Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 26 February 2003
Vol. 2003, Issue 8, p. ns3
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2003.8.ns3]

NEWS SYNTHESIS

All in Your Mind

The mental declines that accompany aging are reliable and relentless, but they're not as bad as many people think. And some skills continue to improve throughout life

Laura Helmuth

http://sageke.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/sageke;2003/8/ns3

Abstract: Age changes the mind. Even healthy people with no neurodegenerative diseases have a different constellation of cognitive abilities when they're 80 than when they're 20. Fortunately, the aging mind doesn't face a simple, steep decline. Although aspects of memory and other skills decay linearly decade by decade, other abilities age gracefully: Vocabulary, for instance, seems to improve with time. In a new approach to understanding cognitive changes, researchers are recognizing that motivations and emotional values evolve over the life-span--and what people care about helps determine what they remember. The neuroanatomical bases of age-related cognitive changes are poorly understood, but much of the action appears to occur in the frontal lobes, possibly driven by a faltering dopamine system.

Citation: L. Helmuth, All in Your Mind. Science's SAGE KE (26 February 2003), http://sageke.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/sageke;2003/8/ns3

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Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. ISSN 1539-6150