Researchers reveal how older adults gets easily distracted – World News Network

Date:

Share post:

Riverside (California) [US], May 11 (ANI): A University of California, Riverside study found that when older persons are engaged in a physically demanding job, such as driving a car or carrying groceries, they are more prone than younger ones to be distracted by objects unrelated to the task at hand.
The study looked at how physical activity affected short-term memory function whether distractions were present or not in younger and older persons.
“Action and cognition, which interact often in daily life, are sensitive to the effects of aging,” said graduate student Lilian Azer, the first author of the research paper published in the journal Psychology and Aging. “Our study found that in comparison to younger adults, older adults are less likely to ignore distractors in their surroundings when simultaneously engaging in a cognitive task and an effortful physical task. Ignoring task-irrelevant items declines with age and this decline is greater when simultaneously performing a physical task — a frequent occurrence in daily life.”
According to Azer, the age-related differences may be amplified in situations where task demands are higher, such as having increased physical exertion or having more distractors.
The study tested what effects a simple physical action has on working memory and inhibitory control. Working memory, sometimes referred to as short-term memory, is a core cognitive process that maintains information while engaging in ongoing mental activities. Inhibitory control is the ability to ignore distracting information irrelevant to a task while focusing on task-relevant information.
The researchers recruited 19 older adults, aged 65-86 from local communities in Riverside, Calif., for the two-year study. Thirty-one younger adults, all between 18-28 years old, were recruited from UC Riverside psychology undergraduate courses and given course credit.
All participants were asked to grip a hand dynamometer, a kind of handgrip device, at either 5% or 30% of their strength while they performed a short-term memory task. A centrally located visual gauge provided real-time feedback on the exerted grip force; nearby, a memory array consisted of small blue and red orientation bars. The participants’ grip was the kind used when carrying a grocery bag, walking up a stairwell, or while driving.
Participants needed to focus on the red bars. The blue bars served as distractors – mimicking everyday distractions such as a vibrant billboard, a car honking, or an unrelated conversation. During the exercise with no distractors, they were shown three red bars momentarily and asked later to recall the bars’ orientation. With distractors, they were shown five blue bars as well and instructed to only remember the orientation of the red bars.
“We found that under high physical effort older adults were less likely to both ignore the distracting information and focus on the task-relevant information,” Azer said. “Our results suggest that older adults might have heightened distractibility.”
Starting in 2030, older Americans will make up 21% of the population, up from 15% in 2018. By 2060, nearly 25% of Americans will be 65 years and older.
Weiwei Zhang, who led the study and in whose lab Azer works, stressed the importance of understanding age-related declines in physical and mental functions along with their interaction. He explained that as we grow older, we may experience a reduction in muscle mass and strength, and declines in key cognitive processes — worse short-term memory, slower speed of processing information, and heightened distractibility — as a function of normal cognitive aging.
“It is important to understand that as we grow older, we may be more prone to distractors and this may be amplified during instances of simultaneous effortful physical action,” said Zhang, an associate professor of psychology and a member of UCR’s Aging Initiative. “Understanding how cognitive and physical actions interact can help us be more aware of how distracting information in our environment may impair our working memory.”
The decline in our ability to ignore distractors as we get older is a result of normal cognitive aging. The prefrontal cortex, a part of the cerebral cortex that has been implicated in remote memory consolidation, plays a role, and is typically involved in working memory and processes involving inhibitory control.
Azer explained that effortful mental or physical activities are essential for our everyday functioning. For example, while driving, we tend to hold the steering wheel with about 30% of our maximum physical strength. When we carry heavy shopping bags, we tend to hold use about 20% of our maximum physical strength.
“As we engage in these physical activities, very often we simultaneously engage in cognitive tasks where distractors — a billboard or a car sales commercial on the radio — may be present,” Azer said. “Inhibitory control may suffer during these concurrent tasks, making it more difficult, especially for older adults, to ignore the distractors and focus on task-relevant information. Since it is rare that we perform a physical or cognitive task in complete isolation, it is important to minimize distractions. If this is not possible, we need to be aware that the effortful physical task may impair our ability to both perform a working memory task and successfully ignore surrounding distracting information.”
Next, the research team plans to further investigate the impact of effortful physical action on cognitive function.
“We would like to understand the role of arousal induced by physical effort and how this arousal can impact response time and inhibitory control,” Azer said. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


Paris Appreciation Awards

Read More

World Polls

Read More

Short News

Read More

Indian Bureaucrats

Read More

World Talent Management

Read More

World Brand Ambassadors

Read More

Film Critics

Read More

Influencers

Read More

Video Press Release

Read More

podcasts Press Release

Read More

Social Media

Read More

Colleges Press Release

Read More

Business Press Release

Read More

Critics Press Release

Read More

Fashion Marketing Press Releases

Read More

Gaming Press Release

Read More

Finance Press Release Distribution

Read More

Creative Press Release

Read More

Animals Press Release

Read More

Tech News Press Release

Read More

Cryptomarket Press Release

Read More

Fitness News Press Release

Read More

Gadgets Press Release

Read More

Gardening Press Release

Read More

Stockmarket Press Release

Read More

Product Reviewers and Marketing

Read More

Crypto Press Release Distribution

Read More

Film Festivals Marketing

Read More

India Real Estate Marketing

Read More

Indian Medical Tourism

Read More

Travel Marketing Press Release

Read More

Health Marketing Press Release

Read More

Events Marketing Press Release

Read More

Restaurants Marketing Press Release

Read More

City Business Listing

Read More

World Import Export

Read More

PR Franchise

Read More

Radio Press Release Distribution

Read More

Movies Distribution

Read More

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

spot_img

Related articles

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to hold nationwide protests against rigging in polls on March 2 – World News Network

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to hold a protest on March 2 against the alleged rigging in the elections held on February 8.

Mauritius committed to conserving marine park around Chagos Archipelago: Pravind Jugnauth – World News Network

Pravind Jugnauth made the remarks while attending a workshop on the creation of a zone to protect the marine environment around the Chagos Islands at the Intercontinental Resort in Balaclava.

India, Germany discuss bilateral security and defence issues – World News Network

The two sides discussed a range of bilateral security and defence issues, with a focus on developing the defence cooperation as a key pillar of the Strategic Partnership between India and Germany.

IAF Chief VR Chaudhari calls on Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, conveys best wishes for her tenure – World News Network

Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, the Chief of the Indian Air Force, called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and congratulated her on winning a fresh mandate, further conveying best wishes for her tenure.

Paris Appreciation Awards

Read More

World Polls

Read More

Short News

Read More

Indian Bureaucrats

Read More

World Talent Management

Read More

World Brand Ambassadors

Read More

Film Critics

Read More

Influencers

Read More

Video Press Release

Read More

podcasts Press Release

Read More

Social Media

Read More

Colleges Press Release

Read More

Business Press Release

Read More

Critics Press Release

Read More

Fashion Marketing Press Releases

Read More

Gaming Press Release

Read More

Finance Press Release Distribution

Read More

Creative Press Release

Read More

Animals Press Release

Read More

Tech News Press Release

Read More

Cryptomarket Press Release

Read More

Fitness News Press Release

Read More

Gadgets Press Release

Read More

Gardening Press Release

Read More

Stockmarket Press Release

Read More

Product Reviewers and Marketing

Read More

Crypto Press Release Distribution

Read More

Film Festivals Marketing

Read More

India Real Estate Marketing

Read More

Indian Medical Tourism

Read More

Travel Marketing Press Release

Read More

Health Marketing Press Release

Read More

Events Marketing Press Release

Read More

Restaurants Marketing Press Release

Read More

City Business Listing

Read More

World Import Export

Read More

PR Franchise

Read More

Radio Press Release Distribution

Read More

Movies Distribution

Read More