“The older brain has experience and knows that nothing is gained by jumping the gun. It was already known that aging is not necessarily associated with a significant loss in cognitive function. When it comes to certain tasks, the brains of older adults can achieve very close to the same performance as those of younger ones,” explained Dr. Monchi.
“We now have neurobiological evidence showing that with age comes wisdom and that as the brain gets older, it learns to better allocate its resources. Overall, our study shows that Aesop's fable about the tortoise and the hare was on the money: being able to run fast does not always win the race—you have to know how to best use your abilities. This adage is a defining characteristic of aging.”
The original goal of the study was to explore the brain regions and pathways that are involved in the planning and execution of language pairing tasks. In particular, the researchers were interested in knowing what happened when the rules of the task changed part way through the exercise. For this test, participants were asked to pair words according to different lexical rules, including semantic category (animal, object, etc.), rhyme, or the beginning of the word (attack). The matching rules changed multiple times throughout the task without the participants knowing. For example, if the person figured out that the words fell under the same semantic category, the rule was changed so that they were required to pair the words according to rhyme instead.
“Funny enough, the young brain is more reactive to negative reinforcement than the older one. When the young participants made a mistake and had to plan and execute a new strategy to get the right answer, various parts of their brains were recruited even before the next task began. However, when the older participants learned that they had made a mistake, these regions were only recruited at the beginning of the next trial, indicating that with age, we decide to make adjustments only when absolutely necessary. It is as though the older brain is more impervious to criticism and more confident than the young brain,” stated Dr. Monchi.Research summary
• Dr. Ruben Martins is a psychiatry resident and a Ph D. student under the supervision of Dr. Oury Monchi at the Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM), which is affiliated with Université de Montréal.
French:Une recherche clinique révèle que
Le but initial de l’étude était d’explorer les chemins par lesquels est traitée l’information dans le cerveau lors de la planification et la réalisation de tâches d’appariement de règles lexicales, notamment lorsque ces règles étaient changées en cours d’exercice. Lors de ce genre de tests, on demande aux participants de deviner le classement de mots par leur ressemblance, celle-ci pouvant concerner la catégorie sémantique (animal, objet, etc.), la rime ou le début du mot (attaque), tout en changeant les règles d’appariement plusieurs fois au cours de l’exercice, et ce, sans le dire aux participants. Par exemple, si la personne comprenait que les mots s’apparentaient par catégorie sémantique, la règle était changée pour que l’appariement se fasse par la rime.
« Fait cocasse, le cerveau jeune est plus réactif que le cerveau âgé au renforcement négatif. Lorsqu’un des jeunes participants se trompait et qu’il devait planifier et exécuter une nouvelle stratégie pour obtenir la bonne réponse, diverses régions de son cerveau étaient sollicitées avant même que le prochain essai démarre. Tandis que lorsqu’un participant plus âgé apprenait qu’il se trompait, ces régions n’étaient sollicitées qu’au début de l’essai suivant indiquant qu’avec l’âge, on décide de réajuster le tir seulement lorsque cela est absolument nécessaire. Comme si le cerveau âgé était plus imperméable à la critique et plus confiant que le cerveau jeune », a souligné Dr Monchi.Résumé de la recherche
• Dr Ruben Martins, résident en psychiatrie, est aussi étudiant au laboratoire du Dr Monchi au Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM) affilié à l'Université de Montréal.L’IUGM en bref
William Raillant-Clark | Newswise Science News
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The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
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22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy