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Lecture 30

PSYC 304 Lecture 30: Lecture 30 Chapter 14

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Virginia Commonwealth University
PSYC 304

Chapter 14: Late adulthood: Biosocial and Cognitive Changes  Ageism o Perception is different than reality o Ageism (Butler, 1998)  Limitaions, policies and attitudes  Ageism is “pigeon-holding people and not allowing them to be individuals with unique ways of living their lives”  Can occur at ANY age!  Elderspeak  Late adulthood: senescence o Primary aging = irreversible changes that occur with time o Secondary aging= changes caused by particular conditions and/or illness o All the major body systems become slower and less efficient  Serious diseases are more common  Cardiovascular disease (leading cause of death)  Slower recovery time o Goal of research and understanding agng?  Compression of morbidity – limit the time a person spends ill  *research suggests that one reason centenarians live longer is because they have spent more years without illness!  Bodies change as we age, but how old is someone who can – o Work out 1 ½ hours each day on weights, and swim or walk ½ hour each day  Aage 90+ o Swim length of the Gold Gate Bridge underwater with 140 lbs of equipment, including 2 air tanks – world record  Age 40 o Perform 1000 push-ups in 23 mins-seeting a world record  42 o Swim 1.5 miles – handcuffed, shackled, and towing a boat  41 o Tow 65 boats with 6,000 lbs of wood pulp while handcuffed and shackled  65 o Tow 10 boats filled with 77 people for over a mile in less than an hour  66 o Jack volaine  Late adulthood: Senescence o Muscle strength = reduced  Especially in legs  Ability to move lower body is best predictor of vitality in old age  Falling o most troubling change associated with senescence=sensory loss  slower and less accurated  Late adulthood: senescence o Need fewer calories  Weight often lower  Bodies are less efficient  Diet and exercise  Full range of motion  Exercise good for the brain!  *Redue pounds to add years  Nurses” health sutyd -116,000 women for 24 years found that  Gaining as little as 10 lbs increased risk of death by 15%  Big picture – what changes in cognition in older adults? o Brain changes  Think more slowly  Reducitonin production of neurotransmitters  Shrinkage  Hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex  Compensation? Older adults use more parts of the brain than younger adults to solve a problem  What happens to memory? o Memory works in several ways  These do not all change in the same way o Working memory – the active thoughts in ind right now  When given plenty of time, stays fine  When speed matters, declines o Long-term meory—intact for many memories  Emotional memories and autobiographical events endure o Control processes may be a problem  Memory strategies, selective attention o Retrieval is hard (finding the memory)  Priming helps
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