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Brain Matures Emotionally with Age

by Medindia Content Team on June 17, 2006 at 12:18 PM
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Brain Matures Emotionally with Age

According to a research it was found that older people do not respond much over negative emotions as do the younger generation . Their brain activity softens over a period of time. They analysed about 242 healthy people in the age group of 12-79 by using brain imaging techniques. Emotional stability was found to improve even in the seventh decade of their life. They were also comparatively less neurotic than teenagers. The study results were published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The MRI scanning measured electrical activity to monitor brain responses while the participants viewed facial expressions of emotions. The younger age groups were significantly better at recognizing fear but in the older people the medial prefrontal area of the brain was more active during the process of negative emotions than positive ones.

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Hence the study researchers concluded that older people have better control over brain responses to negative emotions than younger people. Hence in conclusion they said that emotional wellbeing improves over age. Life experience and changing motivational goals increase the plasticity in the medial prefrontal brain which stabilizes the negative and positive emotion. Professor Helen Fisher, an expert in human emotion at Rutgers University in New Jersey said that it has opened new dimensions in understanding of the aging process. Dr Simon Surguladze, deputy head of the department of neuroscience and emotion at King's College London said that regulation of negative emotions in older people was likely to be an evolutionary trait.

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