Multitasking Difficult for Seniors, Study Reveals

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Elderly people aged 60 or more have difficulties in multitasking environments, says a study from the University of California-San Francisco that was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

Comparing two groups – with average ages of 24.5 and 69 years – the researchers used functional MRI to monitor blood flow in the participants’ brain neural networks. The participants were initially shown and told to hold an image in mind for 14 seconds; however, a face appears midway through the process and the subjects were asked about its age and sex. Afterwards, the participants were asked to recall the original image.

Results show the older people had difficulty in recalling the original scene. Apparently, the brains of the elderly have difficulty shifting quickly between the separate neural networks for attention and memory, and hence, can’t change tasks as quickly as the younger ones.

Picture Credit: Pikaluk

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