Response to gains or losses depends on age

Apr 30, 2007

A U.S. study finds older adults have an asymmetric neural response to monetary gains and losses compared to the responses by adults aged 19-27 years.

Gregory Larkin and colleagues at Stanford University found adults older than 65 years have a lower response to losses but not gains, compared with the younger group.

While being scanned by functional magnetic resonance imaging both study groups had to respond to a cue either to get a monetary reward or to avoid a loss. On each trial, both groups also rated their positive or negative arousal at the prospect of a potential gain or loss.

The authors found while both the young and older adults had similar positive arousal at the prospect of an impending gain, the older group had less negative arousal to anticipated losses.

The findings, appearing in the June issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience, suggest older and younger adults might weigh gains and losses differently when making decisions.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: See-through organs and bodies will accelerate biomedical discoveries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bees from the inside out

Jul 08, 2014

It is 1,825 miles from New Haven, Conn., to Austin, Tex., which typically means 30 hours of driving and three nights in motels, not an easy trip for anyone. But for researchers moving from Yale University ...

Wild gorilla spotted using pole as a ladder

Nov 15, 2013

A team of researchers working at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund's Karisoke Research Center in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda (in association with the Max Planck Institute for Anthropology and the University ...

Recommended for you

Breakthrough in understanding of important blood protein

3 hours ago

The human body contains a unique protein that has the unusual property of destroying itself after a few hours of existence - it must therefore be continually recreated and is no stable protein. The protein, ...

Key to aging immune system is discovered

3 hours ago

There's a good reason people over 60 are not donor candidates for bone marrow transplantation. The immune system ages and weakens with time, making the elderly prone to life-threatening infection and other ...

Putting a number on pain

4 hours ago

"How much pain are you in?" It's a harder question than many people think. Tools for assessing patients' pain—be they children or adults—rely on perception: a subjective measure that eludes quantification ...

User comments : 0