January 9, 2008

Ageing makes the imagination wither

cognition, human nature — thomasr @ 7:36 am Print This Post  AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Memory decline in old age may also mean a less vivid imagination. Stitching together personal details gets harder as we get older. Old age does more than stealthily steal away our most cherished memories: it also seems to diminish our ability to imagine things.

This finding, detailed in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science 1, supports the ‘prospective brain’ hypothesis, the idea that imagining the future and remembering the past rely on the same neural machinery.

“One implication of this study is that imagining is quite closely related to, and dependent on, remembering, perhaps more so than we previously realized,” says Dan Schacter of Harvard University.

In the study, Schacter and his team asked groups of young and old participants, with average ages of 25 and 72, respectively, to recount a personal episode from their past or imagine a personal experience in their future in response to cue words.

Nature News

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>