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:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016   Parabon ... from the U.S. Army Research Office and the ... range and sensitivity of the company,s Snapshot ... Accounting Mission and, more generally, defense-related DNA forensics. ... phenotyping capabilities (predicting appearance and ancestry from DNA ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... 2016 Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer ... quarter ended December 31, 2015. --> ... 2016 increased 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year ... 2016 was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... the first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... , Jan. 22, 2016 ... addition of the "Global Biometrics Market ... their offering. --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ... "Global Biometrics Market in Retail Sector ... --> Research and Markets ( ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRML ), a bio-analytical solutions ... of the Steering Committee for its Pelvic Mass Registry. ... Pelvic masses can present physicians and healthcare professionals with ... ruled out, pelvic masses may include cancers of the ... tumors and gastrointestinal and urinary tract masses. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016  Wellcentive today announced it ... Portland, Oregon -based community care organization (CCO) ... health analytics, quality reporting and care management solutions ... its team of quality managers, analysts and care ... provider groups serving FamilyCare members. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016   BioInformant ... report, "Stem Cell Research Products, Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies ... ... in the stem cell industry, BioInformant has more than ... the stem cell market, by stem cell type. This ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BioAmber Inc. (NYSE: BIOA ), ... that Mitsui & Co. Ltd., its partner in the ... is investing an additional CDN$25 million in the joint ... from 30% to 40%.  Mitsui will also play a ... in Sarnia , providing dedicated resources ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: