HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Why are the elderly so easily fooled by con artists?

EVER wondered why con artists find it so easy to hoodwink the elderly? Researchers in Iowa have discovered that many older people have localised brain damage that impairs their ability to avoid risky decisions.

Daniel Tranel, Natalie Denburg and their colleagues at the University of Iowa in Iowa City were studying a group of elderly patients with known damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that deals with decision making. In a test gambling game with cards, these patients keep losing, despite increasingly clear signs that the choices they make are bad.

But the team had a surprise when they looked for healthy controls for their tests. It turned out that about a third of their controls of the same age performed just as badly on the gambling task as the brain-damaged people in the study.

To investigate further the team recruited 40 people aged between 56 and 85, and 40 younger people aged between 26 and 55. Each group had a similar spread of educational backgrounds and all the volunteers performed normally in tests of memory, perception, language and reading.

They then tested the volunteers on a gambling game. Each was given $2000 and four decks of cards. The object of the game was to win money by drawing cards from any deck. All the decks had cards that carried rewards, but two decks also contained cards that carried severe penalties.

After being stung by the bad decks a few times, the younger people learnt to avoid drawing cards from them, says Tranel. But 14 of the older people kept playing the bad decks, and 11 others were slower than average to cotton on. "They don't develop risk aversion," says Tranel.

The researchers think some older people may suffer age-related damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and that the damage goes undetected because they are otherwise completely healthy. This may help to explain why old people so often fall victim to fraudulent advertising. A1996 survey showed most victim
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-20-7331-2751
New Scientist
2-Nov-1999


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Dietary supplement shows promise for improving immune function in the elderly
2. Support needed for elderly breast cancer patients and for independent academic research
3. Dengue infection more serious for elderly persons
4. Diabetes in the elderly linked to fewer cellular power plants
5. Gastric emptying for specific foods may be key to managing deadly illnesses in elderly
6. Physical activity in the elderly ruled in part by genetics
7. NIH to host conference on dietary supplement use in the elderly
8. Low hemoglobin means high risk for mobility problems in elderly women
9. Hormone replacement therapy may help prevent chronic wounds in elderly patients
10. The bodys production of melatonin may be the reason why the elderly cant get a good nights sleep
11. Growth hormone may boost production of disease-fighting cells in elderly

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/26/2017)... CITY , Jan. 26, 2017  Crossmatch, a ... unveiled a new solution aimed at combatting fraud, waste ... solution was introduced at the Action on Disaster Relief ... key meeting point for UN agencies and foreign assistance ... Fraud, waste and abuse are a largely unacknowledged ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... Jan. 24, 2017 Biopharm Reports has ... laboratory use of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). ... and profiled current practices, developments, trends and end-user ... as growth and opportunities. These areas include growth ... instruments, needs and innovation requirements, hyphenated NMR techniques, ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... ... recognition biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of 19.36% during ... scenario and the growth prospects of the global voice recognition biometrics ... the revenue generated from the sales of voice recognition biometrics including ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/21/2017)... FRANCISCO , Feb. 21, 2017   Invitae ... genetic information companies, today announced that members of the ... Company 37th Annual Health Care Conference on Monday, March ... p.m. Pacific in Boston, Massachusetts . ... presentation may be accessed by visiting the investors section ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... , Feb. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: BIOA ... President and CEO and Fabrice Orecchioni, the company,s COO, has been ... COO over the past four years, Fabrice has overseen the construction, ... and the management of the Mitsui JV.  Fabrice has ... the proposed China JV. ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... Salford-based Mettler Toledo Safeline, which employs ... processing and packaging industries, was runner-up for the Environmental Achievement Award, sponsored by ... or taken the most innovative steps to improve its environmental performance. , ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... February 20, 2017 , ... ... chest wall collapses in pre-term infants with respiratory distress, and assist surgeons ... $600,000 in funding through the ninth round of the University City Science ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: