Positive older people more likely to age well?

Posted on 15 July 2011

Older people with the "positivity effect" are more likely to age successfully, according to a new study which will no doubt be of interest to those choosing a care home.

Scientists utilised neuroimaging to evaluate brain engagement in young and older adults while they performed a cognitive task involving images of neutral, happy, sad or fearful faces.

Elderly participants were significantly more distracted by happy faces, which showed increased engagement in a part of the brain that controls emotions.

The stronger signal in the brain was found to be correlated with those who exhibited the greatest emotional stability.

Author Dr Stefanie Brassen said: "Our finding of a relationship between rostral anterior cingulate cortex activity and emotional stability further strengthens the hypothesis that this increased emotional control in aging enhances emotional well being."

Meanwhile, Dianne Bown-Wilson, chief executive of In My Prime, has commented individuals should plan for wealth, health and happiness in old age.

Posted by Natalie Edwards

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