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PY 365- Week 2

by: Courtney Green

PY 365- Week 2 PY 365

Courtney Green
GPA 3.79
Psychology of Aging
Michael A. LaRocca

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About this Document

Notes include lecture and information from the textbook (Adult Development and Aging- 7th edition. Cavanaugh Blanchard-Fields)
Psychology of Aging
Michael A. LaRocca
Class Notes
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This 14 page Class Notes was uploaded by Courtney Green on Friday January 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PY 365 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Michael A. LaRocca in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 142 views.


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Date Created: 01/23/15
PY365 Ch 2 01232015 Neuroscience as a Basis for Adult Development and Aging Aerobic exercise may preserve hippocampal volume in older adults Neurogenesis the development of new neurons does not end at the completion of embryonic development Older adults are more motivated to maintain positive feelings positivity effect fMRl can be used to examine the functional consequences of age related deterioration in speci c brain structures Alzheimer s Disease is associated with decreased brain volume The Neuroscience Approach 0 Can explain why some tasks remain intact during older adulthood vocabulary wisdom whereas some decline rapidly processing speed 0 Some Limitations appropriate and ethical techniques must be imposed Neuroimaging Techniques 0 Show what the normal brain should look like at different points during the lifespan 0 Helpful in research on the agerelated changes of the brain and what those changes could mean in regards to disease or behavior 0 Two techniques are used most often Structural neuroimaging illustrates highly speci ed images of anatomical features of the brain a lncludes xrays CT and MRI n Useful in identifying bone fractures tumors strokes and other conditions that could have caused brain damage structurally Functional neuroimaging indicates brain activity a Includes SPECT PET fMRl and NIRSI El El fMRl is most common illustrates what parts of the brain are active during certain activities 0 Neuroscience Perspectives El El El Compares the brain functioning of healthy older adults to the brain functioning of those with pathological disorders in the brain The brainbehavior relationship Researchers look at patients of any age with damage to a speci c region of the brain and compare it to a healthy older adult to see if there are similar cognitive de cits Helps in the understanding of why and how brain functioning causes cognitive decline as we age Links measures of cognitive performance to measures of brain structure or functioning Can demonstrate the correlation between a speci c region of the brain and behavioral tests Cannot be sure if the tests are accurate Links functional brain activity with cognitive behavior data Uses fMRl One study found that younger adults had only one hemisphere of the brain activate during a task whereas older adults show activity in both hemispheres bilaterality 0 Why Is it compensation for deterioration in older brains or is it inef cient inhibitory mechanisms 0 Growing body of evidence supports the theory that bilateral activation in older adults plays a supportive role in their cognitive function Compensatory Changes 0 Changes that allow older adults to adapt to the inevitable behavioral decline resulting from changes in speci c areas of the brain Cavanaugh BlanchardFields 36 Neuron Structure Dendrites o Branchlike extensions of neuron that receive signals information from other neurons Cell body 0 The neuron itself integrates info 0 Axon 0 Long narrow outgrowth of neuron that transmits signals information to other neurons Myelin sheath a Fatty material insulating the axon allows for rapid movement of electrical impulses Neuro bers n Carry information from the inside of the neuron to the endpoints of the neuron terminal branches Synapse 0 space between neurons site of chemical communication Synaptic cleft o Gap between axon of sending neuron and dendrite of receiving neuron Neurotransmitters Chemical substances that carry signals from one neuron to another a Dopamine o Neurotransmitter 0 Associated with cognitive functioning emotion movement pleasure and pain Agerelated changes in Neurotransmitters Declines in dopaminergic system the neurons that use dopamine o Decline in memory shortterm and working memory amount of information that can be heldremembered in the brain at once Agerelated changes in serotonin o Affect memory mood appetite sleep Agerelated changes in acetylcholine 0 Important function in arousal sensory perception sustained attention 0 Damage to areas of the brain that use acetylcholine were found to have serious memory decline How is the Brain organized Neuroanatomy the study of the structure of the brain including the o Cerebral cortex Outermost part of brain Contains right and left hemisphere Most neuroscience focuses research here 0 Corpus callosum Connects right and left hemisphere of the brain 0 Prefrontal and frontal cortex Important for executive functions ability to make and carry out plans maintain attentions and focus switch between tasks Connects to brain structures involved with emotion o Cerebellum Back of the brain Controls equilibrium and coordination of ne motor May be involved in cognitive function o Hippocampus Middle of the brain Associated with memory One of the most important components of the limbic system 0 Limbic system Set of brain structures Involves emotion motivation and longterm memory 0 Amygdala One of the most important component of limbic system Agerelated changes in neurons 0 Number of neurons declines Number and size of dendrites decreases Tangles develop in axon bers 0 Increased in deposits of proteins 0 Number of synapses decreases Agerelated changes in brain structures 0 White matter hyper intensities WMH o Indicated myeIin loss or neural atrophy 0 White matter myeIincovered neurons that transmit info from one part of the cerebral cortex to another or from the cerebral cortex to other parts of the brain Considerable shrinkage occurs in the brain 0 Shrinkage is more profound in the prefrontal cortex the hippocampus and the cerebellum What structural brain changes mean 0 Executive functioning 0 Difficulty focusing on relevant information and ignoring irrelevant information o lnefficiency in switching tasks 0 Due to WMH and decreased volume of prefrontal cortex 0 Memory 0 Speci c structural changes eg the hippocampus result in memory decline 0 Emotion 0 Increased processing of positive emotional information with age 0 Better emotion regulation with age Socialemotionalcognition 0 Older adults may rely more on automatic judgment processes than re ective processing 0 Prefrontal cortex 0 older adults are more motivated to derive emotional meaning from life and to maintain positive feelings than younger adults Structure of the brain 0 How deteriorating structural changes relate to cognitive function 0 Less efficient information processing Decline in processing speed Decline in executive functions a Ability to make and carry out plans a Switch between tasks n Maintain attention and focus 0 Volume shrinkage in the brain linked to Lower cognitive test scores Poor performance of executive function which is also linked to n Decreased volume of prefrontal cortex In Memory decline Dementia Decline in cognitive capacity in at least 2 areas of cognition memory language visualspatial judgment Effect on daytoday functioning Normal level of consciousness do not suffer from delirium severe confusion that comes on suddenly and accompanies rapid changes in brain function 151 in last out the longer you knew it and used it the longer you keep it 0 less effort less impaired social skills are preserved longer recent memory is impaired before memory from the past reading ability is preserved longer than recent memory ability semantic memory is preserved longer than episodic memory recognition memory is better than recall memory implicit memory is preserved longer than explicit memory also known as PFIT 0 suggests that intelligence comes from a dispersed and uni ed network of neurons in the parietal and frontal areas of the brain Agerelated changes in Brain Activity 0 Functional imaging fMRI examines how 0 Changes in brain activity are related to Changes in task demands Type of cognitive functioning under investigation Theories of BrainBehavior Changes 0 Other neural units are used to increase attentional resources processioning speed and inhibitory control 0 Similar to HAROLD o More of the same when task demands are increased than the same brain region activates other regions that process easier tasks 0 Supplementary processes different brain regions become activated to supplement for the processing resources that are not working properly 0 Compensation for cognitive decline 0 Brain recruits other areas of the brain to compensate for cognitive decline 0 Regions of the brain that become the most active when one region is resting 0 When a younger adult begins to perform a difficult cognitive task the default network stops working however older adults show a lesser success rate of suppressing the default network 0 Aging l neural changes and functional deterioration l compensatory scaffolding amp scaffolding enhancement l level of cognitive function Neural Plasticity and the Aging Brain Plasticity the interaction between the brain and the environment Mostly used to describe how experiences and environment effect structures and function of the neural system Neural Stem cells cells that persist in the adult brain and can generate new neurons throughout the life span Role of Exercise 0 Aerobic exercise increases plasticity Role of Nutrition 0 the relations between categories of nutrients and brain structures are beginning to be understood Certain nutrients help assist brain function Vitamins Bl B2 B6 folate B12 Vitamins C D E Omega3 fatty acids Biological Theories of Aging Accepts that people are born with a limited quantity of energy to be used in a lifetime I Slower metabolic rates in animals longer lWespan n Decreased caloric intake longer life and slower normative agerelated changes 0 Cellulartheories Point to causes of aging at the cellular level a Limited number of times a cell can divide 0 Limited lifespan a May be due to shortening of telomeres stretches of DNA that form on tips of chromosomes n Proteins collagen in cells interact to make body stiffer Heart and arteries become stiffer with age a Reactive chemicals causing cellular damage The body is preprogrammed to selfdestruct at some point Bodies age according to a normal developmental timetable built into the genes Biological theories 0 Other genetic pathologies Osteoarthritis Changes in the brain cells Alzheimer s Memory loss Personality changes 3 approaches to slowing or reversing aging delay chronic illnesses of old age slow the fundamental process of aging stop or reverse aging Changes in appearance 0 Skin amp face 0 Loses its elasticity causing wrinkles o Wrinkles 4 step process a 1 Call loss fragile skin thinner skin a 2 Collagen bers connective tissue lose exibility skin less able to regain shape after its distorted n 3 Elastin bers middle layer of skin lose ability to keep skin stretched out sagging n 4 Underlying layer of fat helps to provide padding to smooth out curves diminished 2 major causes of wrinkles n exposure to UV rays breaks down skin s connective tissue a smoking restricts blood ow to skin around lips Changes in Hair 0 Hair on head gets thinner and grays Men male pattern baldness Women thins Less likely to become entirely bald Changes in voice 0 Differences in young and old voices Lowering in pitch Increased breathlessness and trembling Slower and less pronounced pronunciation Decreased volume 0 Changes in body build 0 Height Men I By 12 inch from 3050 a By 34 inch after 50 Women n 2 inches from 2575 decreased due to weakening of muscles 0 Weight Muscles Increased weight in midlife between 20 s and mid50 s followed by a decrease in weight in late life distribution of weight changes ie where the weight is located on the body balance of muscle and fat changes correlation to a decreased metabolism in adults 0 Lose their mass 0 Number of muscle bers decrease o Muscles lose strength 0 Strength loss Bone o O O 0 Lose mineral deposits Loss of bone mass Shrinking in height Osteoporosis A deteriorating bone disease in which bone tissue depreciates rigorously to produce honeycomblike bone Ussue Leading cause of broken bones in older women More common in women After menopause than men Increased likelihood of fractures Can be modi ed with diet and exercise a vitamin D and dietary calcium can help treatable disease a biophosphates maintain bone density Risk factors a Family history a Older age a Women In Ethnicity Caucasian and Asian a Not enough calcium or vitamin D n Lack of exercise n Smoking 0 Arthritis 0 Mass loss begins in the late 30 s accelerates in the 50 s and slows in the 70 s 0 Appearance and mobility o Joints As early as the 20 s cartilage in joints shows signs of depreciation which leads to aching joints n Osteoarthritis 0 Results from wearing away of the cartilage n Rheumatoid arthritis 0 The synovial membrane that protects and lubricates joins becomes in amed o Psychological implications Youthobsessed culture Gender differences a Compensate to look younger Cosmetics 0 Hair dyes Plastic surgery Appearance vs actual losses in strength and endurance n Exercise and resistance training is useful up to age 90 Adaptive behaviors a Pain in the joints may reduce mobility n Rehabilitation after hip fractures Both of these can cause a domino effect pain reduces mobility mobility decreases muscles lose strength muscle loss causes other complications


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