April 22, 2012
Aging Brain Circuits For Decision Making

If you find your ability to make decisions in novel situations is declining blame deteriorating white-matter neurons that connect the medial prefrontal cortex to other parts of the brain.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. If you are an aging baby boomer and you've noticed it's a bit harder to drive to unfamiliar locations or to pick a new brand of olive oil at the supermarket, you can blame it on the white matter in your brain.

A brain-mapping study, published in the Apr. 11 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, has found that people's ability to make decisions in novel situations decreases with age and is associated with a reduction in the integrity of two specific white-matter pathways that connect an area in the cerebral cortex called the medial prefrontal cortex with two other areas deeper in the brain.

Reports like this that goes into greater details about brain aging underscore the undesirability of brain aging. The idea that you get great wisdom with age is hard to reconcile with the scientific insights into how your brain deteriorates. Sure, we learn from going thru life. But in the future we will be able to get brain rejuvenation therapies that will enable us to better learn and retain life's lessons and also avoid making bad decisions due to aging brain circuits.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2012 April 22 10:59 PM  Aging Brain Studies


Comments
PacRim Jim said at April 23, 2012 12:05 PM:

This whole aging thing seems undesirable.
Count me out.

Peter Spiegel said at April 23, 2012 4:55 PM:

Introducing, Centrum "thalamus"

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