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49 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Sensory Systems: Most Common Changes
Vision: 1st noticeable sign of aging
– 19% of 65+ are visually impaired (not completely corrected by glasses/contacts)
– equal in men & women

Hearing: most well-known change
– 33% of 70+ are hearing impaired
– more common in men

Sensation: Stimulation of sensory cells
Perception: interpretation of sensory information taking place in the brain
Front of the eye (1-5)
Front of the eye (1-5)
1) Ciliary Muscles: change the shape of the lens to focus
2) Cornea: protection and outer layer of eye
3) Pupil: controls how much light can pass through
4) Lens: changes the way light enters the eye (curves it) to concentrate at the macula and fovea
5) Iris: Protects structures in the back of the eye from over stimulation
-controls pupil and regulates light intake
-muscle that is pigmented and gives eye color

Sclera: white of eye and major supporting structure (gives spherical shape)
Back of the eye (1-5)
Back of the eye (1-5)
1) Vitreous Gel: fills eye but isn't tight (allows for give)
-problematic for glaucoma
2) Optic nerve: takes light info to the brain
-no retina in this area= Blind spot
3) Macula- processes light info VERY efficiently
-densest cell area
4) Fovea: tiny spot on macula with dense cells
5) Retina: Multilayered tissue that lines the back of the eye and converts light rays into electrical impulses
-cells in the retina are called cones and rods

More severe changes happen in the back of the eye
Lens & Accommodation:
Lens & Accommodation:
-Distance Accommodation
-Starts at age 40
-Accommodation: involves the lens changing shape depending on an object’s distance.
-Lens loses flexibility with age and accommodation is compromised
-Cornea increases in curvature and thickens causing presbyopia
-Presbyopia: clearest vision moves farther from the eye because the lens becomes flatter and the ciliary muscles get stiffer causing elders to not focus on near objects
-Distance Accommodation: lens/ciliary muscles decline= harder to shift back and forth from near- to far vision (important for driving)
Physical Eye Changes and Light Sensitivity:
-Begins in your 50's
-Lens thickens and gets yellow/cloudy (accumulated insoluble proteins)
-less light passes through lens
-difficulty seeing in dim light = less night driving
-sensitive to glare (even at night)
-"floaters" (particles of insoluble protein) accumulate in vitreous humor but don't effect vision
-Vitreous humor becomes more liquid (from gel)
The Retina and Dark Adaption:
-Peripheral Vision
-In retina called "cells" or "Photo Receptors"
-fewer cells as we age

-Color Vision
-Visual Acuity
-Densely packed at fovea

-Concentrated in periphery
-Low light vision (can still see SHAPE and MOVEMENT)

Peripheral Vision: have to turn our heads as we get older
-young = 170 degrees
-by 50 = 140 degrees
Visual Acuity:
-Visual acuity is the ability to see fine detail.
-Acuity is much greater at the center of the visual field than it is at the periphery.
-Static Acuity: seeing detail in things that are still
-Dynamic Acuity: Seeing detail in moving things
-Both static and Dynamic decline with age but dynamic declines more
-Lens Clouds
-Genetic condition
-image cannot focus on retina= blurred vision
-treated with surgery
-one of leading causes for blindness
-common in middle & late life
-Genetic: Blacks & diabetics
-Pressure and fluid build up
-creates retinal damage
-Periphery is blurred
-medicated with drops/ marijuana
- surgery (only temporary)
Macular Degeneration
Macular Degeneration
-Leading cause of blindness
-smoking increases risk
-receptor cells in retina deteriorate
-dark spots and blurring
Treatment: surgery (not easily treated)
Retinal Detachment
Retinal Detatchment:
-inner and outer layers of the retina separate
-Can be surgically reattached

-Small blood vessels that nourish retina do not function properly as a result of diabetes
-amendable through laser treatments
Anatomy of the Ear
Anatomy of the Ear
1) Pinna: The outer ear catches sound wave and directs it into the inner ear to the ear drum (Tympanic Membrane)
2) Tympanic Membrane (Ear Drum): vibrates the Ossicles 3) Ossicles are made up of three bones called the
4) Hammer
5) Anvil and
6) Stirrup which act as levers & push against the Cochlea 7) Cochlea: a snail-shaped, fluid-filled structure.
8) organ of Corti: The tiny hairs in the cochlea turn this pressure into electrical signals, which are then sent to the temporal lobes of the brain.
Hearing and sound:
-Dog whistle
-All sounds send out vibrations (sound waves).
-Vibrations occur at various frequencies, not all of which the human ear can hear.
-PITCH= frequencies that can be heard range from 20 to 20,000 Hz (Hertz=frequency per sec.)
-Dog whistle: 16,000 – 22,000 Hz
Effects of aging and Loudness:
-Aging effects
-Loudness= Decibels
-Researchers have found that people are listening to music at very high levels.
-sustained exposure to 90-95 dB = hearing loss
-One in five listening to MP3 players at 100 dB or higher.
-People get louder (decibels) when pitch (frequency) gets higher
Dr. Colavita Video:
1) One reason older adults show deficits on hearing tests?
2) role of drugs and noise i hearing loss? can they be reversed?
1) fear of inaccuracy- older adults will wait to be sure they know the answer, while younger ppl will answer sooner
2) DRUGS: ototoxic, streptomycin, and mycin drugs kill hair cells=hearing damage
-NOISE: the amount of hearing loss experienced 5 mins after an 8 hour shift = damage you will sustain permanently if you worked job for 10 years

-typical hearing range of an 18yr old = 18,000hZ
Hearing Disorders:
1) Otosclerosis
2) Presbycusis
3) Tinnitus
1) Otosclerosis
-10% of the population
-Soft boney growth at foot of stapes in oval window
-can occur in only one ear which leads to degenerative changes
2) Presbycusis
-Progressive loss of hearing for high frequency tones due to deterioration in inner ear
-not solely in industrialized cultures
-hair begins to atrophy
-treated with hearing aid
3) Tinnitus
-Ringing in ears
-Injury discharge
-aspirin can cause this if taken in large amounts
Hearing Disorders:
1) Central Auditory impairment
2) Conductive Loss
1) Central Auditory impairment:
-difficulty understanding language but can hear external sounds
-nerve centers in brain are damaged
-there is no cure
2) Conductive Loss:
-Blockage of wax, fluid or abnormal bone growth stops sound from traveling
-sound seems muffled while ones own voice may sound louder
-treated by flushing ear, medication, or surgery
Hearing loss:
-speech perception
-Hearing aids
- one of the most frequent chronic conditions in older adults at 28.6% of ppl 65+
-more frequent in men
-speech perception: speech by itself does not decline but when speech has to compete with noise in the background there is more significant decline
Hearing aids: placed in right ear because it is better at speech detection
-talk louder, face them so they can read lips
Sense deterioration:
Balance- Thai Chi
Smell: processed in olfactory bulbs
-shows cell loss with advanced age
-decline in ability to detect aromas
-may be caused by air pollutants (ex. cigarette smoke)
Taste: 4 types of taste buds (sweet, salty, sour, bitter)
-# of taste buds decline at 40 b/c rate of replacement decreases
-sweet buds most often lost and all buds 2/3 gone by 70
-salvation decreases and gets thicker
Touch: declines with age
-fewer cells to detect temp. changes and sensations
-frequent burns b/c cant detect hot surface fast enough
Balance: difficulty maintaining balance
-Thai chi practiced to maintain slow movements
-3 parts of Response time
-Simple reaction time
-Choice Reaction Time
-Complex Reaction time
-Slowing: measuring response time
-Response Time: 1) sensory 2) brain processing 3) muscle response
-Simple Reaction Time: one stimulus is presented and person makes one response
-Choice Reaction Time: 2 stimuli presented and person must respond differently to each
-Complex Reaction Time: 2+ stimuli requiring 2+ responses
Falling and Time
-1/3 of older adults fall because of continued loss of senses and perceptions
-women fall more often than men
-can cause breaks and be fatal

Time: passes more quickly partially because you don't remember all the events happening through out the day
Feats of Memory:
-Akira Haraguchi
-Andi Bell
-Kim Peek
- Akira Haraguchi can recite pi from memory to 83,431 decimals.
-Andi Bell can remember the order of 520 playing cards after only 20 minutes of study.
-Kim Peek (the real Rain Man) has memorized 7500 books and knows the zip code to every US location.
Memory loss with age
-Memory complaints become increasingly common in later life (50-80% of people over 60).
-With advancing years, there is loss in certain forms of cognition.
-Most older adults equate older age with memory loss
Memory loss is inevitable with age?
-Not everyone shows the same decline like
1) Individual differences and
2) Successful aging
-Not all forms of cognition decline
Taxonomy of memory
Memory- Short Term/Working or long term
Long term- Procedural or Declarative
Declarative- Semantic or episodic
Short Term Memory:
-Memory Span
- If you are conscious of something= short-term memory.
-Memory Span: The number of items that can be recalled, in order, after a brief delay.
-Chunking: A meaningful group of information that can be stored in STM as one item. Capacity is 7 +/- 2 "chunks"
Sensory and Working Memory
Sensory Memory:
-different and brief memory for each sense
-dissipates rapidly after receiving info (especially with physical decline due to old age)
Working memory:
-Keep information in mind & actively process it
-Limited pool of processing resources that you can allocate to various tasks
-Choices must be made when limit is exceeded.
Working Memory:
-Operation Span
-Reading Span
-So What?
Operation Span: do a equation and if it makes sense asked to remember a word
Reading span: read sentence and if it is coherent, remember the last word of the sentence

-Older adults do worse on WM tasks relative to young adults (kids also do poorly b/c their frontal lobes = still developing)
-WM is a HUGE predictor of things like writing ability, note taking, complex learning, reasoning, etc.
Long Term Memory:
3 types
LTM: in cerebral cortex
1) Procedural: Knowing "how"
• memory for skills & habits; "muscle memory".
• often unconscious & difficult to describe in words.
2) Episodic: Knowing "what"
• memory for specific, autobiographical events.
• accompanied by details about time, place, and event.
• "Mental time travel".
• things that can be stated or declared.
• Most common type of memory impaired in amnesia
3) Semantic: general knowledge and facts that you "know" but can't say where you learned them.
Semantic Memory:
1) Association Tasks
2) Lexical Decision
3) Word Finding Task
1) Association tasks: remember category
 Apple is a _______.
 Linguini is a _________.
 Basil is a __________.
2) Lexical decision: decide if word
 stapa
 stop
 chup
 sniff
3) Word finding task: tip-of-the-tongue
 unusual facts and definitions
Episodic Memory:
1) Recall Tasks
2) Recognition Tasks
and 2 types of episodic memory
Recall Task: no memory cues
Recognition Task: Memory cues

1) prospective memory: remembering to do a future behavior such as go to an appointment
2)Retrospective Memory: information that has already occurred that you are trying to remember such as what you did last weekend
Memory Systems:
-Working memory can turn into LTM by engaging in Encoding operations
-Encoding: making information more easily stored through repetition, rehearsal, and pegging
-The more this is practiced the easier it is to RETRIEVE the info later
-Retrieval process: bring LTM to conscious attention in working memory
Working Memory and Aging
-does not change with advanced age
-slowing in WM is due to slower info received and processing but not WM itself
-processing speed = essential element in observed decline
Long Term Memory and Aging:
Experiment 1
-Aim: examine age differences in remembering names of unknown & familiar faces & objects

-Experiment 1
-Participants: 24 young (M=23), 24 old adults (M = 70)
-Task: 16 pictures of unknown faces with names & occupation so when you see the face, remember name & occupation
-What type of memory & task?
-Episodic memory, recall task

Results: Older adults have poorer episodic memory
-Both age groups have more difficulty with names than occupations
Long Term Memory and Aging:
Experiment 2
-Experiment 2
-Participants: 20 young (M = 21), 20 old (M=67), 20 old-old (M=77)
-Task: 36 pictures of familiar faces & 36 familiar objects -When see picture, name person or object
-What type of memory & task?
-Semantic memory, word-finding task

Results: No age differences for remembering familiar objects
-Some age differences for remembering familiar faces
Long Term Memory and Aging:
Procedural: remains intact through old age
Episodic: harder to retrieve information because it is poorly encoded
semantic: accumulates with age and there is no deficit but creates a wealth of general knowledge
-"knowledge about ones own memory"
-you can alter how you memorize things by using strengths you find in your own memory
-older adults believe their memory declines with age and therefore they score themselves lower on metamemory
-2 things affect metamemory: culture/belief about ones own memory and Education
Control Versus Automaticity
Controlled memory =Significant decline
Auto Memory= little decline
Memory improvement
-internal mental techniques can help to improve memory -creates reduced anxiety and higher memory recall
-some research suggests it can be improved through pharmacology also
- acetylcholine can improve memory as well as ginkgo
DRM Effect
Deese Roediger-Mcdermott Effect = giving list of word and asking for recall with a lure word (word close to the ones previously listed) to see if a false memory is created

-some older adults are more susceptible to false remembering
Intelligence: Sternburgs "What is intelligence"?

-G factor
When asking laypersons and experts 3 categories were established: 1) problem-solving ability 2) verbal intelligence and 3) social/practical competence

-intelligence: a general proficency in cognitive tasks
-G Factor: general and universal (general proficiency) that underlies all intelligence performance
Baltes: Dual-component Model of Intelligence
-Mechanics (fluid): Basic information processing
 -Hardware of the mind
 -Biologically-dependent
 -Genetically predisposed
-Pragmatics (crystallized): Acquired knowledge
-Software (content-rich)
 -Culture-dependent
 -Experience-based

-Pragmatics build on mechanics and play a bigger role (esp. in learning)
-How will each component change across lifespan? declines more in mechanics
Cohort Effects on Intelligence: Schaie’s Seattle Longitudinal Study
-Aim: to examine age changes in IQ for multiple abilities across multiple cohorts
- Sequential design:
• began in 1956… last testing 1998
• participants tested every 7 years (longitudinal)
• new group of young adults at each time (cross-sectional)
•sample of 5000+ from 20s to 100+
•recruited from health insurance (CONFOUND: eliminates lower income participants)
•upper 75% of SES

Measures: Thurstone’s 5 Primary Mental Abilities
Cohort Effects on Intelligence: Schaie’s Seattle Longitudinal Study RESULTS

-terminal drop
Cohort: more decline due to cohort rather than age
- the older the cohort the lower the score because of newer technological advances
-cohorts living longer because of better health
-terminal drop: sudden decline in some cognitive abilities shortly before death

Longitudinal: mental ability increases until 40 then remains stable until 60's and start to decrease (mostly for mechanics)

Cross-sectional: declines more dramatic for mechanics starting at 40

Inter-Individual Variability: everyone shows decline in at least 1 area by 60's but rarely in all 5 even by 80's
Thurstone’s 5 Primary Mental Abilities
1) Verbal Meaning: recognizing and understanding words
2) Number: Applying numeric concepts

3) Word Fluency: recalling verbal information from memory
4) spatial orientation: Thinking about and comparing forms
5) Inductive Reasoning: identify regularities and rules
Problem Solving: 2 Types

1) Abstract: do not deal with concrete objects of real life situations
2) Practical: deal with concrete objects of real life situations
-older adults better at solving practical problems

-Selection: choosing activity
-Optimization: increasing knowledge
-Compensation: adapting to the change

-Expertise: very high performance in some activity because of genetic and envio. factors (typically in older people b/c they've had a lot of practice)
Wisdom: Baltes & Staudinger Model
-5 Criteria of Wisdom
Personality is thought to be important in development of wisdom
1) Factual Knowledge: fundamentals of life
2) Procedural Knowledge: knowing about strategies and procedures for everyday life
3) Lifespan Contextualism: Knowledge which considers contexts of life and societal change
4) Relativism: considers the relativity of others values and life goals
5) Uncertainty: can recognize and manage life's uncertainties
-Wisdom: good judgement and advice in important but uncertain matters of life
Baltes & Staudinger 5 Criteria of Wisdom: Experiment
-Participants: young (M = 32) & older adults (M = 71)
-½ are clinical psychologist
-Methods: give people fictitious life dilemmas
-rate responses according to wisdom criteria
EXAMPLE: 15 year old wants to get married

Result 1: Wisdom is stable across most of adulthood
Result 2: Wisdom is related to experience, and age/experience are related
-"newness and difference from the ordinary"
- another aspect of cognition
- Exceptional Creativity: creativity of famous people (such as artists) that is recognized by creative professionals
-Ordinary Creativity: creativity of those whose work is not recognized
-divergent tests: test creativity by forcing you to come up with multiple solutions to a problem
-17% of creativity should be produced a decade until 60's
-older adults do poorly on divergent test (especially if timed) but are high in creative productivity because they have so much free time