Trouble With Distraction, Multitasking Increases With Age

As we age, the ability to focus on more than one thing at a time becomes difficult. Research from the University of California, San Francisco found that older brains have more difficulty remembering to complete a task after being presented with a distraction. The researchers asked two groups to view a nature scene. One group had an average age of 24 and the other had an average age of 69. After a face interrupted the nature scene both groups were asked to guess the age of the face and then to recall the original scene. The younger group was able to quickly refocus and recall the nature scene while the older group had trouble remembering details of the original memory. Adam Gazzaley, director of UCSF Neuroscience Imaging Center, said the research provides the first understanding of the brain mechanisms responsible for multitasking and memory in older adults and how fragile working memory is when faced with interruption. More here.

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