Latest news http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/all Latest memory research news from Mempowered en Forgetfulness in old age may be related to changes in retrieval strategy http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/forgetfulness-old-age-may-be-related-changes-retrieval-strategy <div class="field field-type-date field-field-news-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">04/2013</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A study of younger and older adults indicates that memory search tends to decline with age because, with reduced cognitive control, seniors’ minds tend to ‘flit’ too quickly from one information cluster to another.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Evidence is accumulating that age-related cognitive decline is rooted in three related factors: processing speed slows down (because of myelin<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/208" title="the sheathing that insulates axons and facilitates speedy communication among neurons." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a> degradation); the ability to inhibit distractions becomes impaired; working memory capacity is reduced.</p> <p>A new study adds to this evidence by looking at one particular aspect of age-related cognitive decline: memory search.</p> <p>The study put 185 adults aged 29-99 (average age 67) through three cognitive tests: a vocabulary test, digit span (a working memory test), and the animal fluency test, in which you name as many animals as you can in one minute.</p> <p>Typically, in the animal fluency test, people move through semantic categories such as &lsquo;pets&rsquo;, &lsquo;big cats&rsquo;, and so on. The best performers are those who move from category to category with optimal timing &mdash; i.e., at the point where the category has been sufficiently exhausted that efforts would be better spent on a new one.</p> <p>Participants recalled on average 17 animal names, with a range from 5 to 33. While there was a decline with age, it wasn&rsquo;t particularly marked until the 80s (an average of 18.3 for those in their 30s, 17.5 for those in their 60s, 16.5 for the 70s, 12.8 for the 80s, and 10 for the 90s). Digit span did show a decline, but it was not significant (from 17.5 down to 15.3), while vocabulary (consistent with previous research) showed no decline with age.</p> <p>But all this is by the by &mdash; the nub of the experiment was to discover how individuals were searching their memory. This required a quite complicated analysis, which I will not go into, except to mention two important distinctions. The first is between:</p> <ul> <li>global context cue: activates each item in the active category according to how strong it is (how frequently it has been recalled in the past);</li> <li>local context cue: activates each item in relation to its semantic similarity to the previous item recalled.</li> </ul> <p>A further distinction was made between static and dynamic processes: in dynamic models, it is assumed the user switches between local and global search. This, it is further assumed, is because memory is &lsquo;patchy&rsquo; &ndash; that is, information is represented in clusters. Within a cluster, we use local cues, but to move from one cluster to another, we use global cues.</p> <p>The point of all this was to determine whether age-related decline in memory search has to do with:</p> <ul> <li>Reduced processing speed,</li> <li>Persisting too long on categories, or</li> <li>Inability to maintain focus on local cues (this would relate it back to the inhibition deficit).</li> </ul> <p>By modeling the exact recall patterns, the researchers ascertained that the recall process is indeed dynamic, although the points of transition are not clearly understood. The number of transitions from one cluster to another was negatively correlated with age; it was also strongly positively correlated with performance (number of items recalled). Digit span, assumed to measure &lsquo;cognitive control&rsquo;, was also negatively correlated with number of transitions, but, as I said, was not significantly correlated with age.</p> <p>In other words, it appears that there is a qualitative change with age, that increasing age is correlated with increased switching, and reduced cognitive control is behind this &mdash; although it doesn&rsquo;t explain it all (perhaps because we&rsquo;re still not able to fully measure cognitive control).</p> <p>At a practical level, the message is that memory search may become less efficient because, as people age, they tend to change categories too frequently, before they have exhausted their full potential. While this may well be a consequence of reduced cognitive control, it seems likely (to me at least) that making a deliberate effort to fight the tendency to move on too quickly will pay dividends for older adults who want to improve their memory retrieval abilities.</p> <p>Nor is this restricted to older adults &mdash; since age appears to be primarily affecting performance through its effects on cognitive control, it is likely that this applies to those with reduced working memory capacity, of any age.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-ref"> <div class="field-label">Reference:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>[3378] <span class="biblio-authors"><a href="/biblio/author/4693">Hills, T. T.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10652">Mata R.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10653">Wilke A.</a>, &amp; <a href="/biblio/author/9197">Samanez-Larkin G. R.</a></span> (2013).&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="biblio-title"><a href="/biblio/mechanisms-age-related-decline-memory-search-across-adult-life-span">Mechanisms of Age-Related Decline in Memory Search Across the Adult Life Span</a>. </span> <u>Developmental Psychology. </u> No - Pagination Specified.<span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.atitle=Mechanisms+of+Age-Related+Decline+in+Memory+Search+Across+the+Adult+Life+Span&amp;rft.title=Developmental+Psychology&amp;rft.isbn=1939-0599%28Electronic%29%3B0012-1649%28Print%29&amp;rft.date=2013&amp;rft.spage=No+-+Pagination+Specified&amp;rft.aulast=Hills&amp;rft.aufirst=Thomas"></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-source"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Source:&nbsp;</div> <p><a href="http://www.futurity.org/health-medicine/seniors-lose-memory-as-the-mind-gets-flighty/" title="http://www.futurity.org/health-medicine/seniors-lose-memory-as-the-mind-gets-flighty/">http://www.futurity.org/health-medicine/seniors-lose-memory-as-the-mind-...</a></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/forgetfulness-old-age-may-be-related-changes-retrieval-strategy#comments Memory in Normal Aging age-related cognitive decline attention problems retrieval semantic memory seniors working memory Mon, 06 May 2013 04:19:13 +0000 Fiona McPherson 3401 at http://www.memory-key.com Frequent multitaskers are the worst at it http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/frequent-multitaskers-are-worst-it <div class="field field-type-date field-field-news-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">03/2013</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A survey of college students found that those who scored highest in multitasking ability were also least likely to multitask, while those who scored lowest were most likely to engage in it.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>I&rsquo;ve <a href="/research/topic/multitasking">reported often</a> on the perils of multitasking. Here is yet another one, with an intriguing new finding: it seems that the people who multitask the most are those least capable of doing so!</p> <p>The study surveyed 310 undergraduate psychology students to find their actual multitasking ability, perceived multitasking ability, cell phone use while driving, use of a wide array of electronic media, and personality traits such as impulsivity and sensation-seeking.</p> <p>Those who scored in the top quarter on a test of multitasking ability tended not to multitask. Some 70% of participants thought they were above average at multitasking, and perceived multitasking ability (rather than actual) was associated with multitasking. Those with high levels of impulsivity and sensation-seeking were also more likely to multitask (with the exception of using a cellphone while driving, which wasn&rsquo;t related to impulsivity, though it was related to sensation seeking).</p> <p>The findings suggest that those who multitask don&rsquo;t do so because they are good at multitasking, but because they are poor at focusing on one task.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-ref"> <div class="field-label">Reference:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>[3281] <span class="biblio-authors"><a href="/biblio/author/10421">Sanbonmatsu, D. M.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/919">Strayer D. L.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10422">Medeiros-Ward N.</a>, &amp; <a href="/biblio/author/2546">Watson J. M.</a></span> (2013).&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="biblio-title"><a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0054402">Who Multi-Tasks and Why? Multi-Tasking Ability, Perceived Multi-Tasking Ability, Impulsivity, and Sensation Seeking</a>. </span> <u>PLoS ONE. 8</u>(1),&nbsp;<span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.atitle=Who+Multi-Tasks+and+Why%3F+Multi-Tasking+Ability%2C+Perceived+Multi-Tasking+Ability%2C+Impulsivity%2C+and+Sensation+Seeking&amp;rft.title=PLoS+ONE&amp;rft.date=2013&amp;rft.volume=8&amp;rft.issue=1&amp;rft.aulast=Sanbonmatsu&amp;rft.aufirst=David"></span></p> <p>Full text available at <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0054402" title="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0054402">http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0054402</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-source"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Source:&nbsp;</div> <p><a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uou-fma011813.php" title="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uou-fma011813.php">http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uou-fma011813.php</a></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/frequent-multitaskers-are-worst-it#comments Strategies attention attention problems driving individual differences multitasking working memory young adult Thu, 07 Mar 2013 21:03:12 +0000 Fiona McPherson 3303 at http://www.memory-key.com Cognitive decline in old age related to poorer sleep http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/cognitive-decline-old-age-related-poorer-sleep <div class="field field-type-date field-field-news-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">02/2013</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A new study confirms the role slow-wave sleep plays in consolidating memories, and reveals that one reason for older adults’ memory problems may be the quality of their sleep.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/research/news/are-sleep-problems-key-factor-alzheimer%E2%80%99s">Recent research has suggested</a> that sleep problems might be a risk factor in developing Alzheimer&rsquo;s, <a href="/research/news/poor-sleep-old-age-increases-risk-cognitive-impairment">and in mild cognitive impairment</a>. A new study adds to this gathering evidence by connecting reduced slow-wave sleep in older adults to brain atrophy and poorer learning.</p> <p>The study involved 18 healthy young adults (mostly in their 20s) and 15 healthy older adults (mostly in their 70s). Participants learned 120 word- nonsense word pairs and were tested for recognition before going to bed. Their brain activity was recorded while they slept. Brain activity was also measured in the morning, when they were tested again on the word pairs.</p> <p>As has been found previously, older adults showed markedly less slow-wave activity (both over the whole brain and specifically in the prefrontal cortex<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/77" title="is the area of the brain at the very front of the frontal lobes. It is involved in &quot;executive functions&quot;, such as working memory, decision-making, planning and judgment. Prefrontal regions appear to be particularly sensitive to the effects of aging. It is thought that the reduced ability to recall the context of memories that occurs with advancing age, is evidence that the prefrontal cortex is also critical for context processing - a process involved in many cognitive functions. A recent study has also revealed that emotional stimuli and attentional functions are integrated in a specific part of the prefrontal cortex - the anterior cingulate (located between the right and left halves). " class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a>) than the younger adults. Again, as in previous studies, the biggest difference between young and older adults in terms of gray matter<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/198" title="brain tissue is divided into two types: gray matter and white matter. Gray matter is made up of the cell bodies of nerve cells. The volume of gray matter tissue is a measure of the density of brain cells in a particular region." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a> volume was found in the medial prefrontal cortex<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/53" title="part of the prefrontal cortex close to the midline, implicated in social memory -- in particular, self-reflection as well as theory of mind and empathy. The region is also involved when sounds evoke feelings." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a> (mPFC). Moreover, significant differences were also found in the insula<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/40" title="part of the paralimbic zone, it is critical for perception and modulation of sensory and autonomic data, including pain and visceral sensations. It&#039;s also involved in speech." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a> and posterior cingulate<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/13" title="gyrus (fold) in the limbic lobe; implicated in self-reflective thought (thinking about yourself and your attributes)." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a> cortex. These regions, like the mPFC, have also been associated with the generation of slow waves.</p> <p>When mPFC volume was taken into account, age no longer significantly predicted the extent of the decline in slow-wave activity &mdash; in other words, the decline in slow-wave activity appears to be due to the brain atrophy in the medial prefrontal cortex. Atrophy in other regions of the brain (precuneus<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/76" title="part of the medial section of the posterior parietal cortex" class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a>, hippocampus<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/35" title="means &quot;sea horse&quot;, and is named for its shape. It is one of the oldest parts of the brain, and is buried deep inside, within the limbic lobe. The hippocampus is important for the forming, and perhaps long-term storage, of associative and episodic memories. Specifically, the hippocampus has been implicated in (among other things) the encoding of face-name associations, the retrieval of face-name associations, the encoding of events, the recall of personal memories in response to smells. It may also be involved in the processes by which memories are consolidated during sleep." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a>, temporal lobe<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/96" title="one of the lobes of the cerebrum, situated below the frontal and parietal lobes, and above the hindbrain. The temporal lobe is primarily concerned with sensory experience - specifically, with hearing, and with the integration of information from multiple senses. Part of the temporal lobe also plays a role in memory processing. Patients with damaged temporal lobes appear to have impaired lexical retrieval of names of living things." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a>) was not associated with the decline in slow-wave activity when age was considered.</p> <p>Older adults did significantly worse on the delayed recognition test than young adults. Performance on the immediate test did not predict performance on the delayed test. Moreover, the highest performers on the immediate test among the older adults performed at the same level as the lowest young adult performers &mdash; nevertheless, these older adults did worse the following day.</p> <p>Slow-wave activity during sleep was significantly associated with performance on the next day&rsquo;s test. Moreover, when slow-wave activity was taken into account, neither age nor mPFC atrophy significantly predicted test performance.</p> <p>In other words, age relates to shrinkage of the prefrontal cortex, this shrinkage relates to a decline in slow-wave activity during sleep, and this decline in slow-wave sleep relates to poorer cognitive performance.</p> <p>The findings confirm the importance of slow-wave brainwaves for memory consolidation<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/185" title="new memories are initially &#039;labile&#039; and sensitive to disruption before undergoing a series of processes (e.g., glutamate release, protein synthesis, neural growth and rearrangement) that render the memory representations progressively more stable. It is these processes that are generally referred to as “consolidation”." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a>.</p> <p>All of this suggests that poorer sleep quality contributes significantly to age-related cognitive decline, and that efforts should be made to improve quality of sleep rather than just assuming lighter, more disturbed sleep is &lsquo;natural&rsquo; in old age!</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-ref"> <div class="field-label">Reference:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>[3274] <span class="biblio-authors"><a href="/biblio/author/7048">Mander, B. A.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10385">Rao V.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10386">Lu B.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/7050">Saletin J. M.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10387">Lindquist J. R.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/7847">Ancoli-Israel S.</a>, et al.</span> (2013).&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="biblio-title"><a href="http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.3324.html">Prefrontal atrophy, disrupted NREM slow waves and impaired hippocampal-dependent memory in aging</a>. </span> <u>Nature Neuroscience. </u> <span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.atitle=Prefrontal+atrophy%2C+disrupted+NREM+slow+waves+and+impaired+hippocampal-dependent+memory+in+aging&amp;rft.title=Nature+Neuroscience&amp;rft.isbn=1097-6256&amp;rft.date=2013&amp;rft.aulast=Mander&amp;rft.aufirst=Bryce"></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-source"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Source:&nbsp;</div> <p><a href="http://www.futurity.org/health-medicine/deep-sleep-may-improve-memory-as-we-age/" title="http://www.futurity.org/health-medicine/deep-sleep-may-improve-memory-as-we-age/">http://www.futurity.org/health-medicine/deep-sleep-may-improve-memory-as...</a><br /> <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-poor-sleep-and-forgetfulness-plague-the-aging-brain" title="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-poor-sleep-and-forgetfulness-plague-the-aging-brain">http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-poor-sleep-and-forg...</a></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/cognitive-decline-old-age-related-poorer-sleep#comments Memory in Normal Aging age-related cognitive decline consolidation encoding seniors Sleep Wed, 27 Feb 2013 21:07:47 +0000 Fiona McPherson 3301 at http://www.memory-key.com Reviewing alcohol's effects on normal sleep http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/reviewing-alcohols-effects-normal-sleep <div class="field field-type-date field-field-news-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">02/2013</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A review on the immediate effects of alcohol on sleep has found that alcohol shortens the time it takes to fall asleep, increases deep sleep, and reduces REM sleep.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Because sleep is so important for memory and learning (and gathering evidence suggests sleep problems may play a significant role in age-related cognitive impairment), I thought I&rsquo;d make quick note of a recent review bringing together all research on the immediate effects of alcohol on the sleep of healthy individuals.</p> <p>The review found that alcohol in any amount reduces the time it takes to fall asleep, while greater amounts produce increasing amounts of deep sleep in the first half of the night. However, sleep is more disrupted in the second half. While increased deep sleep is generally good, there are two down sides here: first, it&rsquo;s paired with sleep disruption in the second half of the night; second, those predisposed to problems such as sleepwalking or sleep apnea may be more vulnerable to them. (A comment from the researchers that makes me wonder if the relationship between deep sleep and slow-wave activity is more complicated than I realized.)</p> <p>Additionally, at high doses of alcohol, REM sleep is significantly reduced in the first half, and overall. This may impair attention, memory, and motor skills. Moreover, at all doses, the first REM period is significantly delayed, producing less restful sleep.</p> <p>The researchers conclude that, while alcohol may give the illusion of improving sleep, it is not in fact doing so.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-ref"> <div class="field-label">Reference:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>[3269] <span class="biblio-authors"><a href="/biblio/author/10372">Ebrahim, I. O.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/2146">Shapiro C. M.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10373">Williams A. J.</a>, &amp; <a href="/biblio/author/10374">Fenwick P. B.</a></span> (2013).&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="biblio-title"><a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acer.12006/abstract">Alcohol and Sleep I: Effects on Normal Sleep</a>. </span> <u>Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. </u> n/a - n/a.<span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.atitle=Alcohol+and+Sleep+I%3A+Effects+on+Normal+Sleep&amp;rft.title=Alcoholism%3A+Clinical+and+Experimental+Research&amp;rft.isbn=1530-0277&amp;rft.date=2013&amp;rft.spage=n%2Fa+-+n%2Fa&amp;rft.aulast=Ebrahim&amp;rft.aufirst=Irshaad"></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-source"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Source:&nbsp;</div> <p><a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/ace-rae011413.php" title="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/ace-rae011413.php">http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/ace-rae011413.php</a><br /> <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=nightcap-drink-disrupts-important-s-13-01-29" title="http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=nightcap-drink-disrupts-important-s-13-01-29">http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=nightcap-drink-...</a></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/reviewing-alcohols-effects-normal-sleep#comments Lifestyle factors alcohol consolidation Quick takes Sleep Wed, 27 Feb 2013 21:04:50 +0000 Fiona McPherson 3300 at http://www.memory-key.com Concussions in high school athletes may need longer recovery & better testing http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/concussions-high-school-athletes-may-need-longer-recovery-better-testing <div class="field field-type-date field-field-news-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">02/2013</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Two small studies suggest that standard testing of concussed high school athletes might be insufficiently sensitive.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>I&rsquo;ve talked before about how <a href="/blog/even-mild-head-injuries-can-seriously-affect-brain">even mild head injuries can have serious consequences</a>, and in recent years we&rsquo;ve seen growing awareness of the long-term dangers of sports&rsquo; concussions (especially for young people). This has been followed by a number of initiatives to help protect athletes. However, while encouraging, they may still be under-estimating the problem. Two recent studies, involving high school athletes who had experienced concussions, point to quite subtle impairment lasting for longer than expected.</p> <p>In one study, 20 concussed adolescents were tested on their attention and executive function within 72 hours post injury, and then again at one week, two weeks, one month, and two months post injury. Compared with matched controls, they had a significantly greater switch cost on the Task-Switching Test and a significantly greater reaction time for the Attentional Network Test conflict effect component, with this lasting up to two months after injury.</p> <p>The results suggest that longer recovery periods than the standard 7-10 days may be warranted, given that the slower reaction times (although only a matter of milliseconds) might make further injury more likely.</p> <p class="first">In another study, 54 adolescent athletes who had been concussed but who reported being symptom-free and had returned to baseline neurocognitive-test levels, were given, further testing. This revealed that over a quarter of them (27.7%) showed cognitive impairment following moderate physical exertion (15 to 25 minutes on a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bicycle). These athletes scored significantly lower on verbal and visual memory, although processing speed and reaction was not affected (suggesting that tests focusing mainly on these latter abilities are insufficient).</p> <p>The group affected did not differ from the rest in terms of symptoms or concussion history.</p> <p>The findings suggest that computerized neurocognitive testing following moderate exertion should be part of the standard procedure when making return-to-play decisions.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-ref"> <div class="field-label">Reference:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>[3271] <span class="biblio-authors"><a href="/biblio/author/10377">Howell, D.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10378">Osternig L.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10379">van Donkelaar P.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/6756">Mayr U.</a>, &amp; <a href="/biblio/author/10380">Chou L. - S.</a></span> (2012).&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="biblio-title"><a href="http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/publishahead/Effects_of_Concussion_on_Attention_and_Executive.98473.aspx">Effects of Concussion on Attention and Executive Function in Adolescents</a>. </span> <u>Medicine &amp; Science in Sports &amp; Exercise. </u> <span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.atitle=Effects+of+Concussion+on+Attention+and+Executive+Function+in+Adolescents&amp;rft.title=Medicine+%26amp%3B+Science+in+Sports+%26amp%3B+Exercise&amp;rft.isbn=0195-9131&amp;rft.date=2012&amp;rft.aulast=Howell&amp;rft.aufirst=David"></span></p> <p>[3276] <span class="biblio-authors"><a href="/biblio/author/10394">McGrath, N.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10395">Dinn W. M.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/3268">Collins M. W.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/3269">Lovell M. R.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/9523">Elbin R. J.</a>, &amp; <a href="/biblio/author/9565">Kontos A. P.</a></span> (2013).&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="biblio-title"><a href="http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/02699052.2012.729282?prevSearch=allfield%253A%2528McGrath%2529&amp;searchHistoryKey=&amp;">Post-exertion neurocognitive test failure among student-athletes following concussion</a>. </span> <u>Brain Injury. 27</u>(1),&nbsp;103 - 113.<span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.atitle=Post-exertion+neurocognitive+test+failure+among+student-athletes+following+concussion&amp;rft.title=Brain+Injury&amp;rft.isbn=0269-9052%2C+1362-301X&amp;rft.date=2013&amp;rft.volume=27&amp;rft.issue=1&amp;rft.spage=103&amp;rft.epage=113&amp;rft.aulast=McGrath&amp;rft.aufirst=Neal"></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-source"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Source:&nbsp;</div> <p>First study: <a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uoo-cdf010713.php" title="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uoo-cdf010713.php">http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uoo-cdf010713.php</a></p> <p>Second study: <a href="http://www.futurity.org/health-medicine/after-concussion-check-for-memory-gaps/" title="http://www.futurity.org/health-medicine/after-concussion-check-for-memory-gaps/">http://www.futurity.org/health-medicine/after-concussion-check-for-memor...</a></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/concussions-high-school-athletes-may-need-longer-recovery-better-testing#comments Health & age-related problems adolescence TBI Wed, 27 Feb 2013 20:43:51 +0000 Fiona McPherson 3299 at http://www.memory-key.com Memory for Facebook posts better than that of faces and books http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/memory-facebook-posts-better-faces-and-books <div class="field field-type-date field-field-news-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">02/2013</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Gossipy content and informal language may lie behind people's better recall of Facebook posts compared to memory for human faces or sentences from books.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Online social networking, such as Facebook, is hugely popular. A series of experiments has explored the intriguing question of whether our memories are particularly &lsquo;tuned&rsquo; to remember the sort of information shared on such sites.</p> <p>The first experiment involved 32 college students (27 female), who were asked to study either 100 randomly chosen Facebook posts, or 100 sentences randomly chosen from books on Amazon. After the study period (which involved each sentence being presented for 3 seconds), the students were given a self-paced recognition test, in which the 100 study sentences were mixed with another 100 sentences from the same source, with participants responding with a number expressing their confidence that they had (or had not) seen the sentence before (e.g., &lsquo;1&rsquo; would indicate they were completely confident that they hadn&rsquo;t seen it before, &lsquo;20&rsquo; that they were totally confident that they had).</p> <p>Recognition of Facebook posts was significantly better than recognition of sentences from books (an average of 85% correct vs 76%). The &lsquo;Facebook advantage&rsquo; remained even when only posts with more normal surface-level characteristics were analyzed (i.e., all posts containing irregularities of spelling and typography were removed).</p> <p>In the next experiment, involving 16 students (11 female), Facebook posts (a new set) were compared with neutral faces. Again, memory for Facebook posts was substantially better than that for faces. This is quite remarkable, since humans have a particular expertise for faces and tend to score highly on recognition tests for them.</p> <p>One advantage the Facebook posts might have is in eliciting social thinking. The researchers attempted to test this by comparing the learning achieved when people were asked to count the words of each sentence or post, against the learning achieved when they were asked to think of someone they knew (real or fictional) who could have composed such a sentence / post. This experiment involved 64 students (41 female).</p> <p>The deeper encoding encouraged by the latter strategy did improve memory for the texts, but it did so equally. The fact that it helped Facebook posts as much as it did book sentences argues against the idea that the Facebook advantage rests on social elaboration (because if so, encouraging them to be socially elaborated would have little extra effect).</p> <p>Another advantage the Facebook posts might have over book sentences is that they were generally complete in themselves, making sense in a way that randomly chosen sentences from books would not. Other possibilities have to do with the gossipy nature of Facebook posts, and the informal language used. To test these theories, 180 students (138 female) were shown text from two CNN twitter feeds: Breaking News and Entertainment News. Texts included headlines, sentences, and comments.</p> <p>Texts from Entertainment News were remembered significantly better than those from Breaking News (supporting the gossip advantage). Headlines were remembered significantly better than random sentences (supporting the completeness argument), but comments were remembered best of all (supporting the informality theory) &mdash; although the benefit of comments over headlines was much greater for Breaking News than Entertainment News (perhaps reflecting the effort the Entertainment News people put into making catchy headlines?).</p> <p>It seems then, that three factors contribute to the greater memorability of Facebook posts: the completeness of ideas; the gossipy content; the casually generated language.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll have noticed I made a special point of noting the gender imbalance in the participant pools. Given gender differences in language and social interaction, it&rsquo;s a shame that the participants were so heavily skewed, and I would like this replicated with males before generalizing. However, the evidence for the advantage of more informal language is, at least, less likely to be skewed by gender.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-ref"> <div class="field-label">Reference:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>[3277] <span class="biblio-authors"><a href="/biblio/author/10396">Mickes, L.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10397">Darby R. S.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10398">Hwe V.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10399">Bajic D.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10400">Warker J. A.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10401">Harris C. R.</a>, et al.</span> (Submitted).&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="biblio-title"><a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13421-012-0281-6">Major memory for microblogs</a>. </span> <u>Memory &amp; Cognition. </u> 1 - 9.<span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.atitle=Major+memory+for+microblogs&amp;rft.title=Memory+%26amp%3B+Cognition&amp;rft.isbn=0090-502X%2C+1532-5946&amp;rft.spage=1&amp;rft.epage=9&amp;rft.aulast=Mickes&amp;rft.aufirst=Laura"></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-source"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Source:&nbsp;</div> <p><a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uow-nfa011513.php" title="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uow-nfa011513.php">http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uow-nfa011513.php</a><br /> <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=neural-networking-site" title="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=neural-networking-site">http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=neural-networking-site</a></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/memory-facebook-posts-better-faces-and-books#comments Strategies context language cues Wed, 27 Feb 2013 07:51:19 +0000 Fiona McPherson 3298 at http://www.memory-key.com Early surgical menopause linked to faster cognitive decline http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/early-surgical-menopause-linked-faster-cognitive-decline <div class="field field-type-date field-field-news-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">02/2013</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Women who undergo surgical menopause at an earlier age may have an increased risk of cognitive decline.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The issue of the effect of menopause on women&rsquo;s cognition, and whether hormone therapy helps older women fight cognitive decline and dementia, <a href="/research/topic/hormone-therapy">has been a murky one</a>. Increasing evidence suggests that the timing and type of therapy is critical. A new study makes clear that we also need to distinguish between women who experience early surgical menopause and those who experience natural menopause.</p> <p>The study involved 1,837 women (aged 53-100), of whom 33% had undergone surgical menopause (removal of both ovaries before natural menopause). For these women, earlier age of the procedure was associated with a faster decline in semantic and episodic memory, as well as overall cognition. The results stayed the same after factors such as age, education and smoking were taken into consideration.</p> <p>There was also a significant association between age at surgical menopause and the plaques<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/238" title="are considered one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer&#039;s disease. The plaques are hard, insoluble aggregations of various peptides and proteins, chiefly and most important amyloid-beta peptides. Recent research suggests plaques attach primarily to blood vessels, damaging them." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a> characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. However, there was no significant association with Alzheimer&rsquo;s itself.</p> <p>On the positive side, hormone replacement therapy was found to help protect those who had surgical menopause, with duration of therapy linked to a significantly slower decline in overall cognition.</p> <p>Also positively, age at natural menopause was not found to be associated with rate of cognitive decline.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-ref"> <div class="field-label">Reference:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Bove, R. et al. 2013. Early Surgical Menopause Is Associated with a Spectrum of Cognitive Decline. To be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 21, 2013.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-source"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Source:&nbsp;</div> <p><a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/aaon-esm010313.php" title="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/aaon-esm010313.php">http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/aaon-esm010313.php</a></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/early-surgical-menopause-linked-faster-cognitive-decline#comments Health & age-related problems age-related cognitive decline middle-aged seniors Hormone therapy Tue, 26 Feb 2013 21:15:25 +0000 Fiona McPherson 3297 at http://www.memory-key.com Why learning gets harder as we get older http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/why-learning-gets-harder-we-get-older <div class="field field-type-date field-field-news-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">02/2013</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A mouse study shows that weakening unwanted or out-of-date connections is as important as making new connections, and that neurological changes as we age reduces our ability to weaken old connections.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A new study adds more support to the idea that the increasing difficulty in learning new information and skills that most of us experience as we age is not down to any difficulty in acquiring new information, but rests on the interference from all the old information.</p> <p>Memory is about strengthening some connections and weakening others. A vital player in this process of synaptic plasticity<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/172" title="the ability of synapses to be altered resulting in a modification of synaptic transmission; considered to be the foundation of learning and memory " class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a> is the NMDA receptor<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/212" title="a type of glutamate receptor that is responsive to NMDA; activation of these is thought to be required for the initial synaptic strengthening that occurs during learning, although inhibition of these receptors, and activation of another (mGlu receptor) is then necessary." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a> in the hippocampus<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/35" title="means &quot;sea horse&quot;, and is named for its shape. It is one of the oldest parts of the brain, and is buried deep inside, within the limbic lobe. The hippocampus is important for the forming, and perhaps long-term storage, of associative and episodic memories. Specifically, the hippocampus has been implicated in (among other things) the encoding of face-name associations, the retrieval of face-name associations, the encoding of events, the recall of personal memories in response to smells. It may also be involved in the processes by which memories are consolidated during sleep." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a>. This glutamate<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/177" title="an amino acid, it&#039;s the most prevalent excitatory neurotransmitter in the adult brain " class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a> receptor has two subunits (NR2A and NR2B), whose ratio changes as the brain develops. Children have higher ratios of NR2B, which lengthens the time neurons<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/224" title="are one of two broad classes of nerve cells in the brain (the other class is the glia). According to the neuron doctrine, the neuron is the fundamental functional unit of the brain, the information-processing unit. However, recent evidence suggests that the glia, once thought to simply provide support, may also play a role in the work of the brain. There are about 100 billion neurons in the brain, but this is only about 10% of the number of brain cells." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a> talk to each other, enabling them to make stronger connections, thus optimizing learning. After puberty, the ratio shifts, so there is more NR2A.</p> <p>Of course, there are many other changes in the aging brain, so it&rsquo;s been difficult to disentangle the effects of this changing ratio from other changes. This new study genetically modified mice to have more NR2A and less NR2B (reflecting the ratio typical of older humans), thus avoiding the other confounds.</p> <p>To the researchers&rsquo; surprise, the mice were found to be still good at making strong connections (&lsquo;long-term potentiation&rsquo; - LTP<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/204" title="a process of synaptic modification, by which stimulated synapses become more effective; thought to be key to the forming of declarative memory." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a>), but instead had an impaired ability to weaken existing connections (&lsquo;long-term depression&rsquo; - LTD). This produces too much noise (bear in mind that each neuron averages 3,000 potential points of contact (i.e., synapses<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/171" title="the site where one neuron makes contact with another." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a>), and you will see the importance of turning down the noise!).</p> <p>Interestingly, LTD responses were only abolished within a particular frequency range (3-5 Hz), and didn&rsquo;t affect 1Hz-induced LTD (or 100Hz-induced LTP). Moreover, while the mice showed impaired long-term learning, their short-term memory was unaffected. The researchers suggest that these particular LTD responses are critical for &lsquo;post-learning information sculpting&rsquo;, which they suggest is a step (hitherto unknown) in the consolidation<a href="http://www.memory-key.com/glossary/term/185" title="new memories are initially &#039;labile&#039; and sensitive to disruption before undergoing a series of processes (e.g., glutamate release, protein synthesis, neural growth and rearrangement) that render the memory representations progressively more stable. It is these processes that are generally referred to as “consolidation”." class="glossary-icon"><img src="/sites/all/modules/glossary/glossary.gif" /></a> process. This step, they postulate, involves modifying the new information to fit in with existing networks of knowledge.</p> <p>Previous work by these researchers has found that mice genetically modified to have an excess of NR2B became &lsquo;super-learners&rsquo;. Until now, the emphasis in learning and memory has always been on long-term potentiation, and the role (if any) of long-term depression has been much less clear. These results point to the importance of both these processes in sculpting learning and memory.</p> <p>The findings also seem to fit in with the idea that a major cause of age-related cognitive decline is the failure to inhibit unwanted information, and confirm the importance of keeping your mind actively engaged and learning, because this ratio is also affected by experience.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-ref"> <div class="field-label">Reference:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>[3265] <span class="biblio-authors"><a href="/biblio/author/2090">Cui, Z.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10363">Feng R.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10364">Jacobs S.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10365">Duan Y.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10366">Wang H.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/2095">Cao X.</a>, et al.</span> (2013).&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="biblio-title"><a href="http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130108/srep01036/full/srep01036.html">Increased NR2A:NR2B ratio compresses long-term depression range and constrains long-term memory</a>. </span> <u>Scientific Reports. 3,</u> <span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.atitle=Increased+NR2A%3ANR2B+ratio+compresses+long-term+depression+range+and+constrains+long-term+memory&amp;rft.title=Scientific+Reports&amp;rft.isbn=2045-2322&amp;rft.date=2013&amp;rft.volume=3&amp;rft.aulast=Cui&amp;rft.aufirst=Zhenzhong"></span></p> <p>Full text available at <a href="http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130108/srep01036/full/srep01036.html" title="http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130108/srep01036/full/srep01036.html">http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130108/srep01036/full/srep01036.html</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-source"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Source:&nbsp;</div> <p><a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/ghsu-eui010913.php" title="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/ghsu-eui010913.php">http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/ghsu-eui010913.php</a></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/why-learning-gets-harder-we-get-older#comments Memory in Normal Aging age-related cognitive decline consolidation encoding mental stimulation middle-aged neurogenesis seniors Mon, 25 Feb 2013 21:45:10 +0000 Fiona McPherson 3296 at http://www.memory-key.com Correcting misinformation isn’t just a matter of providing the correct information http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/correcting-misinformation-isn%E2%80%99t-just-matter-providing-correct-information <div class="field field-type-date field-field-news-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">02/2013</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A study emphasizes the importance of establishing source credibility when trying to correct false information.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>I&rsquo;ve <a href="/research/news/problem-correcting-false-knowledge"> discussed before</a> how hard it is to correct false knowledge. This is not only a problem for the classroom &mdash; the preconceptions students bring to a topic, and the difficulty of replacing them with the correct information &mdash; but, in these days of so much misinformation in the media and on the web, an everyday problem.</p> <p>An internet study involving 574 adults presented them with an article discussing the issue of electronic health records (EHRs). They were then shown another article on the subject, supposedly from a &quot;political blog&quot;. This text included several false statements about who was allowed access to these records (for example, that hospital administrators, health insurance companies, employers, and government officials had unrestricted access).</p> <p>For some participants, this article was annotated so that the false statements were clearly marked, and directions explained that an independent fact-checking organization had found these factual errors. Other participants completed an unrelated three-minute task at the end of reading the text before being presented with the same corrections, while a third group was not advised of the inaccuracies at all (until being debriefed).</p> <p>After reading the text, participants were given a questionnaire, where they listed everything they had learned about EHRs from the text, rated their feelings about each item, and marked on a 7-point scale how easy it would be for specific groups to access the records. They were also asked to judge the credibility of the fact-checking message.</p> <p>Those who received the immediate corrections were significantly more accurate than those who received the delayed corrections, and both were significantly more accurate than those receiving no corrections &mdash; so at least we know that correcting false information does make a difference! More depressingly, however, the difference between any of the groups, although significant, was small &mdash; i.e., correcting false statements makes a difference, but not much of one.</p> <p>Part of the problem lies, it appears, in people&rsquo;s preconceptions. A breakdown by participant&rsquo;s feelings on the issue revealed that the immediate correction was significantly more effective for those who were &lsquo;for&rsquo; EHRs (note that the corrections agreed with their beliefs). Indeed, for those unfavorably disposed, the immediate corrections may as well have been no corrections at all.</p> <p>But, intriguingly, predisposition only made a difference when the correction was immediate, not when it was delayed.</p> <p>Mapping these results against participants&rsquo; responses to the question of credibility revealed that those unfavorably disposed (and therefore prone to believing the false claims in the text) assigned little credibility to the corrections.</p> <p>Why should this, perfectly understandable, difference apply only when corrections were immediate? The researchers suggest that, by putting the corrections in direct competition with the false statements, more emphasis is put on their relative credibility &mdash; assessments of which tend to be biased by existing attitudes.</p> <p>The findings suggest it is naïve to expect that it is enough to simply tell people something is false, if they have a will to believe it. It also suggests the best approach to correcting false knowledge is to emphasize the credibility of the corrector.</p> <p>Of course, this study used politically charged information, about which people are likely to have decided opinions. But the results are a reminder that, as the researcher says: &quot;Humans aren't vessels into which you can just pour accurate information. Correcting misperceptions is really a persuasion task.&rdquo;</p> <p>This is true even when the information is something as &lsquo;factual&rsquo; as the cause of the seasons! Even teachers should take on board this idea that, when new information doesn&rsquo;t fit in with a student&rsquo;s world-view, then credibility of the source/authority (the teacher!) is paramount.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-ref"> <div class="field-label">Reference:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Garrett, R., &amp; Weeks, B. (2013). The Promise and Peril of Real-Time Corrections to Political Misperceptions. Proceedings of the Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing conference. Retrieved from <a href="http://wp.comm.ohio-state.edu/misperceptions/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/garrettweeks-promiseperil-cscw-final.pdf" title="http://wp.comm.ohio-state.edu/misperceptions/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/garrettweeks-promiseperil-cscw-final.pdf">http://wp.comm.ohio-state.edu/misperceptions/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/...</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-source"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Source:&nbsp;</div> <p><a href="http://phys.org/news/2013-01-false-beliefs-persist-instant-online.html" title="http://phys.org/news/2013-01-false-beliefs-persist-instant-online.html">http://phys.org/news/2013-01-false-beliefs-persist-instant-online.html</a></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/correcting-misinformation-isn%E2%80%99t-just-matter-providing-correct-information#comments Strategies memory failures Mon, 25 Feb 2013 21:00:00 +0000 Fiona McPherson 3295 at http://www.memory-key.com Hearing loss accelerates cognitive decline in older adults http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/hearing-loss-accelerates-cognitive-decline-older-adults <div class="field field-type-date field-field-news-date"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="date-display-single">02/2013</span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A large study finds that hearing loss significantly increases the rate of cognitive decline in old age.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>I&rsquo;ve <a href="/blog/neglect-your-senses-your-cognitive-peril">written before</a> about the gathering evidence that sensory impairment, visual impairment and hearing loss in particular, is a risk factor for age-related cognitive decline and dementia. Now a large long-running study provides more support for the association between hearing loss and age-related cognitive decline.</p> <p>The study involved 1,984 older adults (aged 75-84) whose hearing and cognition was tested at the start of the study, with cognitive performance again assessed three, five, and six years later.</p> <p>Those with hearing loss showed significantly faster cognitive decline than those with normal hearing &mdash; some 30-40% faster (41% on the MMSE; 32% on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test), with rate directly related to the amount of hearing loss.</p> <p>On average, older adults with hearing loss developed significant cognitive impairment 3.2 years sooner than those with normal hearing &mdash; a very significant difference indeed.</p> <p>It has been suggested that increasing social isolation and loneliness may underlie some, if not all, of this association. It may also be that difficulties in hearing force the brain to devote too much of its resources to processing sound, leaving less for cognition. A third possibility is that some common factor underlies both hearing loss and cognitive decline &mdash; however, the obvious risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke, were taken account of in the analysis.</p> <p>The findings emphasize the importance of getting help for hearing difficulties, rather than regarding them as &lsquo;natural&rsquo; in old age.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- google_ad_section_end --><div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-ref"> <div class="field-label">Reference:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>[3293] <span class="biblio-authors"><a href="/biblio/author/7088">Lin, F. R.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/1219">Yaffe K.</a>, <a href="/biblio/author/10430">Xia J.</a>, &amp; <a href="/biblio/author/4511">et al</a></span> (2013).&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="biblio-title"><a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.1868">Hearing loss and cognitive decline in older adults</a>. </span> <u>JAMA Internal Medicine. </u> 1 - 7.<span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&amp;rft.atitle=Hearing+loss+and+cognitive+decline+in+older+adults&amp;rft.title=JAMA+Internal+Medicine&amp;rft.isbn=2168-6106&amp;rft.date=2013&amp;rft.spage=1&amp;rft.epage=7&amp;rft.aulast=Lin&amp;rft.aufirst=Frank"></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-news-source"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Source:&nbsp;</div> <p><a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/jhm-hla011713.php" title="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/jhm-hla011713.php">http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/jhm-hla011713.php</a><br /> <a href="http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/study-links-cognitive-deficits-hearing-loss/" title="http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/study-links-cognitive-deficits-hearing-loss/">http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/study-links-cognitive-defi...</a></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.memory-key.com/research/news/hearing-loss-accelerates-cognitive-decline-older-adults#comments Memory in Normal Aging age-related cognitive decline auditory hearing loss seniors Mon, 25 Feb 2013 02:45:09 +0000 Fiona McPherson 3294 at http://www.memory-key.com