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Age differences in arousal, perception of affective pictures, and emotional memory enhancement: Appraisal, Electrodermal activity, and Imaging data
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In contrast to effortful cognitive functions, emotional functioning may remain stable or even be enhanced in older adults. It is unclear how affective functions in aging correspond to subjective experiences and physiological changes. In Study I, ratings of emotional intensity and neural activity to facial expressions using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were analyzed in younger and older adults. Negative expressions resulted in increased neural activity in the right amygdala and hippocampus in younger adults, and increased activation in the right insular cortex in older adults. There were no age differences in subjective ratings. In Study II, subjective ratings of, and skin conductance response (SCR) to, neutral and negative pictures were studied. The ratings of negative pictures were higher for older adults compared to younger adults. SCRs increased in both age groups for the negative pictures, but magnitude of SCRs was significantly larger in younger adults. Finally, in Study III, emotional memory after a one-year retention interval was tested. The memory performance of both age groups was higher in response to negative pictures compared to neutral ones, although the performance was generally higher for younger adults. SCR at encoding was the better arousal predictor for memory, but only in younger adults. The results indicate age-related changes in affective processing. Age differences may involve a gradual shift from bottom-up processes, to more top-down processes. The results are discussed in a wider lifespan perspective taking into consideration the accumulated life experience of older adults.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Psykologiska institutionen , 2008. , 74 p.
Keyword [en]
Aging, Affective function, subjective ratings, SCRs, FMRI, Pictures, Emotional memory enhancement, Bottom-up and Top-down processing
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7346ISBN: 978-91-7155-583-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-7346DiVA: diva2:198095
Public defence
2008-03-05, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-02-05 Created: 2008-02-05 Last updated: 2012-05-07Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Age-differential patterns of brain activation during perception of angry faces
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Age-differential patterns of brain activation during perception of angry faces
Show others...
2005 In: Neuroscience Letters, no 386, 99-104 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24681 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7346Available from: 2008-02-05 Created: 2008-02-05Bibliographically approved
2. Age effects to negative arousal differ for self-report and electrodermal activity.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Age effects to negative arousal differ for self-report and electrodermal activity.
2008 (English)In: Psychophysiology, ISSN 0048-5772, Vol. 45, no 1, 148-51 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-11046 (URN)000252592700016 ()17850240 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2008-01-09 Created: 2008-01-09 Last updated: 2012-05-07Bibliographically approved
3. Age differences in arousal level at encoding and emotional memory enhancement after a one-year retention interval
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Age differences in arousal level at encoding and emotional memory enhancement after a one-year retention interval
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24683 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7346Available from: 2008-02-05 Created: 2008-02-05 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved

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