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Aging Mind.doc

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Department
Health Sciences
Course
Health Sciences 2711A/B
Professor
Aleksandra Zecevic
Semester
Winter

Description
Aging Mind: Fluid Intelligence - capacity to think logically and solve problems in novel situations, independent of acquired knowledge. Identify patterns and relationships that underpin these problems and extrapolate them using logic. Tested via IQ. - Peaks in early adulthood. Declines after age 45. Crystallized Intelligence - intelligence acquired through experience, and mastery of skills. Relies on accessing information from long-term memory. Product of education and cultural experience. It is one’s lifetime of intellectual achievement demonstrated through vocabulary and general knowledge. - Peaks at age 45-54 Aspects of Age-related slowing of Information Processing Neural Network View • Neurons in brain die, breaking neural connections • Brain forms new connections • New connections are less efficient than original connections Information-Loss View • Information lost as it moves in steps through cognitive system • Whole system slows down to inspect and interpret information Individual and Group Factors Present in High Intelligence Scores • Lifestyle – High education – Complex job or leisure (stimulating activities – ex. chess) – Lasting marriage – High SES • Personal – Flexible personality – Healthy (absence of cardiovascular disease, overall better physical health = better mental health) – Gender – Cohort – Perceptual speed In middle adulthood, adults experience difficulty in: – Multitasking – Switching attention – the ability slows down – Focusing on relevant information – Connecting visual information with audio information – Cognitive Inhibition – the brain registers everything, but truncates(discards) irrelevant information and focuses only important stuff • Could be linked to slower processing • Experience, practice, & training help older adults compensate Memory in Middle Adulthood • Working memory decreases from 20s to 60s – Ineffective memory strategies (organization, elaboration and linking) due to slower processing, attention problems • Adults can compensate by: – Strategy reminders – Relevant information • Few changes in: – Factual knowledge – things like the date, time of day etc. – Procedural knowledge – ex. driving a car – Metacognitive knowledge – knowing what you know(ex. knowing that you always park the car in the same place) Practical Problem Solving – Evaluate real-world situations – Achieve goals that have high uncertainty – Helped by expertise Expertise – Extensive, highly organized and integrated knowledge base – Provides efficient, effective approaches to solving problems – Organized around abstract principles – Result of years of experience Creativity – the shift- before age 45 you create yourself, you begin to understand who you are, what you an do, working on establishing yourself, around age 45 you start saying I am “there”. And there is a shift to altruism and you begin to think about how you can give back to the greater good. • Peaks in late 30s, early 40s • Changes with age – From spontaneous and intensely emotional to deliberate and thoughtful – From unusual products to integration of ideas – From egocentric to more altruistic goals Selective Optimization with Compensation • Select – Choose personally valued activities, avoid others • Optimize – Devote diminishing resources to valued activities • Compensate – Find creative ways to overcome limitations 5 different types of memory: - Deliberate – more difficult to recall. Example is open-ended exam questions. Context helps retrieval, but slower processing, smaller working memory make context harder to encode - Automatic – Recognition is easier than recall because there is more environmental support. Example is multiple choice exam questions. Implicit memory better than deliberate: • Without conscious awareness but the info is hidden in your subconscious • Depends on familiarity - Associative – older people suffer from Associative Memory Deficit. Difficulty in creating or retrieving links between pieces of information. • Using memory cues, and enhancing meaningfulness of information helps. Older people pe
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