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Poor old brains; In association with the NHS.

OLDER adults are not able to filter out distractions as well as younger ones, according to research published.

The discovery was made because of the noisy environment in which memory tests took place. Research participants must tolerate "jack hammer" type noise when having their brains scanned in a doughnutshaped magnet known as a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner.

In a study at Baycrest academic health sciences centre, which is affiliated with the University of Toronto, 12 younger adults and 12 older adults took part in a face recognition task. This involved having their brains scanned with fMRI while they were shown pictures of faces and later when trying to recall whether they had seen faces before.

The older adults forgot more faces overall than younger adults. This was likely to have been due in part to their inability to tune out the distracting noise.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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