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:
TAG: Why are the elderly easily fooled con artists

(Date:7/28/2014)... Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard ... will be commercialized by a newly formed private ... and personalized medicine products. The announcement ... of Technology Development (OTD) and the start-up Emulate ... automated human Organs-on-Chips platform. , "This is ...
(Date:7/27/2014)... that nicotine and cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, can ... in smoke. , The carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone or NNK is ... ends up in the tobacco smoke. Once inhaled, it ... is activated by a variety of enzymes called Cytochrome ... nicotine can partially interfere with the activation of NNK, ...
(Date:7/27/2014)... of mayfly in the southern Western Ghats, a mountain range ... the first time that any mayfly belonging to the genus ... The new species, called Labiobaetis soldani , "is named ... to the understanding of the Ephemeroptera of Palaearctic and Oriental ... the new mayfly in the Journal of Insect Science ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Wyss Institute's technology translation engine launches 'Organs-on-Chips' company 2Wyss Institute's technology translation engine launches 'Organs-on-Chips' company 3Nicotine found to inhibit DNA-strand break caused by a certain carcinogen in smoke 2
(Date:7/28/2014)... , July 28, 2014 Sapphire Energy, ... today announced the appointment of biotechnology veteran James ... board of directors. Levine replaces Cynthia ,CJ, Warner, who ... will remain chairman of the company,s board of directors. ... Energy,s mission to deliver commercial scale algae-based fuels has ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... 2014 “2014 Deep Research ... is a professional and in-depth research report ... report introduces Lubricant basic information, including Lubricant ... and industry overview. This research covers the ... as well as global industry analysis covering ...
(Date:7/28/2014)... Junction, MD (PRWEB) July 28, 2014 ... in personalized medicine, will be exhibiting data and research ... year’s International Spine Intervention Society’s (ISIS) 22nd ... 30th-August 3rd, at the Hyatt Regency, in Orlando, Florida. ... the knowledge and clinical competence of physicians who care ...
(Date:7/28/2014)...   JOLT , a leading technology accelerator, announced today ... portfolio of startups. Next-level tech and boundary-pushing innovation have ... accelerator, and Cohort four is no exception, with six ... its launch in July 2012, JOLT has produced 17 ... at 23 investments, JOLT,s portfolio has an overall mix ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Sapphire Energy Announces New CEO James Levine 2Sapphire Energy Announces New CEO James Levine 3Lubricant Market & Adhesion Promoter Industry (Globa, China) Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 2Lubricant Market & Adhesion Promoter Industry (Globa, China) Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 3Lubricant Market & Adhesion Promoter Industry (Globa, China) Analysis Now Available at DeepResearchReports.com 4Proove Biosciences Exhibits Industry Leading Data and Research at International Spine Intervention Society’s 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting 2JOLT Announces the Next 6 Startups to Join its Summer 2014 Cohort 2JOLT Announces the Next 6 Startups to Join its Summer 2014 Cohort 3
Cached News: