Nov, 2008 03:45 pm
@hamburger,
Humpf! If I could afford to pay attention, maybe I could afford to process too much information.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Wed 26 Nov, 2008 03:59 pm
@hamburger,
Hamburger - I fed your data points into a database of fMRI scans, and symptoms described in there seem to be more common in ADHD children than in older adults; different medications are prescribed for the identical symptoms >
Quote:
CTs of ADHD brains show decreased activity in the brain centers critical to concentration and goal-directed activities

> but the side effects apply to both groups:
Quote:
uncontrolled movements, verbal tics (e.g., Tourette's syndrome), weight loss, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, chest pain, mental/mood changes, difficulty urinating, signs of infection, easy bruising/bleeding.


Of course you know not to confuse correlations among data points on 3D computer graphics with any actual medical insight, but it's baffling to me that identical scans with identical symptoms should lead to different diagnoses depending on age of patients!

hamburger
 
  1  
Wed 26 Nov, 2008 04:04 pm
@High Seas,
Quote:
Of course you know not to confuse correlations among data points on 3D computer graphics with any actual medical insight, but it's baffling to me that identical scans with identical symptoms should lead to different diagnoses depending on age of patients!


isn't that somewhat like seeing two different medical doctors and getting contradictory advice ?
it's certainly happened to me but i'm getting a "little" older and have seen different doctors at different imes .
hbg
High Seas
 
  1  
Wed 26 Nov, 2008 04:17 pm
@hamburger,
Either that or techie medics should throw out the psychobabbling pseudo-medics; fortunately that's already happening in the armed services:

Quote:
Despite the designation "mild," even a single concussion can produce serious symptoms [....]"The spouses say, 'He is totally different--he used to be a quiet guy and now he's agitated,' or 'He used to be energetic and now has no motivation,'" [....] "They can also lose the ability to put everything together and to make good judgments."


http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/20571/
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Thu 27 Nov, 2008 02:36 am
This is so bogus.

Little people are so uncordinated it is beyond belief!!

When my kids were born, they had no 'get up and go'. Easily distracted, unable to concentrate or string together a sentence, they often just fell asleep whenever and wherever they wanted to. I won't even go into the detail of their bladder and bowel incontinence . Grizzly, toothless, unco-ordinated, smelly and unable to walk or hold things correctly. I wanted to take them back to the hospital or book them into a retirement home.... but, no - the missus was too fond of them.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Thu 27 Nov, 2008 10:39 pm
@hamburger,
hamburger wrote:
"ahem ... i see ... yes, yes ..." , and have no idea what the other person talked about . the interesting thing is , that the other person seems just happy to have had sometime who "lend an ear' - they often don't want an answer at all .

http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa67/buttonbaggins2/funny_monkey.jpg
Sorry, what was that, Mr. H? I didn't hear you. Wink Laughing
ossobuco
 
  1  
Fri 28 Nov, 2008 01:45 pm
@hamburger,
Hah... I do that sometimes: I need to pay more attention, achtung!
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Fri 28 Nov, 2008 02:27 pm
@Reyn,
no need for me to stuff my fingers into my ears - my hearing is diminishing without any help !
actually had a hearing test last week and the ENT doctor told me :
"you have arthritis in your ears ! "
me : "WHAT ? "
ENT - louder : "YOU HAVE ... "
so he explained to me that arthritis is reducing the "malleability" of the bones in my inner ears - they just are not as flexible as they used to be ... hence : "WHAT ?" is becoming one of my favourite words .
Shocked Smile
hbg

http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/rro/lowres/rron429l.jpg

actually waited only a couple of months - didn't miss much in the world

these can also be used as musical instruments <GRIN>

 http://www.oldcatablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/eartrumplb.png


Reyn
 
  1  
Fri 28 Nov, 2008 10:05 pm
@hamburger,
Mr. H with his ear trumpet: Laughing

http://bp1.blogger.com/_sW65ilskOC8/SHdZobenl1I/AAAAAAAALhc/y9XBRtcyenA/s400/EarTrumpet.JPG
hamburger
 
  1  
Sat 29 Nov, 2008 07:01 pm
@Reyn,
reyn :

that's reserved for special occasions - such as listening to you ! Wink
hbg
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Sun 30 Nov, 2008 04:25 am
@hamburger,
Quote:
3 feet of 'flexible mohair' to cure the most obstinate cases??


WFT do you do with it? Beat them until they agree with you? Or just strangle them?
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Sun 30 Nov, 2008 04:34 am
Anyhows - it could get better y'know....



Quote:
Scientists are suggesting that cannabis can offer some benefit for Alzheimer's sufferers. The scientists from Israel and Spain say cannabis-based treatments could improve memory loss in Alzheimer's sufferers.

The revelation was made this week at a symposium of cannabis experts hosted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) where the scientists said that a compound present in cannabis significantly slows memory problems caused by the disease.

Ten years ago the RPSGB launched its protocols to demonstrate the therapeutic effectiveness of cannabis which led to Government-funded trials in Britain to explore the benefits for patients with multiple sclerosis and in the treatment of severe pain.

Cannabis-derived medicines have subsequently entered the market and are currently available to patients in Canada.

The claim follows successful tests in mice and the scientists are now calling for funding for trials to be conducted in humans.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5f/Cannabis_flowering.jpg/295px-Cannabis_flowering.jpg
Dude. Weed - like righteous.
0 Replies
 
 

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